Baker Mayfield to Chef Up Sophomore Masterpiece in Freddie’s Kitchen - Roto Street Journal
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Baker Mayfield to Chef Up Sophomore Masterpiece in Freddie’s Kitchen

After igniting the Browns’ offense for the final eight games of 2018, Browns OC Freddie Kitchens earned a serious promotion. “The Chef” became Cleveland’s 17th head coach, and no one should be happier than QB Baker Mayfield. Unlike Todd Haley, Kitchens quickly morphed to Mayfield’s quick-slinging strengths, and the results on the entire offense were enormous. Under Kitchens, Cleveland tied for the league lead in yards per pass attempt (8.72), ranked fourth in both total yards (395.1) and passing yards (285.9) per game, all while leading the NFL in yards per play (6.86).

Unsurprisingly, Mayfield’s stats similarly skyrocketed. His completion percentage rose from 58% to 68%, while his YPA rose from 6.6 to 8.6 despite a quicker-hitting offense. Overall, Mayfield was on pace for 4508 yards, 38 TDs, and 16 INTs, equal to 300.3 FPs and a QB9 finish, a point below Drew Brees.  Prior, under Haley and Hue, Mayfield was on pace for 3922 yards, 21 TDs, and 16 INTs pace, which equals 208.8 FPs, good enough for a QB20 finish just below Case Keenum.

Instead of learning an entirely new offense, Mayfield will now be able to develop inside a system where he’s already thrived. This invites innovation and refinement, which will only be furthered with new OC Todd Monken. Though Monken just completed a wildly successful campaign as the Bucs OC, Kitchens will continue calling plays. Still, he’ll rely heavily on Monken, who has 23 years coaching college Air Raid offenses, for scheming. This has already translated well to the NFL, as the 2018 Bucs led the league in passing yardage (5125 total, 320 per game) thanks to an emphasis on the deep ball (8.6 YPA, second in the league). In fact, Monkens stated:

“I like having fun. I don’t know why it has to feel like such drudgery all the time. Who needs more 5-yard plays? How can we be explosive? That’s what the game is about, man. People like big plays. I like big plays.”

Mayfield himself thrived in an Air Raid offense at Oklahoma. Between Kitchens’ familiarity and Monken’s aggressiveness, Mayfield and the Browns offense are set to explode in 2019. He’s far-and-away my favorite late round QB target, and now up to No. 10 in my rankings.

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