Baker Mayfield says people want to see Browns lose 'just because the hype is so real'

The Cleveland Browns aren't exactly the definition of a winning franchise. Since reentering the NFL in 1999 as an "expansion team," Cleveland has reached the postseason just once in 20 years, having 18 losing seasons during that span. The most games the Browns have won in a season was 10 in 2007, a year they didn't make the playoffs. Cleveland also became the third team in NFL history to lose every game in a season, finishing 0-16 in 2017. 

That winless season is long behind Cleveland, which drafted a franchise quarterback in Baker Mayfield and went 7-8-1 in 2018. The Browns added talent across the board in free agency and the draft over the last two years, adding onto the preseason hype that the dog days in Cleveland are far from over.

The Browns haven't won a playoff game since the 1994 season and have never reached the Super Bowl. That hasn't stopped the preseason hype over the Browns potentially reaching the Super Bowl in Mayfield's second year at the helm. 

"The expectations for us within the locker room last year were higher than what we accomplished," Mayfield said in an interview with Complex Sports. "Outside the locker room, people threw us in the trash before the season. They didn't expect much out of us just because, the year before that, Browns were 0-16. So, you know, you can only go up from there. And I think now we need to have the same mentality. It stays within that locker room."

Expectations are the highest in Cleveland since they reentered the league. Mayfield, seeking all the motivation he can to be great, found a way to give himself an added chip on his shoulder. The Browns quarterback reads what people type on social media. 

"You've got to believe in it and take it one week at a time," Mayfield said on the Browns preseason hype. "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."

The Browns had at notable offseason, trading for Odell Beckham Jr. and Olivier Vernon while signing running back Kareem Hunt (who is suspended the first eight games of the season). Cleveland also has Pro Bowl receiver Jarvis Landry and Antonio Callaway to pair with Beckham as pass-catching weapons for Mayfield. The Browns also have David Njoku at tight end to open up the middle of the field. While Hunt is suspended, second-year back Nick Chubb had 996 rushing yards in 12 games as a rookie. 

Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward each made the Pro Bowl last year to lead the Browns defense, which is expected to be improved with the additions of Vernon, defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson and safety Morgan Burnett.

The offseason hype for the Browns matches the talent on their roster. All the Browns have to do is win games this fall, which is what Mayfield intends to accomplish.

Anything for added motivation. 

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