QB Baker Mayfield (11.11.20)

QB Baker Mayfield:

On if being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list set him back in his preparations this week: 

“No. If you look at it in a normal week, Monday is a day to review film from the game prior and get your body right. I just treated it as an extended day of our bye week to continue getting my body right and then be in meetings and learn on our bonus day, as coach calls it, and stay in tune with that.”

On if the last few days of the bye week were stressful after being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list: 

“No, not really. It kind of is what it is circumstances. You deal with it and roll with the punches. I can’t control it. If I was worried about controlling it, then yeah, I would say it would have been stressful, but like I said, it is what it is. Luckily, I was able to get back in the building and get back to work.”

On points of emphasis during the team’s self-scout over the bye: 

“For me, looking at missed throws, some of the things and turnover plays and looking at the reasons why and just kind of reevaluating that and be extremely critical of that. Looking back at what we could have done better and learning from that, what we do well, what we don’t do well, what we can grow from and just all those things. For me personally, looking at those turnovers and the negative plays to see if it was just a physical mistake, a real decision error or things like that.”

On several members of the Browns offense returning to practice, including RB Nick Chubb, G Wyatt Teller and TE Austin Hooper: 

“It felt good to be back out there with most everybody, just to see those guys back. It has been a little bit longer for Nick and Wyatt. For Hoop, it has been a few weeks. Like you said, it has been good to have those guys back. We will see as the week goes on, but I know they are happy to be back, as well.”

On if he agrees with Head Coach Kevin Stefanski saying he is ‘ascending’: 

“I would just say I am continuing to put my head down and work. Like I said after the game against the Raiders, we are not anywhere near where we want to be, and I think that is the positive outlook on it that we are going to continue to try and get better and work and work. Like we talked about through the bye week and our self-evaluation process of where we are getting better and things that we have grown from since we did not have the offseason to put this offense in and see what kind of team we were going to be so we are learning on the fly. I think this bye week came at a very good time for us as a team and just players wise to get healthy. We are just going to try and get better.”

On how he improved physically over the bye week:         

“I feel a lot better now. Some much needed rest. It is amazing what just not getting hit on one Sunday does for you. I know a lot of our guys needed it, as well so I am happy about it.”

On how Chubb’s return will impact the Browns running game, along with RB Kareem Hunt: 

“This is nothing against our other backs because we believe in those guys, as well, but having that two-headed monster of those guys being able to sub fresh legs in as needed, that is something that we are extremely blessed to have. We are excited to have them both back out there, as well as the complements of our other guys. It is a huge part of our offense to be able to sub those guys in with fresh legs, and it wears on defenses. Later in the games when they are able to still be somewhat fresh, it is amazing how the grind and the ground game pounds on those guys.”

On best items from the first eight games when conducting the self-scout: 

“I feel like we are getting better. I think that the positive outlook was that we were getting better. You do not want to pat yourself on the back. You want to look at what we are doing well, see how it complements other things and try and put that together. Done some good things to put us in position to win, but I think some of the turnovers or things that can be easily be fixed. To me, that is a positive. That is a positive outlook that they are easily fixed, and I can do that and I can manage that to give us even more position to win later in games and as the season goes on.”

On being 5-3 with the Browns having a chance to make a run at the playoffs: 

“I am excited to take this thing one game at a time. To look at the big picture mindset, obviously, that is the end goal, but we have to take it one game at a time. I think our guys used this week to kind of hit the reset button, refresh and get back to work. We are excited about this back half of the year and the grind that it is going to be.”

 

On preparing to face Texans DE J.J. Watt and the Texans front: 

“Obviously J.J., his play speaks for itself. He has been a great player for a long time so he is one of those guys you always have to know where he is on the field. They do move them around. They do that very well to where you can’t just call certain plays knowing that you are going to chip and help every play. They are going to move him around to try and give him opportunities. They have other guys that are playing really well right now. (Texans OLB Whitney) Mercilus is a guy that playing against them two years ago is the guy that he has been a great player. (Texans ILB Zach) Cunningham at linebacker. They just have great players that have been playing together for a while. It is just a challenge as a whole is knowing where those guys are and just doing our job.”

On if there are any takeaways from his first matchup against the Texans that can be applied to Sunday: 

“Yeah, I would say pull my head out and do not turn the ball over multiple times the first half, and we probably would have been in a better spot. That is probably about it.”

On if he is excited about Stefanski’s and the team’s adjustments for the second half of the season, including catering the offense to his and Browns players’ skillsets: 

“I think our meetings were extremely productive over the bye week. Like I said about the self-evaluation stuff, we not only looked at what we were doing well, but we actually had some time to sit down and talk about how I see things, how he sees things and really some of that stuff throughout the week that we are missing out on that we were able to accomplish. I am very excited about getting back to work, this last journey and this run that we are trying to make. It started a long time ago, but hitting the reset button and being able to start fresh again is a blessing.”

On if he is worried there could be a significant disruption to the NFL season given the rising COVID-19 case numbers around the country: 

“Like I said, it is a full effort from everybody. Not only just players but staff, families of staff and families of players. Everybody has a hand in the pot, and it is so true because of the close contacts. It is not just if you have COVID. It is if you have been around somebody, immediately you can be out for a few days. Where it hits in the week, it can be critical to a game or not. Those are things that lucky it was on a bye week, that is for sure.”

Closing statement: 

“It is Veterans Day. I just wanted to say thank you to all our veterans, everybody that served and continues to serve to protect our freedom and allow us to come out here and do this every day. It is a blessing so I just want to say thank you.”

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