Sports Illustrated published the best defense I’ve seen so far pushing back against the idea that Baker Mayfield is going to be the next Johnny Manziel.
What often looked like natural ability and intuition to outsiders and newcomers was Mayfield’s work ethic manifesting itself, friends and coaches say. That’s Lake Travis head coach Hank Carter’s main beef with the Manziel comparison.
“I’d say it’s reckless to compare them. Baker has never been involved in something where he’s causing harm to someone, ever,” Carter says. “I’ve never heard anyone question Baker’s love for football. I’ve never heard anyone question Baker’s dedication in the film room, or on the practice field, or in the offseason. His ability to be coached. Those are some of the things the media was putting out there, true or not. But you don’t hear anyone saying that about Baker because it’s not true.”
This interview was actually done a few days ago but has been blowing up recently on Twitter. I have no idea how I missed it, but I sure am glad I finally got to read it over.
Look, I understand why people make comparisons between Manziel and Mayfield. I’ve even made plenty myself, but it’s starting to look really foolish. There have long been questions about Manziel’s love for the game, or lack thereof. Even setting aside the off-the-field issues, Johnny Football has left people wondering how badly he even wants to play football. You can’t draft a quarterback and make him the face of a team unless he’s ready to die on that field. They need the championship mentality. Anything less is unacceptable.
It’s becoming very clear that there are zero issues with Mayfield’s love of the game. He’s passionate, he wants to win and just goes out there to play ball. The young man looked heartbroken after losing to Georgia. I’m not sure I ever saw that Manziel after a loss.
I fell victim to this comparison too in the early days, but now it’s just lazy if you feel like the two are extremely similar.