Rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield and his older brother threw haymakers at former Browns coach Hue Jackson on social media Monday, ripping his record of 3-36-1 in 2½ seasons in Cleveland and calling him "fake."

The comments were made in response to retired NFL offensive lineman and ESPN analyst Damien Woody's criticism of Mayfield's stance on Jackson joining the Cincinnati Bengals.

Before and after the Browns thrashed the Bengals 35-20 on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium, Mayfield briefly shook Jackson's hand but avoided any semblance of a warm embrace.

Then in his postgame news conference, Mayfield explained he "didn't feel like talking" to Jackson because he had a problem with the coach joining the Bengals as a special assistant to Marvin Lewis on Nov. 13 after being fired by the Browns on Oct. 29.

On ESPN's "First Take," Woody said Mayfield "needs to grow up" and pointed out coaches and players switch teams all the time after being fired and cut. He also contended Mayfield is a hypocrite because he transferred from Texas Tech to Oklahoma.

"You went from Texas Tech to Oklahoma — two teams in the Big 12," Woody said. "… You went from one rival to another in the same conference."

Mayfield took the gloves off when he commented on an Instagram video in which Woody made those comments.

"Not even comparable … I didn't lose 30+ games be fake and then do that … I wasn't gonna have a scholarship [at Texas Tech]. Good try though buddy," Mayfield wrote on Instagram.

Woody replied by writing, "So the man [Jackson] isn't entitled to work?! U won the damn game … quit with the fake outrage bruh."

Matt Mayfield, Baker's brother, weighed in with the following comment: "There are about 10 people who know the truth of what happened at Tech behind the scenes and you [Woody] damn sure aren't one of them … Being a 'grown man' means not having to fake a friendship or respect for someone that a) didn't have your back and b) was both uniquely and statistically bad at their job."

If Sunday's reunion between Mayfield and Jackson was awkward, what will their interaction be like Dec. 23 when the Browns (4-6-1) host the Bengals (5-6)?

Offense clicking

Before Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley were fired four weeks ago, the Browns averaged 21.1 points and 342.4 yards per game through the first eight weeks of the season. They were 2-5-1.

In the three games since Freddie Kitchens has been promoted from running backs coach/associate head coach to offensive coordinator, the Browns have averaged 28 points and 385.6 yards per game. They've gone 2-1.

"[Kitchens has] done an amazing job," center JC Tretter said Monday during a conference call. "He’s looked for input from other people, looked for input from players, ‘What plays do you like to run?’ And I think you see that in the field. You see people more comfortable with what they’re doing with a better understanding because these are the plays that the guys most like running, plays the guys most understand."

Mayfield's statistics have also improved dramatically.

In the three games since Kitchens took control, Mayfield has completed 73.9 percent of his passes for 771 yards and nine touchdowns with one interception, taken two sacks and posted a rating of 129.5.

In the previous six games, five of which Mayfield started, he had completed 58.3 percent of his passes for eight touchdowns with six interceptions, taken 20 sacks and posted a rating of 78.9.

"We’re just doing a good job of getting the ball in the playmakers’ hands," left guard Joel Bitonio said in the visitors locker room in Cincinnati. "Baker’s making quick decisions with the ball, making good throws, taking chances when we need him to."

Browns defenders are giddy about what they have been seeing on the other side of the ball.

"The offense has been very unstoppable the last couple weeks," free safety Damarious Randall said Sunday. "… The offense is playing lights out right now. If they continue to play like that, I don’t think many teams in the NFL can beat us."

"The offense is playing with more aggressiveness, more swagger," defensive end Myles Garrett said Sunday. "They feel like they’re untouchable right now. They can run and pass the ball. It’s going to take a special defense to stop [rookie running back Nick] Chubb and Mayfield right now."

Overtime

Interim coach Gregg Williams gave the Browns "victory Monday" off, but a bunch of players showed up to work anyway.

"Even though it's a 'victory Monday,' they have been in the building doing the things that they have to do in the strength program, the training room and watching all of the film," Williams said on a conference call. "We have had position meetings where there have been leaders on the team run position meetings."

Williams said Mayfield was one of the first players at Browns headquarters Monday morning.

Extra points

• Williams said Greg Robinson "played very well" Sunday in his third consecutive start at left tackle. Williams continued to stop short of naming Robinson the starter moving forward simply because "you can have a bad practice, you can have a bad meeting and you can have a bad two days, and all of a sudden, it's time to move onto the next guy." Meanwhile, Tretter said Robinson "has solidified that left tackle position for us."

• Williams' phone has been blowing up because his colleagues throughout the NFL have been reaching out to him about the Browns' recent success. "I can’t keep up with my texts and my voice mails," he said. "… It's not going unnoticed."

• Middle linebacker Joe Schobert played all 74 defensive snaps against the Bengals without experiencing any hamstring problems. He missed three games because of a hamstring injury and returned Nov. 11, when he played 51-of-75 snaps (68 percent) in a 28-16 win over the Atlanta Falcons. "I haven't felt anything and have been good the last couple of weeks," Schobert said. "So with more and more reps in practices and games, I'm just going to keep putting it farther and farther behind me."

• The Bengals placed starting quarterback Andy Dalton on injured reserve Monday, ending his season. He suffered a right thumb injury while trying to recover a bad shotgun snap in the third quarter against the Browns.

 

Nate Ulrich can be reached at nulrich@thebeaconjournal.com. Read his Browns coverage at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ByNateUlrich and on Facebook www.facebook.com/abj.sports.