Delhomme: Browns Might Bench Mayfield For Keenum

Baker Mayfield is still the starter in Cleveland, but that could change in a hurry if he doesn't play better in 2020, Jake Delhomme says

Zach Gelb
March 26, 2020 - 1:59 pm
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Last year, the Cleveland Browns entered the season with Super Bowl aspirations. They finished 6-10 and missed the playoffs for the 17th straight season.

The problems were many, but one problem was easy to spot.

“They need better quarterback play in Cleveland,” former Pro Bowl quarterback Jake Delhomme said on The Zach Gelb Show. “There’s just no other way of saying it. They need better quarterback pay. That’s going to be the biggest key there. They have a lot of talent on that football team. Certainly we know the two wideouts [Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry], and then signing [Austin] Hooper to go with [David] Njoku – they’ve got some weapons. They have a stable of running backs. They need to solidify one or two positions on the offensive line. Obviously the draft can address that. But they’re a very talented, talented football team. So, [with] better quarterback play, you’ll see better results.”

Without better quarterback play, however, you could see a benching.

“Don’t be surprised if you see Case Keenum come November if Baker struggles,” Delhomme said. “I don’t think they’ll be afraid in the least bit to put in Case. Baker wasn’t drafted by this regime that has taken over. If he plays well, great, I’m happy for him. But if he struggles, don’t be [surprised if Keenum] takes over.”

Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick in 2018, completed 59.4 percent of his passes for 3,827 yards, 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions last season. Keenum, meanwhile, is a career journeyman, but he played for Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski in Minnesota.

If Mayfield can’t get right, Keenum will be waiting in the wings.

“I think he’ll have a chance to bounce back,” Delhomme said of Mayfield. “It certainly seemed like there was so much outside noise last year with the coaches and just all the commercials. I’m okay with him making the commercials because those are shot in the summertime and that’s half a day. But there was no quietness. After a game [there was no], ‘Yeah, didn’t play well, gotta get better,’ or after a win, ‘We did some good things, but we got to keep getting better.’ It was always just extra drama everywhere. I think with this new staff, they’ll kind of hone this in. Hopefully Baker had a taste of some humble pie and he’s going to come ready to work. I want to see him succeed. I want to see young quarterbacks come out and play well.”

If Mayfield doesn’t play well, Keenum, who led the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game in 2017, will be ready.

“Keenum is a pro who’s going to be preparing and knows this system,” Delhomme said. “So Baker is going to have every opportunity to work for it, and I’m anxious to see him succeed. I hope he does.”