QB Baker Mayfield (1.10.21)

QB Baker Mayfield:

On the Browns’ resiliency to get a win tonight after facing adversity throughout the week:

“It means a lot for our guys to step up. We lost a few guys. Obviously, missing (G) Joel (Bitonio) sucks, but (G) Michael Dunn stepped up in a huge way – in a huge way. (T) Jack (Conklin) goes down, and (T) Kendall Lamb steps up in a huge way. Michael ends up going down and (G) Blake (Hance), who I just met tonight, ends up stepping up in a huge way. The resilience and the next man up mentality that we have been talking about the whole season and for some of these guys who were not even here while we were talking about it, that just permeates through the whole team. For us to come out like that, the defense to play like that and for us to play complementary football and us get a great start, it just means so much.”

On the Browns’ confidence throughout the week despite facing adversity and him posting on his Instagram earlier today ‘Browns is the Browns’ in reference to Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster’s comments earlier in the week:

“It wasn’t about that, specifically, but yeah, it is the same quote. We believe in the people in this room no matter what’s going on. As soon as the COVID news came out that we were missing some key guys, obviously starting with our head coach, we knew that everybody was counting us out. We knew what mentality we were going to have, and it is just to cut it loose, go out there and give it everything we have. There was no added pressure or no extra anything. It was just for us to go out and do our job because no one believed in us, besides us.”

On Head Coach Kevin Stefanski’s leadership and what he took on as a leader this week in Stefanski’s absence:

“Kevin still conducted our team meetings throughout the week and even led the team meeting on Saturday night. As much as we have been on Zoom calls and not been in person, it was pretty normal for a very non-normal year. It just came down to us doing our job. That is what I kept telling myself all week sis if I do my job, don’t put any added pressure, take care of the ball, do the things that we have been talking about the whole all year and put us in position to have success, the rest would take care of itself.”

On the feeling in the locker room after the game and the Browns facing the Chiefs next week in the AFC Divisional Round:

“The postgame locker room, we had a bunch of guys on FaceTime on. (Pass game coordinator/wide receivers coach) Chad O’Shea had Kevin Stefanski. I think (S Andrew) Sendejo had (pass game coordinator/defensive backs coach) Jeff Howard on. I am trying to think of who had (DE) Olivier (Vernon) on FaceTime. This is a team. Whether we are in person or not, we have gone through everything – everybody in the league has gone through the Zoom calls and everything – no matter if we are in person or not, we know the men who we have in this building, we are a team, we stick together and that meant a lot. To have those guys there in our celebration was great. The best thing about it was the mentality of everybody saying, ‘Hey, we did not just want to just win this game.’ Like I said last week, it is just the stepping stone to where we eventually want to go. For a lot of guys, it was a huge win – my first playoff win, for starters – but nobody here is satisfied yet.

On the key to stopping Pittsburgh’s comeback attempt:

“Just to do our job. We did not have to do anything special. Take a deep breath, one play at a time, keep scoring and keep putting points on the board, whether it was touchdowns or field goals, and make them play catch-up. Obviously, like I said, our defense did such a great job early on to put the pressure on them that our job was easy.”

On how exciting the start of the game was: 

“To defer to the second half and then to get seven points on the board without even having to step foot on the field is great. That kick starts it, and everybody on the sideline was like, ‘Let’s just keep this lead. Let’s keep it going. Let’s just go out and do our job.’ Being up 28-0 in the first quarter is obviously an incredible start. You just have to capitalize. At that point, it is tricky whether you play not to lose or you continue to play aggressive, and we did an OK job. We kind of stalled out for a little while there, but picked it back up in the second half.”

On how RB Kareem Hunt ran tonight and Hunt seeming to ‘run like a man possessed’: 

“Kareem ran pissed off. He ran like he wanted to get to Kansas City.”

On his message to Browns fans about the new standard in Cleveland: 

“It is exactly that. We are here for a reason. There is a new standard, and I keep talking about it. I know I was not here for the things that have happened in the past, some of which I was too young to even remember. There is a new standard, and we are going to try and keep it that way.”

On the timing of the call for RB Nick Chubb’s TD on the screen pass, as well as WR Jarvis Landry’s 40-yard TD in the first quarter: 

“Unbelievable. AVP (offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt) was talking about calling a screen on a second down and long in particular, and it just aligned like that. Obviously, got the ball in Nick’s hands and he does the rest. He had some key blocks for him to be able to do that. We scored on two very critical third downs early in the game. Obviously, Jarvis’ first and then the run play with Kareem. That is huge. Third downs, not only to convert but to turn them into touchdowns and big plays and that, that is big for us.

On facing the Chiefs next week and everyone likely counting the Browns out again when playing the defending Super Bowl champions: 

“Sounds pretty normal to me.”

On celebrating with DE Myles Garrett on the field after the game: 

“A great feeling. Surreal. The things that we have been talking about and the guys and the new pieces that were brought in here, I told people we were all brought in here for a reason and you are starting to see that. That is why I continue to talk about the new standard and turning this thing into a winning culture.”

On winning the turnover battle by a plus-five margin and not having a turnover: 

“The things that you emphasize during the week wind up coming true. If you emphasize it, you are going to do it. We have talked about ball security, taking care of the ball and us taking the ball away on defense. A little insight, Kevin said on Saturday night that he envisioned a tipped ball that somebody was going to pick off, and (DE) Porter Gustin was the one to catch that tipped interception. It is just the things you emphasize wind up coming true because if you put your importance on it and you focus on that, it happens.”

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