Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield‘s past with the Browns was a popular topic of conversation leading into Sunday’s game between the teams and both sides did their best to say that their focus was on the game rather than settling any old scores.
There were some bumps in the road and attempts to cash in on all the attention, however. One of the latter was a t-shirt authorized by Mayfield that promoted the game with the phrase “Off the leash” in an apparent reference to leaving the Dawg Pound behind now that he’s in Carolina.
After the Browns’ 26-24 win, defensive end Myles Garrett referenced that phrase when he was asked about how the run-up to the game impacted the Browns’ mindset.
“It had us a bit off the leash . . . “I mean, the tone was set with the attitude of some of the guys on the other side. We were just ready to go out there and finally put things to bed.”,” Garrett said, via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.
Garrett sacked Mayfield twice, forced a fumble and batted down one of his former teammate’s passes in the win. While he sounded put off by the Panthers’ approach to the game, Garrett said Mayfield “didn’t lose my respect” at any point in the proceedings and now both sides will move on to less emotionally charged games in Week Two.