Tony Dungy: Baker Mayfield should “keep that anger inside”

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Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield thrives on external motivation. On Wednesday, external motivation morphed to anger, when he bristled at questions from Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland and walked away from Mayfield’s weekly press conference.

Friday’s PFT Live included visits from a couple of guests who offered their views on the situation. Including Grossi himself.

I asked Grossi what he’d say to Mayfield if he had Mayfield on the phone. Beyond the obvious first question Grossi would pose to Mayfield (“How did I get you on the phone?”), Grossi said that he’d say this: “You have to direct your anger away from me and to your job.”

Another Tony — Hall of Famer Dungy — agrees with that assessment.

“He’s been the underdog,” Dungy said on Friday’s show regarding Mayfield. “He’s used that kind of chip on his shoulder his whole career. That seems to motivate him. There comes a time where you’re not going to be able to play that underdog role all the time and you’re just going to need to move forward. That’s what I would talk to him about. ‘Hey, keep that anger inside, use that as motivation, but don’t necessarily let the world see it all the time.'”

The word definitely saw it this week.

“He said he plays better when he’s angry,” Grossi said. “But I think that should be tunneled toward Sundays, not Wednesdays of practice week.”

Grossi also explained how things went haywire with Mayfield on Wednesday.

“He’s usually directed some snarky responses to me, and I just decided to challenge him on this particular point because I was trying to get to the bad execution in the two-minute drive at the end of the half that could have gotten them right back in the game,” Grossi said. “And those are the periods of games where the Browns are really failing at, pressure situations that could change the game. And so when I challenged him, he didn’t like it. And I either had to say, ‘All right, step back or try to find this answer.” And he didn’t like it.”

Mayfield definitely didn’t like it. And he has done well finding fuel in comments and questions he doesn’t like. This year, however, none of that seems to be working.

If the Browns can’t work out a way to win in Denver on Sunday, a sixth loss through eight games will make it virtually impossible for Baker to like the eventual finish of the 2019 season.

40 responses to “Tony Dungy: Baker Mayfield should “keep that anger inside”

  1. I am not a big fan of reporters who have some grudge against a player and ask questions designed at antagonizing that player. Sure, Mayfield is a tool but I don’t think Grossi is any different. Whatever happened to fair and balanced reporting? He seems to have an axe to grind against Mayfield and is using his press credentials to further that agenda instead of being a good reporter. Dungy is right though, Mayfield needs to be more mature but that’s just not in his makeup. How many reporters are in that room every time Mayfield has a press conference–I’d guess a lot. How many guys does he have a problem with–ONE. I think Grossi loves the attention and is doing this to get more attention. Again, Mayfield is not innocent in this but Grossi is acting like an immature child.

  2. What if I do t think that Tony Dungy is the moral arbiter of the NFL? What if I never thought that, and wondered why that weird little dude who somehow managed to win a Super Bowl with Peyton Manning gets treated like the NFL’s dad?

  3. Baker Mayfield is a prima donna privileged punk who’s used to pouting and getting his way. Grow up, kid.

  4. I wish reporters would ask more direct questions, if he was “trying to get to the bad execution in the two-minute drive at the end of the half“, why not ask “why do you feel the execution has been worse in clutch moments at the end of halves” rather than “were you happy with how the drive went.” The latter is guaranteed to do nothing for the readers who he’s purportedly there to get information for.

    While Baker handled it extraordinarily poorly, the question was in fact a garbage question.

  5. His TV commercials are stupid. He’s over hyped and nothing more than a sober Manziel. The words Super Bowl and Mayfield should never be used in the same sentence except to discuss who’s not going.

  6. Gross said he’d retire if the Browns drafted Mayfield. He didn’t keep his word.

    Cleveland media is toxic; it’s part of the reason it’s so hard to win in Cleveland.

  7. Good NFL QB’s have to make plays under pressure. As a football fan, I’m a little bit more concerned with Mayfield’s performance on the field, than I am with the way he handles the media. If he handled on-field pressure better, the press conferences would be more fun. It would also give Mayfield the upper hand with those who doubted him coming out of college. So far, the doubters are getting the last laugh.

  8. State Farm and everyone else are laughing at Progressive for trying to rip off the Aaron Rodgers insurance commercials. They chose Baker Mayfield. (Swing and a miss) Even Flo is chuckling.

  9. Seems like he was progressing with Williams as HC and Kitchens as OC. Now that Williams is gone and Kitchens is in charge they’ve regressed. Jus sayin…

  10. No. He should keep his arrogant mouth shut. Gifting him the Heisman was the same mistake as with Manziel!

  11. Everyone — Mayfield included — especially Mayfield — needs to take a chill pill. Cleveland had the second worst schedule up to now. The 8-0 defending champion Patriots in New England with a vastly improved defense over last year. The defending NFC champion Rams in L.A. The 8-0 49ers in San Francisco. The division leading Ravens in Baltimore sporting a shiny new unstoppable offensive weapon. The scrappy 2 time NFC champion Seahawks.

    The schedule gets easier. They did manage 2 wins so far. If only they had managed one more I would put them in serious contention. Big difference btw 3-4 and 2-5.

  12. Grossi’s question was stupid, asking him if he was happy with the execution and Mayfield told him as much. I don’t have a problem with it. It is just like a reporter asking someone going through a tragedy how they feel. Really? How do you think moron!
    I understand this team has a lot of hype, but it is not another QB who claimed they would go tot he Super Bowl because of the talent. The media made them overhyped, not the team. The team did their job getting talent, they just need to execute. I said 8-8 would be a good season because they can’t sneak up on teams this year. It is looking like that prediction will be correct. They just need to focus on winning against the division and everything else will take of itself. They already beat Baltimore.

  13. Handling the press is as much a job responsibility for an NFL player as handling a blitz. The team should be coaching players in media relations. Also, in this case, probably a good idea to have a team press rep at Baker’s side whenever he is going to interact with reporters.

  14. I know a lot of Cleveland natives, but I don’t know one that likes Tony grossi. There is a reason he is a former beat writer for the Cleveland Browns, and not the current beat writer.

  15. First you get good and then you get to be an idiot Baker. The press is going to press your buttons when you lose so you might as well get used to it. Otherwise your just another overpaid NFL player. Remember it is the fans that are paying your salary.

  16. Manziel all over again. Poor Browns can’t get it right even in the face of great opportunity.

  17. Do worry Baker if and when you guys start to win he will be your best friend and stand right behind you, with a knife in his hand.

  18. “There comes a time where you’re not going to be able to play that underdog role all the time and you’re just going to need to move forward.”

    Michael Jordan played 15 years (and 6 championships) angry and even made stuff up just to motivate himself…

  19. thefiesty1 says: “No. He should keep his arrogant mouth shut.”

    And yet here you are telling Mayfield what to do… Who’s the arrogant one?

    He’s a football player. What he says Monday to Saturday has no effect on how good or poor he plays on Sunday.

  20. Just watched Mike Torico”s interview with Lamar Jackson and Jackson’s says he admires Mahomes apart from Brady, Brees , Rodgers etc. Can you believe Mayfield say he admires Mahomes? This is the difference between fake and real professionals. Mayfield will be Mayfield.

  21. endtimesparty says:
    November 2, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    The schedule gets easier. They did manage 2 wins so far. If only they had managed one more I would put them in serious contention. Big difference btw 3-4 and 2-5.


    Any team that most likely needs to go 8-1 to get to the playoffs or 7-2 in your big 3 win threshold is not in serious contention.

  22. Mayfield has done plenty to paint himself a hot-headed, immature kid, and he does need to learn to be more professional at times. He’s also 24 years old and in his second year as a pro. Grossi is a 62 year-old man that has been reporting on sports for 30 years. He knew exactly what he was doing, and he did it intentionally. Of course Mayfield was not happy with that drive. In this case I don’t blame Mayfield at all for walking off. These players are human beings like everyone else. They’re not zoo animals. Grossi showed no respect so he gets no respect.

  23. The problem with Baker is he’s a punk, and the police video proved that without question

  24. Can’t wait till they play the Cards…should be interesting he and Kyler Murray, polar opposites with Kyler hardly ever saying a word, preferring to let his play speak for him and then there is Baker…who seems to never miss an opportunity do something that will get him in the press, except for his play on the field. Comes a time when a guy has to grow up and leave college antics in the rearview or become that pathetic college smartass who never could take that next growth step and be a leader.

  25. He gets the criticism for the way he has run his mouth. In truth they have been pretty close in some of those games. Their record could be better.

  26. You’re telling me that with that cupcake second half schedule, a 3-4 record would not have been good enough? Bengals twice. Ravens at home after decimating them on road. Dolphins. A highly suspect Steelers team twice (that looked like it could have lost to Miami. Arizona. Even the Bills, the toughest team yet to play,is beatable.

  27. “Baker is a punk.” — anonymous keyboard warriors of the internet who have NEVER been scrutinized the way this kid has.

    I am a Cleveland fan from WAY back. There’s a reason Grossi isn’t well-liked in Cleveland. He’s an agitator with a chip on his shoulder since Lerner got him fired. Grossi gets to be nationally relevant because he asked an asinine question to a quarterback who is tired of the asinine questions.

    Tony Grossi has only seems to get attention when he picks a fight with someone in the Browns’ organization. THAT should tell you all you need to know about that hack.

  28. State Farm and everyone else are laughing at Progressive for trying to rip off the Aaron Rodgers insurance commercials. They chose Baker Mayfield. (Swing and a miss) Even Flo is chuckling.
    Mayfield is quite good in his commercials – relaxed, appropriately animated and entirely believable. Re Tony Grossi’s hypothetical ‘You have to direct your anger away from me and do your job.’ I am not high strung like Mayfield, but if a reporter said that to me in the same circumstance, he’d need to surround himself with body guards. What a smug, sanctimonious, self-important jackass.

  29. How exactly is Baker like Manziel? Baker is a married man and from all accounts he is all football. Yes he is on many commercials but those were shot during the off season and for someone starting a family, he needs all the money he can make.

  30. If the couch of the Browns is a good coach then than when make a gay black preacher and I am very white. Why the hell is he even calling plays? He sucks at it and they kept the wrong coach!

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