Rex Ryan was not impressed by the Cleveland Browns’ performance against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night.
The Browns lost to the Rams 20-13 at FirstEnergy Stadium, dropping Cleveland’s record to 1-2 on the season. There’s plenty of blame to go around, but Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens is taking a lot of heat, particularly for calling a draw play on fourth-and-9 in the fourth quarter with Cleveland trailing 17-13.
“Come on now. That fourth-down call, it’s not like they had eight guys over there and you run a dang overload or something. That’s the worst call I’ve ever seen,” Ryan, former head coach of the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills, said Monday on ESPN’s “Get Up.” ” … Standard defensive front. What are you trying to get to? Get in field-goal range? It’s fourth down. You only get four downs. You don’t get five downs in this league. That’s the worst call I think I’ve ever seen.”
Ryan saved his harshest criticism for Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, who completed just 50 percent of his passes (18-for-36) for 195 yards with one touchdown and one interception Sunday. The 24-year-old has completed just 56.9 percent of his passes for 805 yards with three touchdowns to five interceptions so far this season.
“I don’t get it. I’d love to be an offensive coordinator here. If I have Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb and this Baker Mayfield — yeah, I know he’s overrated as hell — but what’s stopping this team, though, is you have no tackles,” Ryan said. “And so are we gonna make an adjustment or are you just gonna let them get beaten 1-on-1 all day long?”
Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Overrated as hell?
“I bought into the dang hype. But not to the point where everybody’s saying he’s gonna be the league MVP,” Ryan explained. ” … What’s he doing right? Because I’m gonna look at this: Here’s a guy right now who’s a one-read guy and then he’s gonna improvise. He’s gotta realize, you are one of the slowest guys on that field when you take off with it. The other thing, the ball’s not coming out in rhythm. You’re staring down guys, and you’re not that accurate down the field. … Why isn’t the ball coming out quick? When they had to hold the ball, I never saw it, so you’ve gotta understand you don’t have tackles.”
Mayfield, the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, sure set the bar high last season amid an excellent rookie campaign, and the Browns entered this season with Super Bowl aspirations. Perhaps the hype was unwarranted — or premature, at the very least — but calling Mayfield “overrated as hell” certainly qualifies as a hot take given Cleveland’s other problems, particularly along the offensive line, right now.