QB Baker Mayfield (12.30.20)

QB Baker Mayfield:

On how this week has been for him and how his preparation has been affected by the impact of Browns players on reserve/COVID-19: 

“It is not as critical it being just Wednesday today. We were still able to get all of our mental stuff during the day and able to get a little bit physical stuff, get some timing down and we will have the film for those guys to be able to watch and look at. It is not going to affect our preparation at all. Just hoping that the negative tests keep coming in and we can get them in the building tomorrow.”

On if he feels good about getting the chemistry and rhythm back on track for Sunday with Browns WRs potentially rejoining the team tomorrow from reserve/COVID-19: 

“Absolutely, yeah. I think they are just as eager to get back in the building as I am to have them back in the building.”

On his mindset after the loss last week and if he will use that to fuel himself: 

“I have had my back against the wall many a time in my life. I think I handle that type of stuff correctly. Just one at a time until Sunday. I can’t win it right now. Have to move on from the game and work to get there.”

On if he will use his mindset after last week’s loss as an advantage, given a ‘mad Baker is sometimes a good Baker’: 

“No, I was thinking I was probably going to use it as a disadvantage and maybe drop the ball four more times, I do not know (sarcasm).”

On the mental challenge of staying sharp and focused with changes to the schedule this week due to reserve/COVID-19: 

“These days can be pretty exhausting – the schedule changes and not exactly knowing when you are supposed to come in and get the practice in and the workouts in so you just kind of have to stay by your phone, as they tell us to do, and just be alert for it. We can’t do anything about it so there is no reason to complain. You roll with the punches and have to deal with it. We are not the only ones having to deal with adjustments.”

On how he keeps things in perspective when knowing the magnitude of this week’s game, given his experience with significant games: 

“It just comes down to just doing our job. We have to believe in that. Just to be honest with you guys, the mentality here is we are in our playoffs just one week early. It is win or go home. That is the mentality for our guys. We have the talent and we have the scheme. We just have to go out there, execute it and do our jobs. We know when we have success and when we have had success this year that has been the case.”

On how important it is to step up more as a leader, given the significance of this week’s game: 

“I think everybody feels that. I tried to do as much as I could early on, just being myself and pushing everybody to realize that those games are so important. Now, we are in a position obviously that everybody knows it is win or go home. There is no need to stress it anymore. There is no need to add any pressure. Like I said, it is just about us going and doing our job.”

On if he is at his best in pressure situations: 

“These are the moments you ask for. When you are little, you dream of playing in the games where it comes down to you have the ball in your hands and you want to take care of business and it comes down to the moments where you have to win. Yeah, I think so, but I think everybody also likes to be in these moments, as well.”

On what bothered him the most after Sunday’s game, given he only answered one question following the postgame press conference: 

“Where do you want me to start? I thought I answered that one.”

On if there was something that bothered him more than normal following a loss this past Sunday and whether it was the COVID-19 situation, his performance or other factors: 

“It was completely my performance. I thought I addressed that after the game. I thought I was pretty straightforward about it. I said there was no excuse when it came to the COVID stuff. We had exactly what we needed to win. I addressed it then, and I said I let the team down. That is that. I am not going to change that now.”

On how he can bounce back from last week’s loss: 

“Go to bed Sunday night, wake up Monday morning and get back to work.”

On how much better the Browns are now compared to the Week 6 matchup against the Steelers: 

“To answer a similar question of before we played the Ravens a few weeks ago, we are a much different team just based on scheme and the things that we have learned about ourselves as the season has gone on. You want to continue to improve, and we have done that gradually as the season has gone on. We have to play our best ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. That is all that matters.”

On how to guard against any potential let down of potentially going several of the Steelers backup players this week: 

“We have to prepare just as we would any normal game because this is win or go home. However they want to handle it, that is their choice. We are not controlling that. We have to control ourselves and how we prepare. They are still going to have the same scheme. It is not like they are going to change that up. We have to be able to go in and execute.”

On what the Browns offense needs to do better to handle the Steelers defense this week: 

“It starts with me taking care of the ball. You look at the first third down of the game and the pick-six, that is not a great start for us and then just a bad light scramble-drill throw interception. We have to establish the run game. I have to take care of the ball. Just overall, there are so many things that when we watch that game we could have done better, but you do not want to dwell on that. It comes down to the fundamentals of what our identity is.”

On the boost having RB Nick Chubb for this week’s matchup against the Steelers, understanding the team has confidence in RB Kareem Hunt: 

“It helps both of those guys rotating in and the fresh legs. I have hit on it a couple times, just as the game goes on, it wears on those defenses to be able to rotate those guys in and seem like they are in the first half still.”

On the lift it would give the Browns offense if G Wyatt Teller and T Jedrick Wills Jr. are able to play this week: 

“When it comes down to continuity, the chemistry with those guys up front, the communication and some of those calls, they just had a lot of reps together, and I think that would with the other guys who would rotate in, but obviously, Jedrick and Wyatt are special players for us. They are vital parts of our offense. It is going to be good to see if we can get them back in and be a part of this offense.”

On if he has been able to ‘enjoy the ride’ this season and being in the playoff hunt: 

“Obviously, winning is a hell of a lot more fun than the situations I have been in in the past. Instead of having vacation scheduled, we are focused on taking care of business this week and seeing what happens after that. It is one day at a time right now. That is a good thing. That is a really good thing for us. Everybody here has worked so hard for these moments right here and for these games to truly matter so we just have to seize the moment.”

On if he has to personally account for Steelers LB T.J. Watt: 

“T.J. is a great player. He is one of those guys you have to know where he is at on the field at all times. They do a good job moving him around and putting him in spots to create plays because you see teams try and bring extra guys over there to help block. He is a smart football player first. He recognizes a lot, but his talent just comes up with that. You definitely have to notice where he is at all times.”

On if there is a different intellectual component when playing in an empty stadium when the opposing defense can hear more and if it is an advantage that the Browns have fans at home games: 

“There are pros and cons to both. Obviously, you can catch some calls and some similar calls that they might do multiple times. It works for us, as well. If we are playing an empty stadium, they might catch onto our calls, as well. It is both. Our limited amount of fans get very rowdy so it does get loud in there. I would not have it any other way. I would rather play in front of fans than not.”

On how much WR Jarvis Landry was disappointed and hurt by missing his first NFL game last week: 

“More so than you can probably can put into words. He is a guy who works so hard every day on his craft. He is passionate about the game. He loves football. He wants to be out there and compete in everything he does. For him to not be able to be out there with us, that definitely hurt him. He wants to be out there fighting with us, there is no doubt about that.”

On if a playoff berth is necessary to ‘solidify the progress’ the Browns have made this season: 

“We are not trying to solidify anything besides our win-loss record. We are trying to get onto the next one. The ultimate goal is playing that second weekend in February. That is what we want to do. We are not looking for approval. We are looking to win games and take care of business.”

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