Lombardi: Browns "The Virgil Sollozzo Of The NFL"

If you need a Godfather reference in your NFL analysis, Michael Lombardi is your guy

Reiter Than You
July 24, 2019 - 7:24 pm
Baker Mayfield Freddie Kitchens Browns NFL

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One season into his NFL career, Baker Mayfield has put the Cleveland Browns on the map. The Browns went 7-7 in games in which Mayfield played – a vast improvement over the 4-44 mark from the previous three seasons.

But Mayfield doesn’t just bring wins; he brings moxie.

“It’s contagious,” The Athletic’s Michael Lombardi said on Reiter Than You. “He gets the team to follow him. It’s critical for your quarterback to have a personality that your team follows. Your team gets its personality from two people: the head coach and the quarterback. Sometimes the defensive coordinator who’s a strong personality can influence, but typically that’s what happens. I think the Browns have gotten Baker’s personality.”

There’s just one problem: they now have a target on their backs.

“I call the Browns the Virgil Sollozzo of the NFL – and here’s why,” Lombardi said. “They’re now the hunted one. They’re now a team on the schedule that teams look at that they’re playing and say, ‘We got to get ready for them.’ Before, they had to pump their team to play (the Browns). Now everybody is looking forward to playing them. That style and that way is way different. That’s why they are the hunted one like Virgil Sollozzo.”

While many analysts believe the Browns will win the division this season, Lombardi does not.

“I love the Steelers,” he said. “I think the Steelers are going to be the class of the AFC this year, and I think they’re going to win it.”