Baker Mayfield admitted he wanted “revenge” against his former coach Hue Jackson.
The Browns quarterback told ESPN in a long-form article published Wednesday that one of the highlights of last season was defeating the Bengals on two separate occasions, mainly because Jackson was on Cincinnati’s sideline. Jackson was named a special assistant to Marvin Lewis just weeks after he was fired from Cleveland in October.
“I’m not gonna lie to you and say that the first time I played Hue did not feel good. It’s human nature to want to get revenge,” Mayfield told ESPN.
At the time, Mayfield called Jackson “fake” and admitted to intentionally starring him down after a Dec. 23 game. Mayfield said afterward that he was just playing with emotion and passion. “If you don’t like it, whatever,” he said at the time.
In his recent interview with ESPN, he made it clear that he still stands by his comments against Jackson.
“I said what I meant,” Mayfield said. “Don’t stand up in front of us the week before and try to tell us you’re doing everything for us, then go take a job with a team we play twice a year. It was one of those honesty and respect things.”
Jackson, on the other hand, said that there are no hard feelings against the first overall pick out of the 2018 NFL Draft.
“Baker’s gonna be Baker,” Jackson told ESPN. “He was disappointed that I left and was with a team in the division. … That was his feeling and I have to respect it.”
The Browns saw significant changes with its coaching staff throughout Mayfield’s first season in the league. Jackson was fired after completing a 1-31 record over his first two seasons as head coach with the Browns, and Cleveland promoted Gregg Williams to interim, though he was relieved of his duties when they promoted Freddie Kitchens to head coach.
“I had never gone through a rookie season before, but I’m pretty sure that’s not exactly how it’s supposed to go,” Mayfield said.