Stare down? What stare down?
Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said he had “no idea” what a reporter was talking about when asked if his long, long look at the Bengals sideline was directed at former Cleveland coach Hue Jackson — now a special assistant with Cincinnati.
The rookie’s stare down of the Bengals came after a 66-yard pass to David Njoku on the game’s final drive, helping seal a 26-18 Browns victory in Cleveland. Mayfield, who has excelled since Jackson was fired Oct. 29, was caught by the television cameras running right by the Cincinnati sideline, with his head turned to where Jackson was standing. The broadcasters noted Mayfield even backpedaling to stare longer at his former coach for what they said “felt like an eternity” with 1:13 left in the game.
“No idea what you’re taking about,” Mayfield told reporters.
When pressed about it and told it was trending on social media, the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft deflected.
“That’s all right, we won,” Mayfield said. “David didn’t score on that play.”
Mayfield has been a thorn in the Bengals and Jackson’s side as the Browns won both meetings this season. Mayfield went 27-for-37 passing for 284 yards and three touchdown on Sunday, and Cleveland (7-7-1) is 5-2 since Jackson was fired after going 3-36-1 in two-plus seasons.
He also threw for 258 yards and four scores in Cleveland’s 35-20 win over Cincinnati on Nov. 25. After that game, Mayfield tried to avoid Jackson during postgame handshakes and was critical of him going to work for the Browns’ division rival.
“Left Cleveland, goes down to Cincinnati. I don’t know,” Mayfield said at the time. “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.”