QB Baker Mayfield (12.26.19)

QB Baker Mayfield:

On WRs Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry consistently playing despite injuries:

“They fight through the pain, fight through the injury. We ask a lot of those guys, and they continue to bring it and give it to us every day. I am thankful for those guys. Obviously, they both had good years. People can say what they want about Odell’s year on the outside, but hopefully, after this week he has over 1,000 yards, we have two guys over 1,000 yards and a couple of Pro Bowlers.”


On how much more progress the Browns can make in the passing game, particularly with his growing connection with Beckham:

“There is a lot of room for progress, and I think that is the best thing about it. Looking at what we expected to what we actually have, we are very close but that just means we got to work at it, get together in the offseason, handle things this week and then get better.”


On how important is it for him to play in all 16 games:

“Yeah, I am never one to shy away from competition. I play this game because I love it. I truly do enjoy the process. It is not always fun, but getting to go out there and compete on Sundays to try and have success is the fun part about it. Any chance I get to go out there for a game, I am going to do it.”


On if he was ever on the verge of missing a game due to the injuries he faced this season:

“There are a lot of things endure throughout the year with bumps and bruises. Thankfully, knock on wood, I have not had anything too series. It is just the process and nature of this game. It is violent, physical game, and you have to be a professional and do the things right throughout the week to get ready to play on Sundays.”


On the Browns potentially having back-to-back seven win seasons for the first time since 2001-02 and if that provides any positives, although not fully accomplishing the team goals for the season:

“I think you can if you are just trying to find that little positive. For us, we are trying to get as far away from what it has been at this place as quickly as we can. Seven wins is not good enough for us, and that is why people are frustrated around here within this locker room. We understand that. It is not about the past. It is about right now and what can we do to get better for the future.”


On if putting on more weight served him well in his ability to take more hits:

“It did, and I think I have done a good job throughout the season diet wise. I hired a chef and done the things right to make sure it is good weight. I do not think necessarily just putting on mass is the best thing for me. I still have to be able to move around a little bit. Protecting myself was definitely one of those things I wanted to do so it has helped.”


On if turning around the Browns is tougher than expected, given his comment at the NFL Combine that he believed he was the right guy to do it:

“I never thought it was going to be easy, but it is definitely a very big process. Down the road looking back on it through the struggles and everything that we endured and it is going to continue to have bumps in the road, I think that is going to be the beauty of it – me wishing that I was going to be here and having that come true and just seeing where it is going to go from here on out.”


On the Browns scoring fewer points per game this season despite potentially having two 1,000-yard receivers and the NFL’s leading rusher:

“I think early on, efficiency in the red zone was definitely the reason we did not win some of those games. As of late, it is just not playing complementary football the way we should. We have to play better as a team. We have to play for each other and just have to execute better. It is all the things that I have said and everybody has been saying – the little things, the detail and the communication. That all equals up to not having the wins that we should have had, and we see that looking back on it. That is the problem is you can’t change it now. You have to continue to improve and get better.”


On if RB Kareem Hunt returning has helped create more one-on-one matchups with Beckham:

“Like I said earlier in the year, we drew up these plays trying to get the perfect shots down the field for him, but we have to be more realistic with that. With how many weapons we have now, Kareem is a vital part of this offense. Obviously, teams still have to pay attention to (RB) Nick Chubb and Jarvis Landry, but Kareem adding that dynamic for us in the pass game and in the run game, he has been a vital part for our success in the back half of the year.”


On what has he learned about playing quarterback in the NFL this season:

“It comes down to all the little things. First and foremost, I have to do my job to the best I can. I have to communicate and make sure everybody is on the same page. Being myself, being the leader that I know I can be and making sure everybody is on the same page because if it is one unified message, a lot of good things can come from that.”


On if his footwork ever consistently reached where he wanted it to be this season:
“It has definitely improved as the year has gone on. There is a lot of room for improvement for me, just being critical of myself and how I have always been. Yeah, I have improved but still I need to take that next step.”


On if there are areas he knows he wants to improve this offseason:

“Yeah, there is definitely things. Like you said, the priority is this week against the Bengals, but I already know what exactly I need to work on and improve going forward. That is the exciting thing about it is it always a continual process of getting better and improving. Just being able to take care of business this week, finish out the right way like we know we should and then improve and start things off right.”


On what has he learned about leadership as a quarterback this season:

“Consistent. Like I keep saying, the same message throughout every day and throughout this building being that same person every day. Letting people know what they can expect from me, and if I am not doing that, they can call me out for that. Just knowing that I am going to be there for them continually and be a leader for them.”


On if he feels that he got away from being that type of leader at any point this season:

“Maybe not as vocal in the beginning as I look back. When it comes down to it, like I said, taking care of my job first and then expressing myself throughout that.”


On if it can be hard to be that consistent vocal leader when he is not playing as well as he liked:

“It will feel like that, but if you just base it strictly off results, you can’t be a continuous leader in this league. There are a lot of ups and downs so you have to be the same guy no matter if you are playing well or not. I think that is a very important lessons I learned this year.”


On what gives him hope to believe that things will be better in 2020 if Head Coach Freddie Kitchens and most of the staff return:

“Just knowing what we can learn from this year – mistakes, physical mistakes and just throughout the process of how we need to cover our tracks and make sure that everybody is on the same page, do our job and play complementary football. Just improving as much as for me I can improve and keep the same message for our guys around here, the better.”


On if the Browns were able to better understand their identity toward the middle of the season and that has and can continue to progress:

“I think having Kareem like you said in the second half of the year helped us find our identity, and then it is just about making plays – continuously making the plays that are there and then not hesitating when we get our one on ones.”


 On if he plans to work with a private QBs coach to work on some areas of note during the offseason:

“No, I can have somebody watch my feet and do stuff like that. I think just having somebody film it and being able to look back on that, you can always get better from film. I am always wanting to do repetitions are the way to get better for me. That is just how it is has been. Doing that and filming it, but I do not need somebody to teach me how to do a three-step drop. I can look at film and be critical of myself. Throughout this process, I have had people help me out along the way and try and take things from different people and anytime I am around somebody, I ask questions. Do not act like I have it all figured out. There is always room to improve and take things from there and there, but I would not say that I will go on the beach and swim through the ocean and try and learn how to play quarterback by doing that.”


On if he will be aware of getting Beckham to 1,000 receiving yards on Sunday:

“Absolutely, and winning. I think him getting a lot of yards equates to us winning.”


On if he feels like him and Beckham will be significantly better as they continue to work together in the offseason:

“Yeah, I think it is just based on repetitions with him. He is going to put his flavor on routes. That is why he is who he is. That is why he is able to have success. It is give and take on both. There are certain things that we can have freedom on, but there are also things that he knows are timing routes and that has just been a process for us. That is why there is only room for improvement and it is only going to get better.”


On how his relationship has changed with Kitchens this year as head coach as compared to their relationship last year:

“Our relationship has not changed. I would just say that because he is getting pulled in different direction through the building, I am not around him as much as I was within in the meeting rooms and stuff like that and I have just tried to spread our message of what we want to get accomplished within our room, what we are seeing. Like we keep saying, that unified message throughout the building, especially on the offensive side of the ball.”


On how the transition to a new offensive staff has been this year compared to last year:

“It is definitely a different process from what it was. I think last year it was like when the firings happened and everything, it was like this is what we have and this is what we are going to finish with for the rest of the year and so it was just like everyone has to do their job. This year it has kind of been a learning process. There have been some curves. Obviously, it has been what it has been. It is just a learning process for us and we have to be better.”


On if he gets one-on-one time to spend with Kitchens during the week to break down film and talk:

“Yeah, we do. It has just been a different routine than it was. Like I said, it is a learning process. Just finding time to continue to do that to where we are on the same page with play calls, designs, scheme, where my eyes are and what he expects within his offense.”


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