BARRY LAMINACK

Hard Knocks: It's become easy to root for Baker Mayfield

Hard Knocks: It's become easy to root for Baker Mayfield
Baker Mayfield is becoming a star on Hard Knocks. Joe Robbins/Getty Images

To borrow a phrase from my grandfather:

“DADGUMMIT”!

Dadgummit Hard Knocks! Stop making me like players/coaches that I don't want to like!

In 2015 it was Bill O’Brien.

Last year it was Jameis Winston.

This year?

Baker Mayfield.

Before I watched this season’s Hard Knocks, Training Camp with the Cleveland Browns I wasn’t a big Baker Mayfield guy. Maybe it was because he reminded me (almost too much) of Johnny Manziel, both on and off the field. Maybe I was letting my Aggie fandom, and thus my dislike for OU, cloud my judgment? Whatever the reason, I have never felt invested enough to see him succeed...until now.

I have to admit that after seeing him on Hard Knocks these past few weeks, and getting a peek into what he’s like on and off the field, I’m actually rooting for the guy to succeed. Sure it might be the magic of editing, but to me he's checking all the boxes of a guy you would root for.

Wants to win, no matter what? Check.

Plays the game “the right way”? Check.

Tough, smart and ultra-competitive? Check, check, and check.

So, will this love affair last?

Probably not.

I'm already back to not caring about Jameis Winston, and if you’ve listened to my show at all you know I’m not the biggest fan of Bill O’Brien (especially when it comes to him dealing with reporters).

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go press my orange and white number 6 jersey.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
Kiper has the Texans bolstering their defense in Round 2. Composite Getty, Wiki Commons image.

In Mel Kiper Jr.'s latest two-round mock, he provided insights into potential draft picks and areas of concern for the Texans as they prepare for the upcoming NFL Draft. The Texans currently have two picks in the second round.

When considering the Texans' needs, he selected Illinois defensive tackle Johnny Newton with the No. 42 overall pick and Michigan cornerback Mike Sainristil with the No. 59 pick.

Kiper praised Newton for his exceptional performance as a defensive tackle, noting his impressive 7.5 sacks last season, the most among FBS defensive tackles.

With the departure of Maliek Collins, Newton could fill a crucial void in the Texans' defensive line, providing much-needed pass-rushing ability from the interior.

Another prospect Kiper identified as a potential target for the Texans is Michigan slot cover corner Mike Sainristil.

Kiper hailed Sainristil as the best slot cover corner in the draft, citing his impressive statistics from the previous season, including 6 interceptions, 2 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. With the Texans' re-signing of veteran corner Desmond King, there is still uncertainty about King's role on the roster, according to Kiper, opening the door for Sainristil to make an impact.

Despite his relatively smaller stature at 5-foot-9, Sainristil's playmaking ability and versatility make him an attractive option for the Texans' secondary. Draft expert Lance Zierlein thinks Sainristil would be a good fit in Houston.

As the draft approaches, all eyes will be on the Texans' front office as they make critical decisions that will shape the future of the franchise.

*AI assisted.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome