QB Baker Mayfield (11.6.19)

QB Baker Mayfield:

On the team’s mindset and getting back to winning:

“Same preparation. Clear, one track mind to focus during the week to do our job and do it well.”


On expectations for RB Kareem Hunt’s workload in his first game back:

“We are hoping for an immediate impact. Everybody here knows the type of player he is. That is why he is here. He obviously has not played in a long time, but he has studied the gameplans from what I understand, in these past weeks and then he is getting out there at practice. He looked great today and I am looking forward to seeing what happens.”


On dealing with building frustrations after consecutive losses:

“Stay the course. No matter what is going on, I think we have made strides in certain areas that I think we needed to. Now we just have to make the plays when they are there. We have to execute when it is in the red zone. We have to do those obvious things that we lost because of but to continue to stay the course and improve each week. We know right now with eight games left in the season just have a single-week focus coming into it and do our job.”


On if he is playing as freely as he did during his rookie season:

“I think I am still playing the way I need to mentally, having my eyes in the right spots. I just think the details of certain routes and me being on time with it and the execution has been the thing getting us beat. I think the past three weeks, I have steadily improved where my eyes need to be. (Head Coach) Freddie (Kitchens) and my (quarterbacks) coach (Ryan) Lindley can attest to that. Just one week at a time, continue to take care of the ball and get the ball in our playmakers’ hands.”


On lessons from the incompletion on fourth-and-4 late in the fourth quarter:
“It was fourth down. Obviously, you are not going down the with the ball with just situational awareness. Have to have the right routes. Have to have exactly what we need to do because it is critical in those situations that we have to be where we are supposed to be.”


On the importance and challenges having a short memory pertaining to mistakes as a QB:

“It is not difficult. It is the way I have always been no matter what is going on. If you have success, you have to put that behind you and keep moving forward. When there is time still on the clock, it does not matter. You have to do your job no matter what has happened before that. For me, just continuing to take the next step forward, get the ball in our guys’ hands, take care of it and put us in the best positon to win.”


On dealing with adversity and losing games, given the consistently winning records of his high school and college teams:

“Stay the course. Whether it is football or life, it is not what is going on or what adversity is really hitting you, it is what you do with that. Stay the course, continue to try to improve each week to put us in the best position to win is all I can do. I can’t press too much and try to win it all in one play. I have to do my job and improve each week so that we have a different outcome.”


On if changing personnel and missing players in practices and games has presented challenges to performing as desired on Sundays:
“No, I would not say that. We kind of hit on it after the Patriots game, we have had some things that have happened early in games that got us off track and we were not in rhythm, and at that point, we are kind of playing behind instead of being able to attack the way we want to in our gameplan. I would not say it is the continuity. That is an easy cop out, but it is really not that.”


On why he has not been able to ‘lift up’ the offense this season, given his typical ability to do so and elevate teammates’ play:
“It is hard. I am doing everything I can vocally, just trying to get these guys prepared, to lift them up and do my job. I think being a quarterback, one of the most important things is making the guys around you better. We have some things that have not gone our way – some self-inflicted wounds a lot of it – but we have to stay the course. I have to continue to be me, push them to be better and everybody is focused right now. I would not say I am going to change, stop trying to get those guys to be better around me, but I think more so now than ever, it has to be that I am counting on them and you can count on me to do my job as well.”


On the difficulty of balancing playing with no fear and playing smart to avoid mistakes:

“To be honest with you, it is not really difficult. I can still play the way I need to. When he says play without fear, it is trusting your guys to be there in that spot so that is me letting it loose, being on time, putting it in the right place and having the communication with those guys throughout the week of here is where you need to be, on time at this step, this depth, this width. It is taking care of the ball but letting it loose with the anticipation of where guys need to be. When you trust those guys to be there, I am going to let it rip. We just have not had the same plays we made last year, but I think we are very close.”

On his chemistry with WR Odell Beckham Jr.:
“I think we connected pretty well this past week. Obviously, the Patriots game, we had some things drawn up but we were playing from behind the sticks. I think it is continuing to improve, and we are only going to see that from here.”


On if Beckham waived at him prior to the fourth down play late against Denver:

“Yeah, we talked about it, but I am looking at other stuff at that point so I did not see it.”


On if he would like to throw downfield more often:

“It would be great to do that, but I think right now with who we are offensively, we have to take what they are giving us. I think teams have done a pretty good job for the most part of taking away our deep shots. They are trying to make us play patient, and I think that is a good gameplan for these guys coming in. They know we have a bunch of playmakers and they are going to eliminate the big plays and try to make us play patient for four quarters. Yes, we would like that, but right now, we have to take the short stuff until they are really giving us that stuff.”


On if he has found an explanation for why his stats are significantly different than last season:
“One, I would say we are doing things a little differently than we had last year just based on the pure install that we had. Two, I think we have been able to point out that it is all of the little things. When you get down in the red zone, all of those windows are that much smaller and guys close in because they do not have as much space to cover. It is just that more critical for me to be on time, to have my feet in the right place, have my eyes to be eliminating quick, for guys to be at the right depth and to move through those progressions. Like I said about the shot plays, teams are going to play a little bit more conservative in the red zone against us and try to hold us to field goals. Taking the plays that are there is something that I can absolutely improve on going forward and just we have to be more precise.”


On Beckham’s vocal support of him last week and what is preventing the Browns offense from clicking:

“Obviously, whenever he says stuff like that, it is great to hear. To have the support of your teammates is something you always want to have, but to hear it come from that genuine aspect from him means a lot. I think people have this picture perfect thing where it was going to be sunshine and rainbows and he was going to have a whole lot of one on ones. It is Odell Beckham. He is going to have double coverage and we have to find ways to format things to get him the ball and force-feed him early on to where he can make an impact before we can have the perfect look to have a shot play. That is something we have learned the hard way, but I think as the weeks have gone on, we are continuing to improve on how to get the ball to him.”


On if he sees RB Kareem Hunt as a bigger asset in the running game or the passing game:

“I would say Kareem is just an all-around great player .We will see as the week pans out with what we want to do to utilize him. I think he does both the passing game and the running game. He is a threat in both.”


On if it will be a challenge to work Hunt into the offense with so many talented players on the field:

“I think there are going to be certain things we do just to create plays for him to get him going to kind of knock the rust off a little bit, but also, we need to do our stuff and fit him in however we can. See how teams are going to play him and essentially adapt and react to that.”


On if he is aware of the attention his facial hair from Sunday has received on social media and if there is a story behind him shaving:
“No, the quarterbacks have a ‘Movember’ mustache, and the original thought from me with the handlebars was I was undefeated before Sunday with the handlebar mustache so I shaved it off because I felt I did not deserve it.


On if he has looked at film of last year’s red zone offense to help identify areas to improve this year:

“I think conceptually, yes, we can definitely look back and learn stuff from that, but I think we were just more precise on it. Everything seemed to click. Right now, we are fighting through that. I guess it is a little adversity we are having in the red zone.”


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