Baker Mayfield and Hue Jackson didn’t part in the most amicable of terms, but the former Cleveland Browns head coach still thinks the quarterback is going to be a very good player when everything is said and done. Jackson appeared on ESPN Radio 850 on Friday, according to the Bleacher Report‘s Adam Wells, and he talked about how he doesn’t have any problem with Mayfield as a player.
The man who pushed to draft Mayfield in the first place said any problems the two have with each other has nothing to do with the quarterback’s talent. Jackson did stop short of saying he had no problems at all with him in general.
“I still think this guy is going to be a really good player,” he said, “the player, I’ve never had a problem with the player.”
The comments from Jackson stand out because of the way the two interacted after Jackson was fired by the Browns. He was Mayfield’s head coach for the first eight games of the quarterback’s career. The team had thought it acquired enough talent to at least contend for a playoff spot that season. Instead, the Browns got off to another rough start and its coach was fired at the midseason mark.
After he was let go, he took a position as an assistant coach with the Cincinnati Bengals. Signing on with a division rival rubbed Mayfield the wrong way and he let both Jackson and the public know he was angry at his former coach. In week 12 of the 2018 season, Jackson’s old team took on his new team. Mayfield’s squad emerged victoriously and as he was running off the field, he was caught on video refusing to shake Jackson’s hand.
After the game, Mayfield was asked by the media about the incident and Nick Shook of NFL.com reported the quarterback explained he was angry his former head coach went to an enemy team.
“Left Cleveland, goes down to Cincinnati. I don’t know. That’s just somebody that’s in our locker room asking for us to play for him and then goes to a different team we play twice a year. Everybody can have their spin on it, but that’s how I feel.”
Jackson has not gotten a coaching job since the 2018 season. Mayfield finished his rookie season with 27 touchdowns to just 14 interceptions but struggled mightily in his second year. In 2019, he threw for a few more yards but had just 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. His struggles in his sophomore season contributed to Jackson’s replacement, Freddie Kitchens being fired after just one season. Mayfield will play under his fourth NFL head coach in three seasons in 2020. Gregg Williams was named the team’s interim coach after Jackson was fired and the Browns hired Kevin Stefanski over the offseason to replace Kitchens.