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Has Baker Mayfield now become the Bengals’ biggest enemy?

On Sunday, the 2018 No. 1 overall pick again showed up his old coach in another win over the Bengals. Are his antics putting him up in the echelon of some Steelers names in the eyes of players and fans?

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The Cleveland Browns had their way with the Cincinnati Bengals this year, sweeping the “Battle of Ohio” contests. In both victories, quarterback Baker Mayfield was very animated, in varying forms, about his disdain for Hue Jackson.

After being fired from Cleveland back in October, Jackson landed with the Bengals. The move made sense for both parties—particularly from a familiarity standpoint, as well as Jackson’s vast experience coaching in the AFC North.

Regardless, Jackson heading to a rival didn’t sit well with the former Heisman Trophy winner. When asked about his beef with Jackson after beating the Bengals back in November, Mayfield made a reference to his former coach being “fake”.

We discussed his actions on this week’s Orange and Black Insider podcast and co-host John Sheeran didn’t seem to mind Mayfield’s actions. Sure, he was irked that it was at the Bengals’ expense, but these aren’t things that are new with the brash signal-caller.

Baker Mayfield will always try to find the guy who he kind of builds his mentality around and try to make him the villain so he can conquer him,” Sheeran said. “That’s the way that he is and he has deemed Hue Jackson that guy because of what has transpired with him. Even after that first Bengals game, he made Hue Jackson the villain and the entire city of Cleveland rallied around him”.

In speaking of my distaste for Mayfield’s actions, I noted the irony in Mayfield’s decision to gloat in Jackson’s direction. First, reports had Jackson being the one pounding the table for Mayfield as the team’s No. 1 pick, when some believed Sam Darnold should have been the guy.

Additionally, was Mayfield expecting Jackson to not take a job—especially a pretty solid opportunity shortly after being fired? I mean, the man has a family to support. It’s also not like Mayfield was given the starting job once Jackson was let go, either—he was named the starter in Week 4.

There’s also the whole “act like you’ve been there before” argument, as well as the fact that the Browns weren’t/aren’t heading to the postseason in 2018. Maybe get to the playoffs before talking excessive noise? (And, yes, I definitely remember the Chad Johnson days.)

I wasn’t alone in not digging Mayfield’s gesture this past Sunday. FOX Sports’ Colin Cowherd, whom I’ve been at odds with on many opinions in the past, raked Mayfield over the coals for his Hue stare-down.

Perhaps what is striking a chord with Mayfield, aside from his need to create an enemy to build that aforementioned shoulder chip, was Jackson’s post-firing media tour. He aired some dirty laundry and that didn’t seem to sit well with Mayfield, Damarious Randall or Jabrill Peppers.

Regardless, this rivalry has heated back up thanks to the Browns being competitive and Mayfield stoking the fire with his brash behavior. It will really only cease once Cincinnati can consistently beat he and the Browns once again.

Also on this week’s episode:

  • Jeff Driskel disappeared for three quarters once again, but threw two late touchdowns against the Browns to make it a game late. What do you make of his performances and is he a viable long-term backup option?
  • How would AJ McCarron have fared if he was placed in Driskel’s situation?
  • Is Cleveland’s 2018 draft class akin to the respective individual hauls from 2009-2011 of the Bengals?
  • Vontaze Burfict has suffered his second concussion in the past month and seventh documented case in his seven-year career. A personal decision by him notwithstanding, might the recent show of frustration to a Bengals employee be enough for the team to move on after a dumpster fire of a season from the former Pro Bowler?
  • Taking a hard look at quarterback and making a major commitment should be one of the team’s 2019 resolutions.
  • Dd the Bengals sign Marvin Lewis to a two-year deal with the idea in mind that 2018 was going to be a rebuilding year?

As always, our sincere gratitude to those who tuned in live and submitted questions. You can join us every episode here at Cincy Jungle or on YouTube. We hope you had a happy holiday season and have a great 2019!

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