QB Baker Mayfield (11.14.19)

QB Baker Mayfield:

On how DE Myles Garrett can respond to the situation to regain the trust and respect of the team and around the league: 

“Handle it like a man. Being apologetic. Owning up to it. Learning from it. This is a physical, violent game. There are moments that if you do not keep your cool, bad things can happen. He knows that. I said it on the field after, it is inexcusable. He knows that. There is no other way around it. He is going to own up to it. He is going to handle it. This locker room is going to have to come together because this is going to be a soap opera on the outside much like the media has portrayed us to be from the whole season. We have to be a disciplined team. We have to address it. We have to handle it. We have to come together, and we have to play football. That is our job is to play football. Show up every day and do that. That is plain and simple. Like (Head Coach) Freddie (Kitchens) said, instead of addressing the things like (LB) Joe Schobert has two interceptions, (S) Morgan Burnett, that is the sad part of it is our defense played lights out and Myles played a great game up until that point. That is overshadowing that. That is the bad part about this. Instead of talking about how the defense played great – and I am going to talk about the offense’s struggles that we should have had more points and we left a lot out on the board – we are going to talk about that until it blows over. We do not know the extent of what is going to happen to Myles, but we have to roll with the punches and we have to handle that as a team and come together.”


On the altercation between Steelers QB Mason Rudolph and Garrett at the end of the game, given his relationship with Rudolph: 

“It is tough to see. I did not see the whole thing. Obviously, stuff like that can be dangerous. It is tough to see that knowing Mason. He is going fight for his team. I am not sure if there were words exchanged before that or anything like that. It is tough to watch.”


On if he felt like there was a tension throughout the game that was rising and led to the altercation: 

“No, I think the frustration built on that side of the ball with Pittsburgh. Myles had a great game up until that point like I said. I am not sure if there were words exchanged throughout the game. I do not know that. I can’t speak on that.”


On the disappointment of the altercation being the focal point rather than a significant win against the Steelers: 

“Yeah, that is the bad part. Instead of feeling like we just won a game that we really needed – we talk about a singular focus and mindset – it feels like we lost. It is going to take time for us to realize that we just won this game, even though it is very obvious on the scoreboard, but that is the tough part.”


On the impact of potentially losing Garrett to a suspension: 

“It is going to hurt us. Obviously, we do not know what is going to happen, but whatever does happen, next man up mentality. That is how we have to handle it. That is how this locker room has to handle it. We can’t focus on the negative. That never gets you anywhere if you focus on the negative. We have to address it, move forward and see what is going to happen.”


On what was going on in his mind while watching the altercation at the end of the game:

“A little bit of disbelief.”


On if he has spoken with DE Myles Garrett:

“I have not. I think he has enough people in his ear and hearing a lot of things. Not yet.”


On if he had ever seen someone swing a helmet before:

“I think there was a game with Miami and Florida International. That was the only other time I had seen it.”


On if the end of game altercation is an indication of lack of discipline on the team or one player reacting emotionally in the moment:

“I think it is obviously a lack of discipline in the moment. Your emotions got the best of him right there. I wouldn’t say it is to point out flaws in Myles. It is not that. (Head Coach) Freddie Kitchens has talked about it. He has made corrections to penalties and stuff. He has shown he can do it. It is just an emotional game and things got the best of him there.”


On if the altercation is an indication of an aura around the team that would allow the event to happen:

“I think there are a lot of things that you could probably point out and say, ‘Yeah, that is why this franchise has not had success in a long time.’ Discipline and accountability, but that is completely different than a lot of other things. That is hopefully and it will be a one-time thing, but you can’t point out little mistakes to that. I do not think they are related at all.”


On the first thing the Browns need to do to move onto what is next for the team:

“Watch the tape, realize what we did well and more than that, realize where we need to improve and move forward. When it gets back to work, it is onto the Miami Dolphins. We have to have a singular focus. It is the same message that I have been saying. We have to have singular focus.”


On what the Browns’ win means to the team, taking away the impact of the altercation at the end of the game:

“The win still means the same thing whether that happened or not. 2-0 in the division. We have stacked two wins together. The defense played great. The offense still struggled at times and sputtered out a little bit but made the plays when we needed to, which is the opposite of what we did in Denver. We showed improvement, but it is still not even close to being good enough offensively.”


On facing the Steelers again in two weeks, particularly after the altercation at the end of the game:

“We will see. I am not going to worry too much about that. Have to move on and talk about the Dolphins now.”


On if he will personally reach out to Steelers QB Mason Rudolph about the altercation, given their relationship:

“I will probably let it blow over for a little bit. There is no telling how many people have tried to reach out to him now.”


On QB Garett Gilbert taking the final kneel:

“Garrett gets paid for snaps – that is my friend (laughter).”


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