As training camps open around the NFL, one of the most compelling franchises to watch will be the Cleveland Browns as they try to rebound from only the second 0-16 season in league history. And much of the attention in Browns camp will be on quarterback Baker Mayfield as the #1 overall pick in the draft and the latest signal-caller to try to reverse almost two decades of misery and futility at the position. The Browns only have two winning seasons since they started play again in 1999, and we all know about their 1-31 stretch the last two seasons.
Of course, HBO’s cameras will be chronicling Browns camp throughout the summer with this year’s edition of Hard Knocks. And already, Mayfield and his fellow quarterbacks are creating headlines because of their private RV, where they won’t let anyone else in.
And yes, that includes HBO’s cameras.
Hard Knocks won’t quite be all access at Browns camp this year. Mayfield told reporters this week at Browns camp that the group won’t be giving fans a walk-through of their private quarters.
Baker Mayfield will keep access exclusive to the RV he was ordered to provide for quarterbacks at Cleveland Browns training camp.
“Hard Knocks” will not even be permitted to bring their cameras inside, Mayfield said Monday. How does he get away with that?
“Privacy in my home, my mobile home,” Mayfield said.
The RV has been an item of interest — and even intrigue — since word about it broke on the first day of camp Thursday.
In organized team activities, Drew Stanton, the resident veteran, ordered Mayfield to have the RV for camp to provide the quarterbacks a place of respite.
Anything different in an NFL training camp is going to create a stir and the RV’s existence is doing just that as it’s made national news. And the fact that there’s so much interest in the Browns quarterbacks with not just Mayfield, but Drew Stanton and Tyrod Taylor all new to the organization, it’s just another layer of intrigue. But for what it’s worth, the players all maintain that nothing terribly interesting is going on in there, they just want a place to relax between practices.
“It’s just someplace that you can go, you can get out of these four walls that start to close in on you after a period of time,” Stanton said. “There’s no secret meetings or anything going on.”
Added Mayfield: “You do get one break between the walk-through and practice, so you’ve got to be able to kind of relax a little bit, unwind before practice. Whether it’s looking at your scripts and doing all of that over again, just getting your mind right.
The players can say that, but really, would they need a top secret RV if there was really nothing going on in there? Maybe they’re using a Ouija board to try to contact the ghosts of Browns quarterbacks from the past. Maybe they’re trying to plan their escape strategies. Maybe they’re actually putting together a successful plan that would win more than one game. Who knows!
It would be fascinating to see if HBO could get around this somehow. The quarterbacks seem to be having a good time with their secret space (although they’ve said any offensive player can enter and linemen are given “VIP access”) but it would be fun to see HBO try to get in each week in new, creative ways to find out what really goes on in there.
And if all else fails, a good running comedic gag may just be what Hard Knocks needs.