Happy Hour: Live from Wyatt Teller's whiskey bar!
“You want to beat my ass? Line up at three technique, Baker.” The Cleveland Browns' old-school guard dishes on all things Baker Mayfield, the Bills, becoming a Dad and... hunting gators.
The man clearly has options. Some of the finest whiskey brands money can buy were right over his shoulder, and why not? Life is good for Wyatt Teller right now. The $56.8 Million Dollar Man bought a house and recently found out he and his wife are going to be parents. No wonder the smile didn’t leave Teller’s face throughout his hour-long chat with Go Long subscribers on our latest Happy Hour.
This human snowplow of a Pro Bowl guard was a joy.
Teller discusses everything from his good buddy Baker Mayfield becoming the enemy to that time he shot an alligator to everything in-between. The Bills. Getting away with holding. The uncertainty at QB in Cleveland. You can watch the full video replay above or listen to the audio below, with podcast links also available. A handful of highlights are also included in text. (After all, Teller represents everything we love about football.)
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— Wyatt Teller started his career as a Buffalo Bill. It’s strange that a team on the rise would rid itself of a young talent like Teller, but that’s what happened. Teller was drafted by Buffalo in the 2018 fifth round, traded to Cleveland after one year, then faced his former team in 2019. This led to quite an emotional scene afterward. Left tackle Dion Dawkins was especially teary-eyed greeting Teller on the field, and the line of ex-players to embrace Teller? He remembers it going 30+ players deep.
“There’s some guys who really want to see the success of other players, and then there are guys who are covering their own butts. Dion is one of those guys who wants to see the success of other players. The first year I was there, going into that offseason after I started six or seven games, every day before OTAs or meetings or offseason workouts, I would call Dion or FaceTime him and we’d go over our plays. He said that was the nicest thing anybody has ever done to him. I was like, ‘If you know what to do, I know what to do. If that’s the case, we win.’ I wasn’t trying to be a big brother. Dion, from that moment, just loved me and treated me like a brother which is all you can ask for. And as we started playing, he kind of felt like the rug was pulled out from under me.”
— There’s an art to blocking in the trenches and Teller has learned how to push the envelope. Oh, he gets his share of flags. But this aggressive style of play is also what made him a very rich man. Teller is going to play through the echo of the whistle and, yes, grab ahold of defenders.
Halfway through this chat, Teller broke down the nitty-gritty of his profession… and the frustration with the timing of those flags.
“Sometimes you just have to swallow your whistle and let them play. Think about the best games ever in the 70s, 80s and 90s. The refs could’ve easily whistled on a late hit or a block in the back but they didn’t and the play went off for 100 yards and it’s one of the best plays in history. There’s a time when you can be really focused in, and there’s a time where, ‘There’s one second. Let the game go.’”
“You’ve gotta be a salesman almost. Any offensive lineman holds every single play. The ability is to keep yourself in front of the block. There’s a couple times where I’ll get the guy outside my body and hop over right when the block is coming and the running back makes a cut for 10 yards. The ref doesn’t throw anything because I put my head right in front at the last second.”
— The Cleveland Browns’ current quarterback situation. As a leader on this team, how is he handling the uncertainty of Deshaun Watson’s future?
“I’m paid a lot of money by the Cleveland Browns so I always want the Cleveland Browns to win more than my personal relationships. That being said, there are personal relationships. I have known Deshaun for a couple months. I’m not going to get into any of the he-said, she-said. Anything like that. I don’t think that’s my place to talk. I’m not an attorney. I don’t think any of us are. I think it’s important to just listen. I think it’s hard. We’re all innocent until proven guilty and now — with social media and everything — and opinion, and obviously we’ve always had opinions, but now with social media it’s opinions that are written down. Most of the time it’s a one-second thought and you press send and it could be something that’s just a thought. Back in the day, you just kept those to yourself because you didn’t have social media. Now, they’re all written down. I think anybody is entitled to their opinion. Obviously, we want to go with the legality of it. Whatever happened, happened. If it happened, I think that all gets settled in court. I just want to win games. Whoever the quarterback is, let’s just run the ball. I like running the ball anyway. It’s less stress. I hope it gets handled by the NFL and by him and he gets to play games here soon. It’s a four-year contract, so for however long it is, hopefully we can make a run at it when he does play. And hopefully that’s this year. If it’s not, obviously we’ll take that as it comes.”
— Baker Mayfield is one of Teller’s best friends, so the trash talk has begun. Cleveland will face Carolina in Week 1 of this 2022 season. After the trade, Teller told Mayfield immediately that he wants the QB’s Panthers jersey after the game.
“And he was like, ‘Yeah, I bet you’ll be in such a bad move after he whip that butt that you’ll just pout and walk off the field.’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, if you’re standing upright. If your tackles can stop our D-Ends, I guess that jersey will be nice and worn in.’”
— And how did Teller balance his personal feelings toward Mayfield with Cleveland’s decision to cut ties?
“You want to beat my ass? Line up at three technique, Baker.”
“Honestly, I hope he does great and we win by one point. He still has a competition (with Sam Darnold). Whoever we do play has to go against the best D-Ends in the country. I think they revamped their offensive line and I know a couple guys on their offensive line who are great players. I hope the best for him. But good luck. I’ve blocked Myles. He’s not easy. Clowney is no joke. So you guys have fun. I have to block them every day in practice. You guys have your work cut out for you.”
— Teller shows off his latest hunting trophy: a ram’s skull and horns. Not everyone was thrilled about the time Teller took down a gator. He tells that story, and assures the gator was put down in a humane fashion. (Even if the animal activists were predictably not happy.)
— He’s going to be a Dad. Is he getting nervous? He answers that question.
— Finally, those broken sternums absolutely were brought up. As we covered in our profile a year ago, Teller took out one kid in Pop Warner, then another in high school. Teller supplied the full play-by-play. A few nuggets…
“We had this Oklahoma Drill but it wasn’t really an Oklahoma Drill because it was a bunch of 5-year-olds. The helmets are this big and they’re running with little bodies. Well, the first practice I go out and spear a kid in the sternum. Break his sternum. First practice — practice! My Mom comes out and she’s screaming, ‘Oh my gosh, Wyatt! What did you do?’ The coach is like, ‘It’s going to be OK.’ This is a good thing. As the kid’s laying on the ground. I just speared him — ‘This is good. He can run full speed into people. Most kids can’t do this.’”
“It’s definitely a weird sound. A way of hearing someone’s sternum break is when you’re doing chest compressions. So, EMTs and stuff like that. They’ll hear a couple sternums crack. It’s a weird, weird feeling and sound. And I would never, ever want to do it again. Not to my worst enemies. I would never want you to break the bone that’s over your chest. I’m good. That’s something that can stay there.”