QB Baker Mayfield (11.25.20)

QB Baker Mayfield:

On the COVID-19 circumstances impacting today’s team schedule, if the team is getting used to having to adjust to changes and the Browns’ resiliency and ability to withstand the loss of multiple players throughout the season: 

“I would say just the foundation of what we did with a new coaching staff. We started off on online meetings and having to make schedule changes and everything on the fly so this is nothing new to us. The next man up mentality that we want to be about, no matter who is out there, we want to be able to go out there and execute. Whether it is COVID stuff or injuries like you said, you never want to have it, but you have to deal with it, especially this year.”

On building on play-action pass success from last week: 

“There is a ton of room for improvement from last game, climate and all. I need to be better. When we are able to run the ball, obviously, we did not have the success in the first half running the ball as we wanted, but we kept doing it. As long as you are still calling the run game and you marry up that action in the pass game and you get your guys to be at the right depth and just go through your reads and trust it, we are going to try and keep these teams off balance with that just because we are all about the run, but we have to be able to be extremely efficient in the pass game.”

On why he is quoting rap and movie lines in his postgame interviews: 

“What are you talking about? I thought they were all original. That is my bad.”

On if he has a bet with somebody or the reasoning behind using the rap and movie lines in postgame interviews: 

“Gambling is illegal.”

On gambling not being illegal everywhere: 

“Well, right now it is.”

 On what goes into picking the lines he uses in his postgame interviews: 

“I am like Fort Knox. You are not going to crack me right now.”

On CB Denzel Ward and DE Myles Garrett being out this week and if that puts more on the offense’s shoulders on Sunday: 

“No, we have to be able to go out there and handle it like we always do. We want to have success on each drive. It is not ideal to have two of your best guys on defense [out], but our defensive line played unbelievable filling in those shoes for Myles. We are going to trust the secondary to do the same thing without Denzel. Hopefully, it is not an extended period of time because we love having Denzel out there to lock down whoever he is guarding or whatever half of the field he is covering. We trust those guys wholeheartedly, but like I said earlier, the next man up mentality, we have to have guys be able to step up.”

On how much he is looking forward to not playing in rainy or windy conditions this week: 

“I am not jinxing anything yet until I show up and the clock starts. I am just happy to go where it is a little bit warmer.”

On the Jaguars defense, referencing the Jaguars’ record and playing in multiple close games: 

“First of all, it is the NFL. I know their record indicates they have had a few bad weeks in a row, but these close games, teams are going to play you close. It is the NFL. You get the best of the best. Right now, they are rotating a lot of guys in. They are kind of dealing with the injury bug themselves. We have to be able to just go out there and execute. Like week in and week out, we have to go do our job, no matter who we are playing up against.”

On imagining what RB Nick Chubb can do in better weather conditions: 

“I would say it does not matter the weather for either of our backs. They are pretty special. I know everybody is just excited to not have the wind and the climate be such an effect on our game. We are all excited to get down in the warmer weather and to enjoy that.”

On if he sees Browns defensive players stepping up in practice that encourages him:
“Yeah, I would say the way we practice and the way (defensive coordinator) Coach (Joe) Woods has those guys flying around and being all about the ball, their energy at practice is extremely high. It is fast paced. It is intense. We trust that group. Like we said, next man up mentality. It does not matter who it is, we still have the same scheme to go out there and go execute it.”

On if the adversity faced this season has galvanized the team:

“I think so. I think it has brought everybody closer. I hit on it earlier in the year of what we did to get to know some of these guys to lay a foundation for a true team before we started this journey. I think that has carried true throughout the year. We realize to be able to adapt and deal with the uncertainties, whoever does it best is going to have the most success. I think we are only going to get stronger as the year goes on because we have been doing it the whole time. I am looking forward to see one week at a time what this team does.”

On why the Browns are so good at adjusting during games:

“I think we are at the point now with the foundation of our offense and realizing what we are good at that when teams want to strategize or how they want to defend us, we can adapt and learn from that. We are at a point where we can call certain things, and if they want to stop it a certain way, then we are going to adapt and have to do that on the fly. It did take a little bit, but I think we are at that point where we are pretty adaptable.”

On what the Browns’ ability to adapt during a game says about the coaching staff:

“Calling plays is one of the harder things to do, and people do not realize that because you have to look at the situation, go about personnel and all that and decide what is the best call at the time. To be able to do that on the fly is pretty great. We have talked about it. We do not have to overthink it anymore. Just trust these guys now that we do have those foundation plays and the bread and butter that we can go out there and call anything, and we should make it work.”

On if he was looking forward to watching the Ravens-Steelers matchup tomorrow night, given the game was rescheduled to Sunday:

“Watching football on Thanksgiving is always fun. Just one of those traditions that I think everybody looks forward to. It is going to suck, but there are other games on so looking forward to those.”

On how bad he feels for Bengals QB Joe Burrow after sustaining a season-ending injury:

“You never want to see any of that type stuff. He is a special player. I said that after we played them. He carries himself extremely well. He does not look as though he is a rookie leadership wise, especially his play. You just do not want to see that. I hate that for him.”

On the schedule changes today and the Browns offense and defense practicing at different times:

“It was different. Earlier today, just the building being shut down just to be, ‘Hey, have your phones on handy. Be on standby,’ that is nothing new to us. It is kind of a what-is-next mentality. Just go through what we have been given installation wise and go through that a couple more times mentally because you do not know if you are going to get reps at it. Coming in with just the offense, we were able to get some really good work on. Did what we needed to on a Wednesday, and we were able to have film and go learn from that and talk about it.”

On if it will be fun to go against former teammate Jaguars LB Joe Schobert:

“I had not really thought of it yet, but he is a guy that is a smart player obviously. He is always getting guys lined up and in the right spots at the right time. I am looking forward to playing him, but our terminology is different now so it will not be the same for him.”

On if he has been able to enjoy this season and what has he learned about what it takes to win as a NFL QB:

“I will hit your second question first. In this league, taking care of the football first and foremost, if you play quarterback and you take care of the ball, you are more often than not putting your team in a position to win just because you are keeping them in the game and not giving the team short field, points off turnovers or those momentums swing. That is it. That is a key part of consistently putting yourself in position to win is just taking care of the ball. Those critical downs, those third downs late in the game and the smart plays to avoid negative plays, that is what it takes to win in my eyes. Obviously, there are more things than those, but it starts right there. Yeah, definitely having more fun. Winning is always fun, but I love this group that we have because we have been able to deal with everything that is going on and we have come together closer. When you go through adversity, you come out stronger on the other end, and it is extremely enjoyable. Like I said after the game, our job is not finished yet so we are going to continue to get better and work for the ultimate goal.”

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