QB Baker Mayfield (12.8.19)

QB Baker Mayfield:

On the importance of establishing the run game in the second half: 

“Yeah, we looked at the amount of plays we had from pass to running game. We didn’t run the ball as much as we wanted to in the first half. Just kind of the flow of the game did that but wanted to establish that, take the ball out of their hands, control the clock and do what we do best.”


On if the Browns had to ‘grind’ to get the win: 

“No, we were the more physical team in the second half. That is why we came out on top.”


On the pass to WR Odell Beckham Jr. that was originally ruled an interception but then overturned to defensive pass interference and if he was surprised it was overturned: 

“One on one in a critical situation going to somebody that we trust. No, it was blatant when they looked at the film. Just seeing that at first, I was just upset that I did not put the ball on the outside, but the pass interference call helped us.”


On his relationship with Beckham and what he makes of the current drama of media reports surrounding Beckham: 

“The drama is just drama. It continues to be that on the outside. Within our walls, we know exactly what we have, and we have a good relationship where it is very straight to the point. I am not worried about that.”


On if Beckham has ever given the sense that he does not want to be in Cleveland: 

“No, he wants to win. I have said that over and over again. That is not going to change, and he is not going to change who he is. He is Odell, and he is proud to be who he is. He wants to win.”


On reports about Beckham’s sports hernia and if it is evident that has bothered Beckham: 

“I would say that it was not handled right. He is not able to run as well as he should be able to as well as he knows. That is frustrating for him. You can sense that somebody’s frustration and where it comes from. It was not handled the right way in our training room. It is what it is. His not 100 percent is still good enough for us.”


On what was not handled right related to Beckham’s sports hernia: 

“I think it could have been addressed earlier on.”


On Hunt potentially having a similar injury to Beckham and if a similar approach in hindsight may have been better, despite potentially losing Beckham for a couple games:

“I think looking back on it and hindsight is 20/20 but yeah, he probably would have missed one or two, just based on the fact that it was during training camp. It is what it is. We are here right now. It is too late to do that, but he is fighting through pain, playing through pain. That shows you the type of guy he is.”


On Beckham’s limited reps in practice, potentially not being as explosive as usual and how much that may hinder their chemistry and connection: 

“No, I think because he has not been able to go, it has opened up the discussion of talking through every concept. I think there has been finding the positive and negatives. Being able to talk through every single play because he is not getting the physical reps has helped us a little bit.”


On if the first half was aggravating, given the offensive production and the pass intended for TE David Njoku that resulted in an INT: 

“David’s play was a catch, by the way. Frustrating when you look at the amount of plays we had. It was like the first half just kind of flew by. We only had 20-something plays on offense. We didn’t take advantage of our possessions early on. It was frustrating, but then we realized we needed to control the clock, gain momentum back and be the physical team. That is what we did in the second half.”


On if the Bengals’ 1-11 record goes away once the game starts: 

“It is still an NFL team when it comes down to it. This was one of those games that we should win. We know that. There is no around that. If I said otherwise, I would be lying, but it is still a team that is going to bring their best shot no matter what. It is a division rival that is going to come here with giving their best game.”


On if his hand bothered him at all today: 

“No, it didn’t.”


On his second interception: 

“Just a little bit high and outside. I think if I hold onto it a little bit longer, you are going to have (WR) Jarvis (Landry) on the in cut, a deeper in. Just little, critical things on a third down.”


On if the Browns had to block out noise surrounding reports about Beckham: 

“No, the first I heard of it was from (ESPN.com beat writer) Jake (Trotter) earlier. I said the drama is on the outside. We continue to focus on what is in our building and harp on the important things.”


On the Browns locker room now, given the playoff chances and other external factors, compared to before the season:

“(Head Coach) Freddie’s (Kitchens) message to us was we are going to find out who is with us. When it comes down to it, our playoff chances took a hit after the Pittsburgh game so we are going to find out who is really buying in, who is in it for the team, who is going to show up and give it everything they had today. Obviously, it did not go as well as we wanted, but we came together as team today and it gave us a little more hope and positivity.”


On what the 4-1 run and hot streak feels like to him: 

“We should be 5-0. The 4-1 ‘hot streak’ – we should be 5-0.”


On the importance of the Browns’ run game success starting the third quarter: 

“It is what we harped on at halftime for the offense knowing that we got the ball on the kickoff, and we did just that. The offensive line played great in the second half. Obviously, (RB) Nick (Chubb) and (RB) Kareem (Hunt) ran the ball well and Nick had a field day.”


On the four-game win streak at home after three home losses to start the season: 

“It is great right now. I wish we could go back and fix the early stuff. It still gives us a chance, and that is the most important thing.”


On balancing the need to keep the 1-0 mindset this year with the talent and potential long-term future and big picture for the franchise in future years: 

“It is tricky to balance the singular game focus but also the big picture, but that takes a little bit of maturity, which I think we are realizing that we did it to ourselves to not have the chances this late in the season for playoff percentages, but keeping that big picture mindset, if we finish the way we need to and carry that momentum, kind of how we finished up last year and having the same guys and keeping stuff similar within the building, it can be important for us.”


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