Case Keenum: Some weeks, getting Baker Mayfield on the field was a small miracle

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With Baker Mayfield out for Cleveland’s season finale to undergo shoulder surgery, Case Keenum will start at quarterback, head coach Kevin Stefanski confirmed in his Wednesday press conference.

It will be Keenum’s second start of the season. He also got the nod in Cleveland’s Week Seven win over the Broncos, finishing 21-of-33 passing for 199 yards with a touchdown.

There were points during the season where it looked like Keenum could replace Mayfield again due to the starter’s various injuries. But the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft continued to play week after week.

“One of the gutsiest, toughest performances from a quarterback in a season I’ve ever seen,” Keenum said of Mayfield on Wednesday, via Jake Trotter of ESPN. “[O]ne of the toughest guys I know. He’s a fighter and came to fight every day. … Tremendous amount of respect for him and it grew.”

Keenum added, “There were some weeks, getting [Mayfield] onto the field was a small miracle.”

In some ways, that raises the question why didn’t Stefanski and the Browns turn to Keenum more often to give Mayfield more time to heal? Keenum displayed in Week Seven that he is fully capable of running the offense.

Nevertheless, the Browns and Mayfield have some soul searching to do when it comes to their partnership. Mayfield is under contract through 2022 on his fully guaranteed fifth-year option. But beyond that, it’s hard to say where Mayfield’s future lies.

Mayfield completed 60.5 percent of his passes in 2021 for 3,010 yards with 17 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and three lost fumbles.

17 responses to “Case Keenum: Some weeks, getting Baker Mayfield on the field was a small miracle

  1. if this was the case and stefanski still palyed him, then he should be fired. there is not that big a dropoff (if any) between baker and case that would warrant trotting an injured and thus inefficient baker out there weekly.

  2. Offseason prediction: Baker Mayfield traded to Minnesota for Kirk Cousins and a midround pick.

  3. Baker knew that it was his own fault that he got injured by throwing a pick and trying to make a tackle. So his motivation to stay on the field was pure guilt. I thought Stefanski was a smart guy. He should have been to see this and make the best decision for the team. Frankly, Case Keenum is a better QB than even a 90% Baker Mayfield. To be a good QB, you have to see the field clearly. If your mind is clouded with pain, performance will suffer and that’s a simple fact.

  4. While his injuries this year were bad and I am sure contributed to his ineffectiveness the reality is he has had a mediocre career so far. For a late round pick. Considering he was the 1st pick of the draft, maybe they should have asked the homeless guy who to draft again. Because he is not much better than Manziel. At least Manziel had the excuse he didn’t work at his craft. And spare me the many coaches he has had excuse. Maybe if he was better the coaches would not have been fired? Being a petulant child works if you are successful (see Aaron Rodgers) but not so much if the best thing you do is make is commercials.

  5. Not a Browns fan so I don’t really have a dog in the fight. If I’m being honest and looking over the QB landscape I would t want to let Baker go just yet. Here’s the deal, he isn’t bad. He’s not. He isn’t great or a top QB, but I think his ceiling is pretty high and his floor isn’t any lower the half the other starting QB’s in the league. After a slew of coaching changes to start his career, followed by a pandemic, followed by a season riddled with injury on an already run first team, I just don’t think he’s had a chance to really own the team and hit his stride. You can complain about how he never connected with OBJ, but again, a diva WR from NY comes to a dysfunctional organization with new coaching and a young QB, not connecting was very much an option in that situation. This team is stacked with talent. I say build off of what you got and see if this guy can raise his play before giving up on him. He’s got the most potential of any QB the browns have had in decades. I wouldn’t give up on him just yet. He’s no Johnny Football. Just my unpopular outsiders opinion.

  6. It’s almost as if Stefanski wanted to destroy Mayfield’s career.

    Take this last game against the Steelers. The Browns were already eliminated from the playoffs. They had NOTHING to play for, yet Stefanski plays Mayfield.

    But it’s even worse than that. The Browns were having success running Chubb against Pittsburgh. Chubb was gaining 6 years per carry…..and yet Stefanski kept calling passing plays. Even when they were on the goal line….they didn’t run Chubb, but made Baker throw.

    ANd Pittsburgh was brutalizing Mayfield with 9 sacks and dozens of knockdowns……many of them on his bad shoulder…..and still Stefanski played Mayfield.

    What was Stefanski thinking?

  7. Bakers motivation to stay on the field was pure guilt. Whenever he got hurt and Keenum would warm up, he would race over to back In. He wanted to play for a new Contract and the FO wanted Him to play to evaluate. Both sides got what they wanted but at the end of the day mayfield lost. Make no mistake, if he wasn’t playing for a new contract he would have sat this year. Playing was done because baker bet on himself and lost.

  8. What happened to the Browns this year is 100% Stefanski’s fault. Everyone in that locker room knows it. Onus is now on him to get this team back.

  9. Baker Mayfield really doesn’t need people, like Keenum here, continually pumping his tires. Mayfield was very good in 2020, but otherwise he is so mediocre and so arrogant at the same time.

  10. This was Baker’s contract year. He wantes the security and big pay day and forced himself out there each week. Gutsy, tough, but he won’t get that pay day now.

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