New Browns coach Freddie Kitchens has plenty of things to worry about as he prepares for his first year on the job. He doesn’t have to worry about Baker Mayfield.
Kitchens has a very simple expectation for Mayfield, as it relates to leadership in his second season in the NFL.
“I want him to keep being himself,” Kitchens told reporters on Wednesday.
Those expectations are different when it comes to Mayfield’s development as a player.
“It is understanding of protections and coverages,” Kitchens said. “It is a continuous process with the quarterbacks. Baker is no different. There are going to be things that he wants to get better at 15 years from now, and he is going to retire one day and still wish he had gotten better at something. It is a never-ending process, and he is going to continue to get better.”
Mayfield was pretty damn good as a rookie, and it’s scary to think of how good he’ll be if he indeed continues to improve. But that’s how it goes for franchise quarterbacks; the more they play, the more they see and the more they understand regarding what they’re seeing, eventually landing in a sweet spot where the combination of their physical skills and mental command allow them to operate like coaches on the field.
Barring injury, Mayfield will indeed get better and better as a player. And he can’t get much better as a leader; he’s a natural, and that’s already obvious to anyone who gets it.