QB Baker Mayfield (6.16.21)


On how WR Odell Beckham Jr. looks post ACL surgery:

“He looks really great. After seeing him run and really just talking to him, as well, he feels comfortable. He is still getting used to some of these cuts and certain motions, but you are talking about seven months since the surgery so it is pretty impressive how quickly he has come back.”


On what Beckham’s return could mean for the ceiling of the Browns offense:

“Obviously, his play speaks for itself. He is an explosive player. I think when it comes to teams scheming up for our offense, he has the dynamic, the deep threat and teams have to roll a safety over the top, whether they want to play one-high or two-high and just all of the things that can exploit matchups and create better opportunities for everybody else and not only himself.”


On if he has a greater appreciation for Home Run Derby contestants now after participating in one during WR Jarvis Landry’s softball game:

“I do. It gets tiring, even swinging a light softball bat.”


On what would it mean for the team to extend RB Nick Chubb, CB Denzel Ward and him:

“Obviously, those guys are tremendous teammates, all coming in here together around the same time. That would be very special, but that is one of those things that I think everything happens for a reason, and it will handle itself. Just worried about winning, as I told you guys before when I was asked about the fifth-year option. It is the same thought process for me, and it will continue to be that way.”


On his conditioning this offseason in comparison to last year:

“I feel really good. I feel even better than I did last year. Last year was completely all virtual. I feel great. We have been able to get together with the guys. We did an early session in Florida and then got one obviously down in Texas last week. I feel really good about where I am and where we are hitting the ground running right now.”


On if his agents are currently talking about a possible extension with the Browns and if he would prefer that get accomplished this summer:

“I am in no rush because I am just trying to win games, and like I said, it will handle itself. I am sure Tom and Jack Mills are handling that. I do not try and feed too much into that because that is wasting my time and energy and thought process on stuff that I am not in control of right now. I am going to handle what I can control.”


On if he would view his extension potentially occurring later as an opportunity to bet on himself this season:

“I have bet on myself my whole life. I have always taken it one day at a time and one play at a time. Like I said, I am not going to handle it any differently now.”


On how much Browns offensive players were able to accomplish in Florida and Texas prior to this week:

“I think we were able to accomplish everything we needed to. Now, it is great to be out there and doing some competition against the defense. Obviously, a lot of seven-on-seven stuff, as you guys saw yesterday. Where we are right now, I feel good about it. Obviously, there is a ton of work to be had, but that is why it is only June.”


On if he can tell that he is more comfortable in Year 2 of Head Coach Kevin Stefanski’s system:

“Absolutely. Talking to you guys about the jump after the bye week to the second half of the year, and the more reps and the more times you are around these guys and explaining thought process, and the communication when it comes to your team is so important. The more we are doing that, obviously as time goes on, it is going to get better for all of us.”


On how TEs Harrison Bryant and Austin Hooper are growing in their second season in the offense:

“I am excited to watch that group. We have an incredible room, including (TE) David (Njoku) and (TE) Stephen (Carlson). It is a highly competitive group. That is the best part. I think they bring the best out of each other. I think they all add different aspects to their game, not one of them is the same as the other. I am excited to see them grow and continue to understand our schemes. That is a position that requires a lot of intelligence, and to be able to read certain ways and communicate upfront, it asks a lot of them, and they do a fantastic job.”


On if he gets the sense his extension will come eventually but it is just a matter of time:

“Like I keep saying, I think everything happens for a reason. I think the chips will fall where they are supposed to. I am concerned about winning, and that is what everybody in this building needs to be concerned about. It is not saying that everybody is not, but the concern right now is winning and building a strong foundation for this season.”


On stating previously that he has felt like he was born to play QB in Cleveland and if that was further strengthened last season:

“Yeah, I think the things that I said even before the draft and right after the draft of Cleveland is a town that is about work ethic and a blue-collar mentality, and that is what I have always been about. I think that is why it has been a great match.”


On the biggest challenges of learning a new system with new coaches last offseason, in addition to adjusting footwork, and if the bye week is when everything really clicked:

“The combination of the lack of OTAs and minicamp last year and to be able to get those live reps and work those new schemes, combined with the footwork, and to talk through those things right after the reps with (offensive coordinator) Alex Van Pelt and (Head Coach) Kevin (Stefanski)… It is the combination of all of those things that just take repetition to be able to grow and get comfortable in it. I think that is why you saw our offense only get better as the year went on, especially on my front. I expect to continue to that, to continue to grow and get better.”


On specific goals for the Browns offense and himself in 2021:

“In a general sense, what I will tell you guys is we have to be more efficient on third and fourth downs. We have to be better early on early in the season. Obviously, we got better as the year went on, but for me, it is continuing to put us in manageable situations to win ball games and extend leads. Obviously, my priority is always winning. That is first and foremost and the biggest goal I will always have, and then personal stuff after that always comes with winning.”


On WR Jarvis Landry’s comment last weekend about every player is preparing to be a champion and all 32 teams are striving to win the Super Bowl each year and those should be the expectations for everyone:

“I think everybody that plays this game is striving to be a champion. If you are not doing that, then I think you are in it for the wrong reasons. I have said that time and time again. You strive to win in everything you do. That is the kind of culture that we have been working on building. Building a culture is not easy, and that has been a process. We are striving to continue in building a winning culture.”


On how the Browns’ culture is built differently now to deal with high expectations entering the season compared to 2019:

“That is two years ago so it is not even comparable. When it comes to culture, that is just a process. It was not exactly fun the first few years trying to build that. It just takes getting people in the right mindset and having people on the same page. That is one of those things that it takes time.”


On what he would like to accomplish after minicamp and before training camp:

“I feel good with where I am right now, but obviously like I said, there is a lot of work to be done. That is not to say we will not continue that even though we will not be together. Those lines of communication will always be open when it comes to all of us getting on the same page. That is the good part about this team is we have built relationships and friendships now that the communication is very open and honest. That is extremely important. The chemistry when it comes to being able to say, ‘Hey, I am wrong right here. Tell me if I am wrong. Tell me if you need something out of me.’ That is vital, and I think that is what we have been working on the most. That is what a good culture is all about, and when it comes back down to it and we hit the ground running for training camp in late July, that we do not miss a beat.”


On the Browns’ camaraderie amongst teammates during minicamp and how much chemistry has advanced compared to this time last year:

“Far, far ahead of what is was. All of these guys have played together. It was a very new roster with a lot of new faces last year. Yeah, we added some key pieces and a lot of guys, but those guys are good culture guys. When you bring that type of person in, they fit right in and they join along. That is why we welcome these guys in with open arms. You enjoy playing and working with people who have the same goal-oriented mentality as you. That is why you see that.”


On what it will be like for opposing NFL QBs to face the tandem of DEs Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett:

“My two tiny friends (laughter)? It is fun. It is fun to watch them work. I would not say it would be very fun to go up against them. That duo creates a lot of stuff for a lot of other people on the backend. Obviously, we have a lot of guys who are very talented so it is not just those two, but they do add a special dynamic when it comes down to offensive scheming that you have to worry about those two guys.”


On the Browns’ defensive upgrades and if he has met his new teammates, including S John Johnson III and LB Anthony Walker:

“I think they are great players. Obviously, JJ has picked me off and so has A-Walk so I am still trying to get vengeance on those guys (laughter). Like I said, we are bringing in the right culture guys, and that is the important part. They are great players, but they are fitting right in and driving this train even quicker than it needs to be.”


On the importance of all of the Browns’ top WRs returning from last season and what younger WRs like WR Donovan Peoples-Jones have shown when working out together away from the facility:

“Donovan looks incredible right now. He looks like he is in really, really good shape running around. Obviously, he is a smart guy who we were able to plug and play. He knows his role and exactly what his job is. It is great to have that same group back – the camaraderie in that room and to hit the ground running. We have talked about a lot of things. We grew a lot over the last year, and we are continuing that. It is exciting to have O (WR Odell Beckham Jr.) back obviously after the injury, have an even healthier (WR) Jarvis (Landry) and just have that room all together again.”


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