Baker Mayfield has a giant chip on his shoulder. You could see this in the notorious Oklahoma game against Kansas, when he responded to taunts by grabbing his crotch. And you can see it in how he has reacted to criticism in the pre-draft process. MMQB has an in-depth piece about his visit with Russell Wilson, and contrasted the two styles.
Today, Mayfield is keeping a list of the media members who have crossed a line, he says, and he stores screenshots of offending tweets in his phone. All of it serves as motivation when he’s working out alone, he told Wilson.
And yes, as the piece notes, if he spends all his time obsessing about criticism and not handling failure, it will be a bad thing. But being thin-skinned and having a big chip on the shoulder isn’t exactly a negative quarterback trait. Many of the most successful quarterbacks have a long memory on slights. We’ve heard Aaron Rodgers recall a professor from college who doubted that he would play in the NFL, to the point he recounts the story years later. “Screen-shotting” something may be a new phenomenon, but the idea that prior statements made about a player are locked away for the future are part and parcel of the deal. No one got to the NFL without being doubted at some point and those motivations can be used to drive through the tedious work necessary to perfect one’s craft.