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Did Baker Mayfield throw shade at fired Browns coach Hue Jackson?

Yahoo! Sports logo Yahoo! Sports 11/21/2018 Liz Roscher
a group of baseball players playing a football game: Hue Jackson will get a close view of his former team when the Bengals, his current employer, face Baker Mayfield and the Browns on Sunday. (Getty Images) © Provided by Oath Inc. Hue Jackson will get a close view of his former team when the Bengals, his current employer, face Baker Mayfield and the Browns on Sunday. (Getty Images)

Fired Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson will face his former team for the first time Sunday when the Browns take on Jackson’s new team, the Cincinnati Bengals. Jackson was hired to be a special assistant to Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis just a few weeks after he was fired, and he’ll be on the sideline when the two teams square off.

Browns starting quarterback Baker Mayfield isn’t worried about Jackson sharing the team’s offensive strategies with the Bengals. Mayfield was asked Wednesday if he thinks Jackson has given the Bengals an advantage, and before you burst in with your own joke, Mayfield already made it for you.

He had no explanation why, he simply said “just no.” The shade from those two words alone could cover the entire city of Cleveland like an umbrella.

Mayfield probably didn’t intend his response to sound like he was scoffing at the idea of Jackson having any information that would give the Bengals an edge. But another Browns player, Joel Bitonio, had his own underwhelming answer about Jackson facing his old team.

That’s not a bad way to look at it, except for one thing: Jackson is more than just a former teammate. He was the Browns’ head coach for two-and-a-half seasons. You’d assume that he’d have more intimate knowledge of the team than anyone, right?

A less generous reading of these comments might lead someone to think that Browns players aren’t concerned about Jackson because, well, he wasn’t the greatest coach and can’t give the Bengals any advantage because he couldn’t coach his old team out of a paper bag. His 3-36-1 record with the Browns doesn’t do a lot to combat that, but Jackson has been in football, either at the college level or NFL, for over 30 years. It’s downright silly to think that Jackson had no useful information to share with the Bengals.

Regardless, interim head coach Gregg Williams doesn’t want his players to care about what Jackson may have told his new employers.

Jackson is the past, and the Browns are concerned about only the future. And … maybe possibly throwing shade at their former head coach. They’re only human, after all.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on Twitter at @lizroscher.

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