QB Baker Mayfield (10.7.20)

QB Baker Mayfield:

On the challenge the Browns offense faces with RB Nick Chubb out due to injury and if the Browns can continue to produce in the running game:

“First of all, yeah, it always hurts losing a player like Nick, not for just his on the field performance – he is obviously a great player – but just the leader he is for this team. His work ethic, his mentality, he is the same guy every day. That is an important thing for us. We trust in our other guys. Like we said postgame, we trust in the guys to step up. (RB) Kareem (Hunt) – I have said it multiple times – is a top back in the league. We are blessed to have both of those guys. We trust in (RB) D’Ernest (Johnson) and (RB) Dontrell (Hilliard). As you said it, it starts up front, those guys are playing extremely well and they have been for the whole year.  We just have to keep going, keep getting better and attack this defense like we have week to week.”


On the Colts defense:

“They are a really sound defense. They play together. They are coached well. They hustle. You can see the effort. They swarm to the ball. I think the biggest statistic is their turnover margin. It is a team that capitalizes on your mistakes and they don’t mess up. They are where they are supposed to be so it is going to be a fundamentally and technique sound week for us.”

On what he has learned about Head Coach Kevin Stefanski as a play caller, given the team’s offensive and red zone success:

“A smooth operator. Right now, we are continuing to call things that are working until teams show us otherwise that they can stop it. We are going to do that and then we are going to take our shots when we can. We are going to pound the rock and try and create matchups on the outside and take advantage of that.”

On being in sync with Stefanski’s play calls:

“We are very much on the same page just through the meetings throughout the week and talking on the field of why we are doing certain things and why we are formatting and running certain plays. We are very much on the same page and so I think that is why we are continuing to grow and be better each week.”

On how much more the Browns offense can evolve this season:

“The sky is the limit for us. I have said that. We are a very different team from Week 1. You can look at the calls, the plays, the schemes and all of it. We are very different, and we are continuing to evolve and grow and see what is working for us.”

On how trick plays energize the offense, including WR Jarvis Landry’s pass to WR Odell Beckham Jr.:

“Yeah, we have had that one there for a while. We needed to get it off the play sheet, and it was perfectly called timing wise and obviously well executed. When those plays hit, it is such a momentum either killer for the defense or motivator for us. It seemed to have worked out so we have to keep that going. Even if they do not work, those boom or bust plays you have to avoid the negative plays, and we did a good job of creating positive ones.”

On the energy WR Odell Beckham Jr. brings on the field and on the sidelines:

“It is very electric. Not only for us we can feel that energy, but I think the other teams can feel it, too, of the ‘Oh, crap,’ of if he is running down the field or he has the ball on his hands he obviously can create space and get open. His ability to make plays when he already has the ball in his hands is a very special thing about him.”

On getting TE David Njoku back to practice this week and what Njoku can add to the offense:

“We are very happy to have David back. We have had a lot of good plays in that tight end room and trust in those guys so it is obviously great to have another playmaker involved. Just another piece of this puzzle and we are happy to have him back. We will see as the gameplan goes on what we are going to do, but we are happy to have him.”

On him saying he doesn’t care about records of past Browns teams as it relates to the team’s current success to start the season and if it is hard for him to keep that attitude with other people inside or outside of the building talking about it:

“For me, it is not very hard at all. Just onto the next one. The most important game is always the next one. I was not here for all that. I was here to change it, and that is what I am doing. I am not worried about the negative. I am only worried about getting better, improving and pushing this franchise forward.”

On if he ever finds people around Cleveland who hold onto the negative and refer to the team’s past records:

“Well, yeah, for starters you guys, but other than that, yeah, around town.”

On Browns OL’s pass protection:

“It has been great. I said after the Washington game, there were a couple sacks that were clearly my fault, and I think the stats showed that we had two or three last week, which one of them was the scramble play and I could have gotten the ball out of my hand and the other one was where we had a shot play drawn up and it was a 0-yard sack. They played extremely well, and that is because we are so balanced right now. We are doing a lot of things well, and we need to continue to do that. Up front, those guys are playing great, and they are going to continue to get better as the season goes on.”

On what Stefanski has done to make him more comfortable in the offense:

“I appreciate keeping the defenses guessing of not knowing what we are doing so they can’t exactly pin their ears back and key in on us too much. It is easy for me when we do have certain plays and I can just go through our reads and not worry about how many people they are going to bring because they do not know what we are going to do. We have such a well-balanced attack right now, obviously heavier in the run game than in the pass, but the thing about our passing game is it is extremely efficient right now. That is because of the timing of play calls and the scheming up so obviously, thankful for that.”

On what makes this team feel special:

“We have built a foundation in the offseason. We talked about it with the player intros, the staff intros and the 4 H’s over the Zoom meetings. It could have been very easy to complain and have excuses, but nobody here did. We are just going through it. We are adapting and evolving as the season goes on. There are obviously a lot of ebbs and flows with this, but this team is resilient and we are going to continue to grow, but we laid a good foundation to be able to do that. I think that is the key part of it.”

On if Hunt will become more vocal and take on more of a leadership role with Chubb out due to injury:

“Kareem was already a very vocal guy. It is just him and Nick are very opposite in that way. It is a very thunder and lightning approach. Yeah, I see Kareem being more vocal as this goes on, but that is nothing new to him. He is not changing. He is not going to overcompensate and try and do too much. He understands that. He is a great teammate. He is just going to be himself, and that is somebody that brings energy every day and talks his trash but backs it up, and we are happy to have him.”

On if he has made any lifestyle changes outside of the building with COVID-19 cases rising around the NFL:

“Not much is different for me. Still staying inside and not going out to restaurants too much. Just kind of sticking to my business. To me, it is not that damn hard. Just wear your masks. We all want to play football. Everybody has to do it. Just do it.”

On if players are being vigilant over the last week as it relates to COVID-19 precautions:

“Yeah, I would say so. There is definitely more topic of discussion about it, especially with the new protocols being in place. It is what it is. We just have to deal with it and move on.”

On Stefanski’s ability to set plays up for later in games with his play calling:

“It is huge. When you are having success in the run game and able to create similar looks and similar formations and motions for these defenses to see over and over and then you come back and you show something totally different but it looks similar up until that point, that is essential. We have done a great job of being able to have success early on and then Kevin trusting in that to continue calling it until it is the right time and you call the shots, that is something that just comes natural to him so it is good for us.”

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