Browns’ Odell Beckham Jr. Defends Baker Mayfield

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Odell Beckham Jr.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is coming to the defense of his quarterback Baker Mayfield who has been subjected to a ton of criticism over his poor play this season.

The 2-5 Browns have been a major disappointment this season, but Mayfield has been mostly to blame with his issues with turnovers. Mayfield is tied with Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston for the NFL lead in interceptions this season with 12.

Beckham, the Browns big splash acquisition this offseason, has been disappointing as well, hauling in only one touchdown this season, his first with the Browns.

“You can’t sit here and say it’s all on him. You have to take a look at everything going on around him,” Beckham said, according to ESPN’s Jake Trotter. “Obviously, he has to play better. I have to player better. … We all need to do better. Can’t sit back and be like, ‘It’s Baker’s fault.’ I feel like that’s the easiest thing for us to do. I’ve been in situations where one person is getting the blame, and the rest of the people are quiet to kind of stay out of the fire.

“I’m going to jump in the fire with him. I’ll be the first one. Some of these losses are on me. I need to be in the right place at the right time. I’m going to do better. And that’s what I plan to do for the rest of the season.”

“Nobody likes to feel like you’re being poked at or prodded at, especially not a guy like that,” Beckham said. “I’ve been through that journey already, I’ve been through this fire. That’s a part of me that’s able to help him in a way. This is a kid who cares about football, cares about winning. Whatever people make him out to be just because of his personality — if we were winning and he was still doing it, we’d all be here laughing. Because we’re losing, we want to kind of poke at him a little.

“I’m going to be the first one here to defend him every single time. I’ve always got his back. I know what it’s like. I’ve been there. … I understand how we’re looking for the negative. But he wants to win. He’s upset he’s not winning, or he hasn’t done to the best of his ability, that’s upsetting. Just upsetting. We want to be great.”

For his part, Mayfield is staying positive and confident that the team can turn around their disappointing season, a sentiment that Beckham shares.

“The more games we have together, the better we’ll be, but it’s time for us to turn it on,” Beckham said. “You have a highly regarded quarterback [who] I think is a phenomenal player, and I just want to be able to help him in every which way I can.

“I have no doubt in my mind that at some point in time it’s going to be everything that we all talked about.”

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