It has been asked repeatedly in recent months about what would Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield do to find that edge, that chip on our shoulder.
Nobody is doubting him this season. He’s a candidate for the Heisman Trophy. He’s the quarterback of a team ranked No. 3 in the nation. He’s not the underdog.
So thank you to Jonathan Vilma? For those who didn’t hear it over the weekend, the former star linebacker and now ESPN analyst had this to say regarding Mayfield against Houston quarterback Greg Ward.
“You look at Greg Ward compared to Baker Mayfield, to me it’s not even close,” Vilma said. “Greg Ward is a better quarterback. He’s more athletic. He’s more accurate. He doesn’t push the issue.”
You knew it wouldn’t take long for those comments to back to Mayfield. They did. His tone, his gestures when answering the question Tuesday said one thing – he’s found that chip.
It wasn’t Ward. It wasn’t Tom Herman. It was Vilma.
“I respect Jonathan Vilma’s game, but Saturday at 11 we’ll find out,” Mayfield said.
No laughing. No sneering. Mayfield kept a straight face with his final answer of a near 11-minute interview session with beat writers.
That Mayfield who is always itching for something to prove earned another reason to be fired up. He didn’t need one, but Vilma’s comments brought out the competitor in Mayfield one more time.