QB Baker Mayfield (9.25.19)

QB Baker Mayfield:

On if it is easy to block out external noise:

“I think it is something that you really have to be conscious of because you are surrounded by an environment where you hear a lot of things, stuff pops up on your phone and stuff is on the TV. It is just people talking. You just have to make a conscious decision to protect your locker room, take care of your guys and block out the negative stuff. When they are patting you on the back, to me that is even worse.”


On keys to consciously blocking out external noise so it does not impact the team:

“I think being singularly focused on the week ahead. The most important game is this next one. We have watched the film, we have talked about the mistakes and stuff we need to talk about. You correct that and then you move forward. Being focused on the goal and the task at hand is very important.”


On Head Coach Freddie Kitchens saying the offense is close and not missing by much:

“I kind of hit on that after the game, and that is the frustrating part is we are very close on a lot of things. That is why we have to be even more focused on the little details. Just like I just said, details are what really matters.”


On if it adds fuel to the fire when individual’s like ESPN NFL analyst Rex Ryan’s make negative comments:

“It is whatever. In the wise words of Freddie Kitchens, ‘If you do not wear orange and brown, you do not matter,’ and Rex Ryan does not have any colors right now for a reason so it is OK.”


On the areas to improve:

“Continuing to improve on the things I was working on. Have my feet in the right place because I talked about how feet and eyes line up, they go together and they are hand and hand. I am continuing to improve on that and just getting the ball in the playmakers hands. I think that is the most important thing for me going forward.”


On his completion percentage being lower than usual:

“Yeah, if you watch the game, you would see there is a couple of throwaways and there are some things that I am missing, but yeah, I am continuing to try and work on that.”


On if his lower completion percentage is tied to needing more precision:

“Like I just said, there are some throwaways, but yeah.”


On if he is leaving the pocket too soon too often:
“Did you take that one straight from the commentators or what? There was one play that I feel like I could stick in there. Other than that, here is the thing: people are going to commend when I extent the play and make a scramble play, and if I leave the pocket too early, they are going to harp on it. I couldn’t really care less. I am going to do my job like I said and continue to improve.”


On appearing to step up and slide in the pocket more than this year:

“I think it is a little different in case by case when you can step up and there is a hole to step up in and do that. Yeah, it is different.”


On if there is additional clarity on the 4th-and-9 play call:

“No, it was just trusting our guys to make a play.”


On if Baltimore’s defense looks a lot different than last year’s after losing some key personnel:

“Yeah, they did lose a couple guys. Anytime you lose a guy like (NY Jets LB) C.J. Mosley, (Cardinals LB) Terrell Suggs, (Rams S) Eric Weddle, those are guys that have been running that system for a while. It is a little different looking at it, but they have guys that are stepping up and filling those spots pretty well. I think that is what we need to realize is that they have younger guys that are playing really well right now and they are playing well as a unit. We have to identify what they are trying to do and how they are trying to attack us.”


On the importance of this game as a division game against last year’s AFC North champions:

“It being the first divisional game, I think, is the most important aspect of this, looking at it where we can stand in our division. We separate the season into four quarters and so this last game in this first quarter of the season is a very important one going up against the Ravens.”


On how the Browns can take advantage of teams doubling WR Odell Beckham Jr.:

“I think formatting stuff and just finding the one on ones and taking advantage of it. We are having to adjust on how teams are playing us because of him and some of our other pieces, but we are figuring it out.”


On saying the Baltimore game last season left a bad taste in his mouth and if that is now ‘ancient history’:

“I would not say that it is ancient history. I would say that is kind of a healthy medium of the past is the past but also looking back on it. It was the little details that got us. You look back on I missed an out route on the last drive of the game to (WR) Jarvis (Landry) where we would of had a first down and the interception to C.J. Mosley would have never happened. It is looking back and seeing what got us beat and how can we get better but also focusing on what is at hand right now.”


On if opposing defenses are doing things differently to specifically to stop Beckham or him:

“I think it is a mix. I think that definitely teams are going to try and protect over the top and not have shots over the top of them with No. 13 but also having certain looks and disguising it, and giving different looks is something that we seen early on. I expect to continue to see that until we show that we can really be here.”


On if the Browns have counters available to those defensive techniques:

“I think that is something like I said that is continuing to improve and I have my feet and eyes in the right place. Just recognizing what teams are trying to do and adapting on the fly in the game.”


On TE David Njoku not being available:

“I think (TE) Demetrius Harris and (TE) Ricky (Seal-Jones) played great. Obviously Demetrius had the touchdown and then Ricky had a catch down in the red zone. It is tough when you lose a guy like that because he is a monster in the mismatch world, having him line up in different spots seeing how they are going to play him. If they are going to play him man, who are they putting on him? Different stuff like that. It is tough losing him, but I think our tight ends played well. As we continue to realize who they are, I think we can use Ricky as somebody like that and somebody similar to one of the receiver type and just play to their strengths.”


On if the Browns offense was always going to be a work in progress with new the personnel and system:

“No, we expected to have success early on. We did not expect it to be easy. I think that is the frustrating part is we wanted it to be easy but now we really know. It is not. People are going to gameplan, they are going to have a certain strategy for us and we need to be able adapt. Talent is not going to take us there, and we just have to do our job.”


On why his completion percentage is lower when he has to hold the ball:

“Anytime you are having to hold on to the ball or if I am just holding the ball, that puts stress on the offensive. Asking them to block for that long against some of the teams that we face and some of the fronts, that is stressful for them. Timing the quick completions, easing that rush early on and wearing teams down is something that I think we are continuing to improve on and realize that we should be good at it.”


On how much attention he pays to Ravens QB Lamar Jackson’s start:

“I have been able to see some of his games just because of our later games early on. He has played great. They are doing a great job of putting him in spots where he is having success, getting the ball out, play action and just letting him play ball. You see some of the plays he is making in the run game. That is just what he has always been able to do.”


On if he considers potentially playing against Jackson in the division rivalry for the next 15 years:

“That would be great, yeah. That would be great.”


On if it is weird that Jackson has the entire ‘Oklahoma Rose Bowl’ offense:

“It is different looking over there and seeing a lot of the guys I played with. It is fun to watch those guys, knowing how talented they are and exactly who they are. Obviously, Lamar is a football guy, as well. That is why they are having success. You add in some of the pieces they have like (RB) Mark Ingram (II), they have a great squad right now.”


On if he watches Jackson and the Ravens a little bit more, given his familiarity with former Oklahoma teammates:
“Yeah, absolutely. I think anytime you know people out there, you are going to pay attention to it.”


On evaluating his first ‘full NFL season’ after starting his 16th career game and his progression:

“For me, definitely not the start I wanted to have this year by any means but doing certain things better than I did early on last year. I think the improvement for me was just continuing to eliminate negative plays. Obviously, some of the Titans game was a big one, having too many turnovers and too many sacks. I think just continuing on right now is eliminating it quicker.”


On how close is the Browns are to putting together a full game:

“I think we are very close. I think we are very close to putting together the game that our offense needs to have. Like I keep saying, eliminating the mistakes. Everybody doing their job on every play. Stuff is going to happen during the game and you are going to have to adjust, but I think we are very close.”


On the impact of WR Rashard Higgins not being available and WR Damion Ratley’s performance:

“Obviously, anytime you lose a guy that I had chemistry with, it is tough, but I think Damion has played great. Obviously, he had a few catches last week – some big catches, third down. I think he has done his job, and that is what we ask everybody to do, whoever is playing.”


On if he any sense of panic in the locker room, given Kitchens’ postgame comment that there is no need to panic:

“No, I think that is just something that he said. Like I said about blocking out the noise and like I said a couple weeks ago, throw us in the trash. It is realizing how close we are. The film is never as good as it looks and it is never as bad as it looks. It is really finding out what is going on, eliminating the mistakes and playing to our strengths. The defense is playing great. I said that after the game. It is our job to pick it up.”


On he is at his best when he is ‘thrown in the trash’:

“No, I do not think it really matters what goes on the outside. I just stay focused and everybody doing their job and things are going to run at our best.”


On who is the person coaching him most closely on a daily basis:

“Yeah, that would be my quarterbacks coach Ryan Lindley. The most individual time is with Ryan Lindley. Obviously, having Freddie around offensively and then (offensive coordinator) Todd Monken, as well, just kind of a balance but the most individual time is with Lindley.”


On if he has too many voices in his ear:

“It is on me. There is no other figures to blame. It is on me.”


On the coaching dynamic is different than last year:

“Yeah, it is different. There is a different quarterback coach, different coordinator and Freddie is the head coach. It is different.”


On significance of Kitchens taking ownership for any mistakes:

“Anytime you have a guy like that who has your back, it is very comforting. I just need to, I think to me, just let it loose and go play. Not be afraid of making mistakes and going out there and playing my game. Not hesitating and knowing that he has my back no matter what so I think that is important to have that respect from him.”


On if there are drastic differences in the Ravens defense compared to last year’s season finale, outside of new personnel:

“They are different in the sense of some of their guys do certain things better and some of them do not do… Like the secondary, you have (Ravens S) Earl Thomas that is replacing Eric Weddle. Those guys are great safeties, but they do different things well. Then up front, losing Smith and then Suggs, it is different. and Mosley, as well. Schematically, they are doing similar things but they are not doing consistently the same thing every time.”