Baker Mayfield’s passion ‘not necessarily a detriment,’ QB’s former head coach says

Baker Mayfield’s passion ‘not necessarily a detriment,’ QB’s former head coach says

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Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield found support from one of his former head coaches as he looks to revive his career after a trade from the Cleveland Browns.

Freddie Kitchens, who was Mayfield’s offensive coordinator in 2018 and head coach in 2019 with the Browns, pushed back on those who criticize Mayfield’s passion and fire on the field. 

Kitchens said it wasn’t a flaw in the quarterback’s game.

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Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns during warmups before a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium Jan. 9, 2022, in Cleveland. 

Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns during warmups before a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium Jan. 9, 2022, in Cleveland.  (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

“I would say that [his passion is] an attribute that he has. It’s not necessarily a detriment,” Kitchens said in an interview on SiriusXM Radio Wednesday.

Kitchens, who serves as an analyst for South Carolina football, addressed Mayfield’s shoulder injury last season and the inability of the Browns to maintain coaching staffs.

“I think it’s definitely a factor when you start talking about different voices, different systems, different beliefs [and] philosophies,” he said. “Playing quarterback, you have to have the same vision, and everything is your head coach and your coordinators. When that vision sometimes changes, it’s definitely a detriment.”

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield throws during the first half of a game against the Baltimore Ravens Dec. 12, 2021, in Cleveland.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield throws during the first half of a game against the Baltimore Ravens Dec. 12, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

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The Browns traded their former No. 1 overall draft pick to the Panthers earlier this month.

Mayfield spent four seasons with the Browns, leading Cleveland to a playoff win in 2020. It was their first playoff win since the 1994 season. It was also Cleveland’s first playoff appearance since 2002 and first winning season since 2007.

Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns during the third quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at FirstEnergy Stadium Oct. 17, 2021, in Cleveland.

Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns during the third quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at FirstEnergy Stadium Oct. 17, 2021, in Cleveland. (Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

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His 2021 season was in disarray as he tried to play through injuries. In 14 games, he threw for 3,010 yards, 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

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