Baker Mayfield does not Step Up into the Pocket (Cleveland Browns Red Flag #2020-1)

Early in the 2019 season, retired OG Geoff Schwartz wrote an article about how Baker Mayfield was making life difficult for his o-line. One of the things Schwartz pointed out was that Baker was not stepping up into the pocket.

With the problem publicly identified by a credible observer, I was expecting Baker to fix it. But he did not. And he finished the season as one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL.

While it’s true that the Browns haven’t set foot on the practice field yet, I am worried that this problem is not being addressed. I have not heard Baker, coach Stefanski or OC Van Pelt even mention this issue. Even worse, I have not heard anybody in the sport media discussing this glaring flaw in Baker’s game.

I’m excited to watch first-round draft-pick Jedrick Wills Jr. pass-block for Baker, but I wonder if Wills knows that he has a QB who won’t be stepping up into the pocket? Can he adjust for such a thing? Because everybody is expecting Wills to make a meaningful contribution to Baker having a great season. Everybody is acting like it’s a done deal, but I don’t think it is.

So, that’s our first red flag. Somebody needs to teach Baker how to play his position, and there is no sign of that happening yet.