Dede Westbrook on Mayfield: ‘If you pretty much want to win football games, that’s the guy you need in your lineup’

The number one overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft QB Baker Mayfield is expected to make his preseason debut on Thursday night against the Giants. While Browns QB Tyrod Taylor is expected to be the starter for Cleveland in 2018, Mayfield is expected to be the franchise quarterback moving forward. Cleveland has started 28 different quarterbacks since 1999.

Some have questioned the Brown’s decision to draft the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner number one, but according to one of his former teammates at Oklahoma, Jaguars WR Dede Westbrook, the Browns made the right move:

“Big-time plays. Baker’s a baller. I’m not just saying that because I played with him,”  Westbrook told the Go4it podcast host Paul Gant. “I took a step back, and I was trying to see what all the critics were saying. Trying to see what they see. You ask me after watching the tape and watching him play, he’s a passionate guy who loves the game of football, and regardless of anything me and him have ever been through, he’s a baller. He knows how to win, so if you pretty much want to win football games, that’s the guy you need in your lineup.”

High praise from Westbrook. Mayfield, 23, made a lot of plays in college, but some have questioned whether his height(6’1) could be an issue on the next level, and some have questioned whether he will be an issue off the field after his arrest in 2017, but he is young and young people make mistakes.

Mayfield is not a slam dunk pick for the Browns, but the organization thinks he is the right guy. Hopefully, for Browns fans, he is more Bernie Kosar and less Johnny Manziel.

 

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Jags’ Westbrook on being overlooked by Steelers in playoffs: ‘I just think that’s an excuse for them’ (Audio)

Coming into the 2017 NFL playoffs, the thought was that the Steelers and Patriots would be playing each other in the AFC title game, and based on some comments before their playoff game against Jacksonville, a few players from the Steelers thought they would play the Patriots, too.

For example, you had Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell tweet this out before their Divisional Round match-up with the Jaguars:

Also, a few days before the game, then Steelers S Mike Mitchell told SI.COM the following:

“We’re going to play [the Patriots] again. We can play them in hell, we can play them in Haiti, we can play them in New England. …  We’re gonna win,” Mitchell said.

So, the Steelers were confident, but so were the Jaguars, who dominated the Steelers in Pittsburgh 30-9 in the regular season, and ultimately would beat Pittsburgh at Heinz Field in the playoffs 45-42. However, many believe the Steelers overlooked the Jaguars, but according to Jaguars WR Dede Westbrook, that was just an excuse:

‘I don’t feel like they overlooked us at all. I just think that’s an excuse for them,” Westbrook told Go4it podcast host Paul Gant. “People always get into that, ‘oh, we weren’t really expecting the Jaguars to beat us.’ At the end of the day, that’s something they gotta live with. I don’t want that to be the excuse of why we so-called won because they wasn’t ready. They thought they were going to blow past us and go play the Patriots, but at the end of the day, you gotta come out play every game.”

Did the Steelers overlook Jacksonville? I think they probably did, but it was pretty clear that the Jaguars had the Steelers number in 2017.

Listen to Westbrook talk Steelers at the 40:52 mark:

Dede Westbrook believes the Jags were better than Patriots last season(Audio)

The Jaguars were dominating Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in last season’s AFC title game back in January, but then Brady woke up.

With the Patriots down 10 points in the 4th quarter, Brady led the Patriots on two touchdown scoring drives, and in the process, he threw for 138 yards and two touchdowns in that final quarter as the Pats beat the Jaguars 24-20 to advance to Super Bowl 52.

While the Jaguars lost the game, their wide receiver Dede Westbrook felt Jacksonville was the better team.

“Most definitely, one-thousand percent,” Westbrook told the Go4it podcast hosted by Paul Gant. “And with that being said, because everybody knows we have the best defense in the NFL, and not only that, we were out executing them at one point on  offense as well. That’s the reason I say that.”

Jacksonville had one last chance to take the lead late in the 4th quarter, but Stephon Gilmore knocked away a Blake Bortles’ pass intended for Westbrook. A pass that the 2nd-year wide receiver believes he should have caught.

“I let that pretty much slip through my hands, instead of going up and being a big-time receiver and making a play,” Westbrook said. “No disrespect or anything to the Patriots or nothing, but Gilmore made a great break on the ball, but as a receiver, that’s my ball, and I’m supposed to have it.”

Westbrook has moved past that moment and is looking to have a breakout season in 2018:

“Now, it’s pretty much out of my head,” Westbrook said. “I’m ready to go and make a lot more plays to put us back in that same position, but a little farther as far as going to the Super Bowl and winning.”

The Jaguars should have won that game, but Tom Brady willed the Patriots to victory.

Going into 2018, Jacksonville has the talent to get back to the Super Bowl, especially with that dominating defense. The key will be Bortles, who just got paid in the offseason. If he plays well, and that defense continues to dominate, the Jags could easily be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in 2018.

Listen below to the interview with Westbrook at the 38:52 mark: