You may have already heard about this, but the Cleveland Browns fired Hue Jackson as their head coach earlier this year. Since Hue's been gone, the Browns have been much better. They're 2-1, with the only loss during that period coming to the Kansas City Chiefs, who are really, really good.
One of the major sources of improvement has been the play of quarterback Baker Mayfield, who went from completing 58.3 percent of his passes at 6.6 yards per attempt and registering a 78.9 passer rating under Jackson and former offensive coordinator Todd Haley to completing 73.9 percent of his passes at 8.8 yards per attempting and registering a 129.5 passer rating under new offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens.
After the Browns defeated the Bengals -- whom Jackson joined almost immediately after being fired by the Browns -- last Sunday, Mayfield had some . "Left Cleveland, goes down to Cincinnati," Mayfield said. "I don't know. It's just somebody that was 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." He later called Jackson " ."
Mayfield said earlier this week that he, and on Thursday, Kitchens backed the quarterback.
That sounds about right, and Kitchens' attitude regarding the No. 1 pick in the draft is pretty consistent with what everybody else seems to say about him. Mayfield is a no-nonsense kind of dude and is going to say what he feels. And the people around him -- teammates, coaches, executives -- seem to dig that. Good for him.