QB Baker Mayfield (8.14.20)

QB Baker Mayfield:

On the ‘new normal’ at training camp and if it resembles a typical training camp:

“The past few days have been. We are getting into a longer schedule and able to stay here for the meetings at night. It has definitely been different getting to go home at night and sleep at your own house or the guys getting to go home at earlier hours. We are finding our routine, trying to find out what works There are no complaints here. We said as a team, ‘the more you complain, the more you are wasting time’ so everybody is handling it correctly.”


On how different things are for him personally from this time last season:

“In a much better state mentally. Obviously, physically, I put in the work, like you said. Just ready to roll, attack and get back to where I need to be to be the leader for this team and for this franchise. The reason I got here is because I have been myself and have been able to attack each day with 100 percent effort. Being able to do that and just have the open communication with (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski, (offensive coordinator) Alex Van Pelt and the rest of the staff, we know what we are attacking each and every day. It feels a lot better, and we are taking it one day at a time, as we should.”


On if he feels like he is in better shape physically, given he added four pounds of lean muscle, and what he did to get in better shape physically and mentally:

“My emphasis was definitely cutting out the bad body weight. I think the bigger number was definitely the drop in weight of the bad pounds. That was my emphasis. Diet-wise, I cleaned it up. Had somebody from Elite Nutrition, her name is Angie (Asche), worked with her, and then where I was training with CJ McFarland down in Austin, just had a great team. I think to be at the top of your game, you have to surround yourself by people that are going to push you and elevate you to the highest standards. Did that and did those things, but I think with the long offseason of a lot of online meetings and mental work, I was able to physically get my body health and ready to roll. Take those things in and really work at one thing at a time scheme-wise, focus on studying those things because we were not trying to install and get out on the practice field and run a bunch of plays. We could really take our time with it. I think our staff did an unbelievable job of handling that.”


On examples of how he changed his diet this offseason:

“Being from Texas, I have to have my Mexican food fix. I cut out a lot of that. Just did a lot of healthier versions and more regimented dieting. It is just about being smart on the scheduling. Omelets in the morning. A snack and a shake after the workouts. Just clean eating. A lot of meal prep and stuff like that. My wife, Emily, has done a great job of preparing those dinners so hats off to her. We are both going through the cooking phase right now.”


On if last season was harder on him than he may have wanted to admit and how he is in a better mental state now:

“I wouldn’t say it is a ‘poor me’ type situation. Going and having success all through high school and college and having that standard so high and then the past couple years have been a rollercoaster of emotions and not nearly as much success as I am used to. I would say I lost myself not having that success, not finding out what was working. I tried different ways of trying to have that success, and I didn’t find it. I lost myself in that, and I wasn’t able to be who I am for these guys on the team. I have told them that, and I told them that if I am not doing that, hold me accountable. Just finding that and getting back to the basics, establish myself in this new system and attack it..”


On how valuable it was to have Head Coach Kevin Stefanski visit him in February:

“Tremendously valuable in the long run. I think just to get to know each other. The conversations that you can have in the offseason during some of those lighter practices and Phase 1, Phase 2 OTA world. He was able to come down and meet my family. His dad was actually in town scouting for basketball so I actually met his dad, too. It was a good thing for us to establish that relationship, talk about things off the field and just for him to see what I am able and for me to see what he is about. You hear all these things, but until you can sit down and have a conversation with somebody, that is when you truly get to know someone. That is a big value that looking back on I think we will appreciate it.”


On takeaways from the virtual offseason and how it can help him as a leader heading into the season:

“These are unprecedented times we are living in right now. There is no doubt about that. There is no manual or handbook on how to handle these things, but I truly believe the greatest leaders, people you look up to and role models are able to adapt in situations and different variables. Being able to try and handle all the situations and trying to get the most out of our guys because everybody is in a different home life and a different situation, doing these meetings at home, trying to get different workouts in. We saw a bunch of creative ways guys were getting workouts in that people didn’t have the same equipment. Trying to connect with those guys and everybody on the staff, as well, to really establish that foundation and to be able to make the long run that we want to but doing it day by day.”


On what it takes to get mentally right:

“First, going into the fourth offense of establishing a good foundation of where our identity is and of what we want to attack and talking to Alex Van Pelt and Coach Stefanski of what we want to be – I know we will not truly know that until we get out there and run plays with pads on and see how that works – but of how we want to attack it to where am I putting my focus in. From there, connecting with guys on the meetings, getting together with them, trying to just see how they are doing and checking on them to be the leader and the quarterback that this team needs. Being myself, getting that alpha mentality back. 2020 has not been real great. Mamba mentality – RIP to Kobe (Bryant), but trying to get that and replicate something similar to what he had to lead these guys to where we want to go.”


On why he felt the need to transform his body and how it will help this year:

“I think there were a lot of plays, looking back on last year, physically I was not able to work out as much being beat up. I was heavier than I was ever playing before at a playing weight. I needed to [make physical changes] to be able to have the scrambling ability and to be able to move in the pocket. Also, with what I talked about with Coach Stefanski and Alex Van Pelt about what we want to do play action-wise and move in the pocket, things that you look at Minnesota’s offense of what they did very well, of making sure that I am in the best shape possible. That is my job to be in prime physical shape to show up and do my job on Sundays. That was definitely a key factor in that and being back. Look good, feel good, play good.”


On if he ever doubted himself during the past two ‘rollercoaster’ seasons:

“Absolutely. I think that that is one of those things that I talked about with our team is you have to find that belief and you have to find that confidence within yourself. That is what I have based my whole story on and my whole career on is confidence in myself and taking those chances. There were times, and these guys know that everybody has their moments. You can’t just hold onto yourself. You have to have people to lean on, and we have those guys here.”


On if he feels that everything is in place for him and the team this season, given offseason acquisitions and changes both from the coaching and player standpoint and the opportunity for him with it, as well as if he ‘relishes’ in the fact some people will doubt him and the team:

“Absolutely, I think it is an unbelievable opportunity for everybody in this building. With the moves that we have made, the pieces we brought in and the culture that is being built right now, I think we are really excited to get out there and show that of what we have been building behind the scenes. I am extremely excited about that. The doubt and all that, I expect it considering what has been going on with going from Year 1 with having some success to last year of what we thought was going to be and it wasn’t. It is what it is. It is nothing new to me, and our guys are ready to get out there and prove what we have been doing this offseason because that is all that matters is this year. We have a new team, a new staff and we are ready to roll.”


On stating he would kneel for the National Anthem, some people responding negatively to it and if he has any regrets about saying it:

“I do not have any regrets. I think being in my position, which is a blessing, being out on a platform to where I can speak on issues that are just wrong. Right is right, and wrong is wrong. There is a human rights issue that has been going on for a long time, and I believe in that. It is nothing against military or anybody who served. Anybody that knows my history knows that I completely support military and the people that serve our country for the right reasons and do it for justice. The people that do not know that, that is OK – just take your time and take a second to get to know me. It is a human rights issue. There is right, and there is wrong.”


On how the new coaching staff and offense fits him well:

“Scheme-wise, I think my attributes match up to what they want to do. Not only that, I think it matches up to our team and the people they have brought in. Our whole offense, just mentality-wise, culture-wise and of a no BS policy, you are going to know exactly what we want to do and you are expected to do it. It is just a being adult type thing. Handle your business, and we will have success and we will have fun doing it. I think there are things that we are doing within the building and within our online meetings that are ahead of the game and ahead of the curve. Hats off to our staff for being able to get those guys and making these moves to where we really feel like we are in a true training camp, even though it is a little different. We are having a lot of fun with making the most of it so hats off to those guys.”


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