QB Baker Mayfield (11.24.21)

On the significance of potentially having both RB Kareem Hunt and T Jack Conklin available on Sunday:

“Getting the boys back together. We are obviously looking forward to it. We are going to see how Kareem does this week, and it will be great. Those are two extremely key pieces in our offense. Obviously, Kareem is a great playmaker, and Jack obviously his play speaks for itself. We are looking forward to it, but we are just handling the week as it goes and seeing what happens.”


On the element Hunt add to the Browns offense, including with RB Nick Chubb:

“Kareem just energy wise and that spark he comes in with and plays with, I think that is an extremely vital part for us. When it comes to the explosive portion of our offense, we have been missing that with him, as well. Some of the shotgun plays with him coming out of the backfield, whether it is run or pass, he is a key part of our offense.”


On how Hunt’s ability to catch the ball out of the backfield helps him as the QB:

“That makes life easy on some of these check-downs where it can turn into explosive plays. That is the kind of playmakers we have so we are looking forward to it.”


On Chubb and Hunt potentially playing in the same game for the first time since Week 5:

“To have those two guys in the backfield together – obviously, with complements with (RB) D’Ernest (Johnson), as well – just to be able to rotate those guys in and have fresh legs, it is a great part of the season to have that coming back in. Looking forward to that part. They complement each other well. They both will sub each other out and will go in when they need a break. They complement each other well.”


On if anything stands out on film for how he can improve accuracy in recent weeks:

“Like I said, there are some throws that are going to be made, but I am not going to be perfect throughout the game. Just find ways to make those plays.”


On the Ravens pass defense and blitz packages despite the Ravens’ league ranking in pass yards allowed:

“They do and they have consistently have always done a great job of mixing up looks and bringing different guys. You are expecting it one way, and they will bring it from the opposite side. Their rankings when it comes down to that, some people might point that out, but they are the No. 1 defense in the league when it comes to third down percentage and red zone percentage. That is what we are focused on, and they obviously do a really, really good job at that.”


On the additional workload for him during the week with rehab and treatment for his injuries:

“It is a couple of hours extra of rehab and whatnot throughout the week, but that is what is necessary this time of the year.”


On if he expects to fully practice today:

“We will discuss today, and we will see. I am feeling better and better as the weeks go on. Like I said, no setbacks so we will see.”


On if not practicing last Wednesday helped him significantly to recover and be ready to play on Sunday:

“It did. I still got the mental reps, like we just finished up walkthrough and doing all of that. That is this part of the season where a lot of guys are banged up, and a lot of guys, it is so important to be mentally locked in during the week when you might not get some of these reps. Also, just the mentality of some guy goes down, you have to have somebody be ready to step up. We enforce that mentally [during the] preparation part of the week.”


On the frequency of the Browns running empty-backfield shotgun formations in recent weeks and the benefits of it:

“Formationally, you get some indicators on what kind of coverage when you spread them out for some teams that have pass rushers and blitz packages, kind of like the Ravens do. It makes it easier if you identify exactly how they are trying to attack you. It is just easy ways to find completions and get the ball in guys’ hands. We are great running the ball so we want to stay true to that and be a physical team, but you have to mix it up every once in a while. We just have to stay efficient when we do that.”


On if the heel injury became apparent during the game at Cincinnati:

“Yeah, it was one of those things where the day after games weeks prior to that, but it was the first time I felt it during the game was in Cincinnati. I do not know if it was turf, grass or what.”


On dealing with the left, non-throwing shoulder for most of the season and adding the heel and knee injuries in recent weeks and if the lower body injuries have been more difficult to play with than the shoulder and if the injuries have resulted in a need to make adjustments with mechanics:

“Yeah, especially for me – kind of an unorthodox throwing motion when it comes to my lower body and just how violent it is. Your lower body is so important in your throwing motion regardless so it has been definitely a different issue to overcome, but the shoulder stuff is kind of the new normal, and I am not really worried about that anymore. I still try and protect as much as I can. Like I told you guys, there are plays to be made with my feet, and that is where I have been kind of frustrated with that.”


On if he expects to practice at all today:

“I am going to try and go for sure, definitely.”


On the Browns’ experience last year with needing to win late during the season in order to reach the playoffs and how that helps the team this year:

“Definitely for some of the younger guys and myself included for that stretch run where it was the first playoff push we have actually had, to be able to relate back to that and realize it is just a one-week-at-a-time mindset, which is what we did last year, and you have to have that same mindset. We are sitting at a different spot right now. Six games left, and one win behind the division leader, which we are playing twice in the next three weeks. We know the task at hand, and we know how we have to attack it.”


On WR Donovan Peoples-Jones battling a groin injury in recent weeks:

“Obviously, we are a little depleted at the receiver position right now, but we are asking guys to step up and be role players when Donovan is down. He is an important part of our downfield passing game, but we have to find ways to make up for it when he is not in.”


On developing a connection and chemistry with Peoples-Jones in the past two years:

“He is a very consistent guy. He is somebody who he is going to be in the same spot every time. You talk through it with him throughout the week, and you can trust that he is going to do it come game time, as well.”


On how impressive the Ravens’ performance has been this year, given the number of key injuries Baltimore has sustained this season and number of close games:

“If you look back at what their potential starting roster and depth chart and what it is now, to be where they are is extremely impressive to be able to have a lot of guys be able to step up, and a lot of their games so far this year, they have come from behind. They are a very resilient team. That is just how they are led and coached. We know that. We expect that coming into it.”


On the expected atmosphere playing at Baltimore on Sunday Night Football:

“I think it is going to be a great atmosphere. Obviously, anytime it is a primetime game, the crowd is more involved. You get a little bit more time to prepare for it. It is an important game for both teams. We both know that.”


On playing the Ravens twice with the bye week in between and if the team identified early in the season that it would be a significant time for the AFC North:

“You look at the schedule prior to anything that had happened this season, our back half of the schedule is extremely loaded with AFC opponents and division opponents, as well. We knew that coming into it. We are here now, and like I said, you have to have that one-week mentality at a time. That is just how it is.”


On the Browns’ current record and if a win at Baltimore this week could be a turning point for the season:

“Obviously, anytime you have a division game, it is a huge game for us. Turning point in the season? We have a winning record. Everybody else wants to throw us in the trash, but we know exactly what is in front of us, and that is how we are going to handle it.”


On the Browns having a winning record at 6-5 with the goal of being a playoff team, understanding 9-8 may not be enough to reach the postseason in the AFC:

“Yeah, but you look at the division right now, everybody is stuck in there. Each game that it is a division opponent, obviously, it is extremely important.”


On if he likes that the Browns have a large number of AFC North games late in the season:

“For us, it is for us to take care of business one week at a time in this sense where we play division opponents this late in the year that we kind of control our own destiny type mentality that as along as we go out and do our job, just keep swinging and look up when it is all done. We will see what happens.”


On the advantages of playing the Ravens in back-to-back games with two weeks to prepare before the second matchup:

“Obviously, when you play a team that has a scheme that they have had for so long, you are able to prepare for them, and then two weeks later, they can’t completely change up their scheme. They have been doing it for so long consistently and doing it at a really high level. It is going to give us that week off, but then come back and not have to completely learn new stuff – it is just different wrinkles and things like that that we want to try and exploit, the good or the bad.”


On one overrated and one underrated Thanksgiving dinner side dish:

“Underrated? That is a good question. Overrated, green bean casserole. Underrated, that is a good one. I do not know if I have one. I love all sides, but green bean casserole is definitely overrated.”


On if he spends a significant amount of time with WR Jarvis Landry in the athletic training room:

“Unfortunately, yes, that is the place that we do spend a lot of time together (laughter). We would do it regardless, but that is just where we are right now.”


On if he and Landry help inspire each other when in the athletic training room and recovering from injuries:

“Yeah, that is just the type of professional Jarvis is. On and off of the field, he does everything he possibly can to get ready for each week. We love that about him.”


On the atmosphere playing at Baltimore, given the Browns played the Ravens on the road with no fans in attendance last year:

“They definitely do a great job of the atmosphere and the fans. Just the production, you see them turn off the lights and you can tell it is a primetime game and they are definitely ready for it. We are expecting a great atmosphere, and we have to play at a very high level to execute.” 


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