At this time last year, the Browns were riding a 17-game losing streak and carrying few expectations that they’d be making a push for a playoff spot.
It’s a very different scene around the team this year. Between a 5-2 close to last year, Odell Beckham‘s arrival and the continued maturation of young players like quarterback Baker Mayfield, people have found several reasons to predict bigger and better things from the 2019 Browns.
Others believe that the Browns have been pushed too far too fast and Mayfield told Complex.com that “you’ve got to have an even-keel mindset” when both things are going on at the same time. That sounds right and Mayfield said “chatter doesn’t matter,” but it is clear that the quarterback has heard the negative view over the course of the offseason.
“It stays within that locker room,” Mayfield said. “You’ve got to believe in it and take it one week at a time. Because I wouldn’t say that everybody wants to beat us. I think in the media and everything that comes with the hype around our team right now, people want to see us lose, just because the hype is so real. But we’ve got to go out there and take it one week at a time. We’re trying to win every week.”
There’s little doubt that the Browns will hear from those who think they were overhyped if they stumble out of the gate this season. If things go the other way, Mayfield and company will have to be sure that things don’t tilt too far in the other direction before they actually accomplish their goals.