QB Baker Mayfield (8.30.20)

QB Baker Mayfield:

Opening statement:

“I will start off by addressing our statement from earlier. We have a very thoughtful organization and franchise. Especially, we have a social justice committee and a leadership committee that we talked with, met with, and got a ton of ideas and a lot of conversations – very heartfelt emotional things that were eye-opening to a lot of people. Through that, we decided we wanted to narrow it down into a handful of things that we really want to attack it and commit to so we can accomplish those goals. Those are the things that we addressed, starting with #BeTheSolution; with the voter registration and getting people aware for voting for your local representatives to start making change in your communities; education and just giving back to communities – not everybody has the access to the internet with some people going back to school and some not with the digital divide and being able to provide that for some of those people; and police reform and accountability was obviously the hot topic for us with a lot of back and forth. That is where most of the emotions were and the passion to really make change for what we have been witnessing. It has been going on currently, but it has been going on for hundreds of years and it is just now able to be reported because of camera phones and social media that it spreads, and everyone is pretty aware of it now it is time to make change. Then the last thing, just community support and economic advancement. Something we talked about was really trying to push and create change on the east side of Cleveland and give back to those communities that are less fortunate to where we could start setting the standard here in Cleveland and showing the world that if you have a group of people that cares and is truly passionate about it, you can take over an area and create change and you can slowly affect more than just your immediate area.”

On the Browns having their first move-the-ball period during practice today:

“Obviously, the second offense started out real hot with the big play to (TE) David (Njoku). I thought we did some things well. There is still obviously room to improve, but it was definitely different with the constant level of that crowd noise or white noise, whatever you want to call it. Without the right headsets, it was a little difficult to hear the walkie-talkie stuff, but that is stuff we are working through. It was good to get out there in the stadium for some of those guys to feel like what it would be like to play with a small crowd. There is definitely room to improve. I thought we did some things well, but we will look back on the film and probably be not as satisfied.”

On if it will be frustrating to see on film how the first team offense performed against the second team defense:

“No, we did some things well. We are trying to run some plays. We did not run the ball as much with the live periods, just trying to prevent some injuries and stuff like that. Just trying some things out. Obviously, ran a few trick plays, not normally how we would call a game. Like I said, we will look back on the film and there is always room to improve.”

On why it was important for him to read part of the Browns statement and the significance of it, particularly as a white male and an NFL QB, and if he saw the Ravens’ statement and was interested in what other teams were doing or saying:  

“I saw what [the Ravens] wrote, just because when we were talking about what we wanted to do within the discussions of how we want to go about this, we were looking at other stuff, but we wanted a unique approach. That is why we were having those intimate discussions about which actions are we actually going to take. We do not just want to make a statement just to make a statement. It is not a PR stunt. It is something that we have truly had deep discussions about how to create that change and how we are going to do it step by step. That is something I am passionate about, and that is what (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski talks about is it the players that are thoughtful and do their research and their due diligence to care enough about it, I have always believed when you can put stuff aside in the locker room, it is how the world should work. You put every difference aside, every background, where you come from, shape, size and color and you put that all to the side, and you work towards the same goal. When it comes to real life, that is just human rights. It is an equal rights issue. You put all that to the side, and that is something I am very passionate about. I wanted my guys to know that. They do, but making a statement as the leader of this team is very important but we have a ton of people that are just as passionate about it. It is just about us all coming together for that same goal.”


On if he believes it is important for white players and coaches to also speak up about social justice issues: 

“I do. I do because that just shows that you are in it with them. It is not a separated or it is not a one-sided movement. I can’t put myself in their shoes for some of the inequalities that they have gone through and some of the things they have gone through, but I am trying to do the best I can by hearing their stories and sharing that. That is the best part about it is hearing their stories so I can really start to feel their frustration and anger and push forward with them because that is what it is about. It is about all trying to create change together and be that solution.”


On how critical he is on his progress during training camp, given the different installation process this year following a virtual offseason program: 

“I am definitely more critical after the installation period. Having some of the first times running some plays and some concepts, yeah, you get the feel for it but that is where you go through it, and then when you come back the second time around, you be very critical of my footwork, myself, my throws and accuracy. Also, we are at the time period where we are having to try and figure out which plays are we going to really roll into Week 1 with and eliminate, and say ‘Hey, here is what we are comfortable with. Here is what we are not.’ That is where we are at right now so definitely being more critical as of right now.”


On how WR Odell Beckham Jr. looks compared to this time last year and why he believes the chemistry will be better between the two of them this year: 

“He is feeling better. Obviously, having surgery and getting healthy is the main priority, but then just us being on the same page, having the offense and talking through it as many times as we possibly can, it is not hear one thing and be coached on by another. We are talking through it with each other so we are on the same page constantly. There is let nothing go unsaid, should I say, within the details of this offense, and that is what we are doing right now.”


On where he has made the most progress during training camp: 

“I would not say it is anything on the field. I would say it is within our locker room, getting around the guys and realizing that I have to do much more than just let my play on the field to be the quarterback for this team. I have to put my arm around these guys, lead them and show them the way, and especially in these uncertain times, if the schedule changes and all that to never waver, never falter. Just showing those guys that I can be the leader, no matter what.”


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