QB Baker Mayfield (9.9.20)

QB Baker Mayfield:

On how eager he is to play and see what the offense looks like in a regular game season game, given his comments on his play last year: 

“It has nothing to do with last year. I am just excited to get back out there again. It has been a long time since we have been on a field playing football. Without the preseason games, we have been going against each other for a long time so it will be good to go up against somebody else.”


On the impression NFL teams with new offenses and new coaches may start off slower than usual due to the changes to the offseason and training camp: 

“That could be an excuse if you wanted to use it, but we are not doing that. We know what we have to do. We have installed everything. We are putting together a good gameplan, and we will have that ready to roll. Everybody just has to go out there and execute it. It is not about what’s happened and the adversity. It is about how you can handle those things. That is just our motto.”


On if improving his focus has been something he intentionally worked on or if it is something that has happened organically: 

“I think it is organic. I think the guys see when they come back – we had not seen each other in so long – the physical differences and all that and just the mental work of trying to learn this off and pick it up quickly. They noticed those types of things. I think it is organic.”


On if things potentially came too easily to him during his rookie season, given he has stated he wants to prove himself this year after last season’s results: 

“I would not say that. Good things happened and laid down a stretch when we had the coaching change and just kind of let it fly. Yeah, out to prove but to be much better than what I have shown in the two years prior.”


On if he has been able to improve in the past few weeks and if he has been able to take a strong step forward in learning the new offense: 

“Yes, I would have to agree. Improved over the training camp session, just based on it is one thing to learn the offense over Zoom meetings but then go out there and practice and rep it and really get a feel for it. Yeah, there has definitely been a lot of improvement.”


On the chemistry with the Browns offense: 

“I feel good about it. Like you said, it is an offense where there is a lot of accountability. You have to be where you are supposed to be and be there on time. The same goes for my reads. Listen to the footwork, go through the reads, trust that and trust that they are going to call plays to get the ball into people’s hands.”


On the importance of starting the season with a win against the Ravens, given the win at Baltimore early last season: 

“It is obviously a big game. Obviously, a very great opponent, but not only that, the division games, they count more when you look at the standings in the end. It is a very important game for us against a great team.”


On being only the sixth NFL QB to be drafted in the first round and play under three head coaches in his first three seasons and if that is a defining factor of his career thus far: 

“First of all, it is a wild stat. No, it is not a defining thing for me. Like I said, it could be an excuse if you use it, but that is not what I am doing here. Singular focus on this year and what we can do, and that is the ultimate goal so move forward.”


On if he has spent time watching the tape from last season’s win at Baltimore and if that is relevant to this week: 

“I think all tape when you play a division opponent that keeps the same coordinators is all relevant to see how they are trying to scheme you up to defend your whole team. Obviously, it is a new year, and not only is it new for us, but they have a lot of new personnel, as well. Yeah, you have a base gameplan, but since we do not have any preseason film to go off of, go out there, execute our plays and adapt.”


On the importance of being more accurate this year: 

“Completing passes is very important to getting the ball in the playmakers’ hands. I would say it is pretty important.”


On if he was satisfied with his accuracy during training camp: 

“There is always room for improvement. I have not gone perfect in a game yet so there is always room for improvement.”


On how much his accuracy relates to his comfort level with the new offensive system: 

“I think a little bit of half and half. Realizing that once you have the plans down, just go out there and execute it. It is not all new at a certain point once you rep it. Just go out there and execute it.”


On his pact with DE Myles Garrett to step up as leaders and how he views his leadership role: 

“I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. Myles and I being brought here the two years in a row just to be culture changes. To turn this thing around, it is not a quick process, but we both felt that we can do more and that we are definitely capable of it. It is not a burden. That is something that we are blessed with is to be able to be in a position to help turn this thing around. We took it upon ourselves to take responsibility, but we know it is not all on us. We have to lead and we have to show guys by example, but we have great guys around us that we can count on.”


On the gold bracelet he wears on his wrist: 

“It is a Christmas gift from my wife.”


On RB Kareem Hunt signing a contract extension and the RB tandem of Hunt and RB Nick Chubb: 

“I think we are all extremely happy for Kareem. Proud of him for the work he has put in and for the changes he has made. To be here in his hometown, everybody is happy for him. He is a vital part of our team, mentality-wise and culture-wise, but then on the field, obviously, his skills and his play speaks for itself. Just having a guy to help take some of that load off of Nick, but also at the same time, teams have to gameplan for both of them. They are two different players, two different runners. It is great to have those guys on our team.”


On Chubb’s leadership and his contributions to the desired culture change with the Browns: 

“Silent assassin. Does not speak much, but when he does, it carries weight. He has always been a guy to lead by example. That is just how some guys are. You do not want him to be anybody he is not. We are going ask him to do that, but we do not have to ask him; he does it every day.”


On how Head Coach Kevin Stefanski has impacted the Browns’ culture: 

“The accountability in the sense of I think everybody just has to do their job. The mentality of we are counting on everybody on this building, not only players but staff and everybody that has a hand in the pot to do their job to help us win, it is about winning.”


On if there is a higher level of confidence returning to Baltimore after beating them at home last season when it wasn’t necessarily expected externally: 

“No, to be honest with you, last year does not matter. They are a great team. The last part of that season, if you are counting that, they were on a roll. It is a new year, new personnel and new coaching staff for us. It is a clean slate on our minds.”


On the Ravens defense and secondary: 

“Obviously, you said it, a great opponent. You have good players all around. They are asking (Ravens S) DeShon Elliott, who is a guy that I played against in college, to step up and fill that role, (Free agent S) Earl Thomas is gone now. They have strong players in the backend. Not only that, they are pretty strong defensively overall. It is fun to watch and see how they were and I think for us to be able to go out there and react to scheme-wise, if they are any different, the things they change up so I am interested in seeing that.”


On his relationship with Baylor QB Charlie Brewer and Brewer’s family: 

“(ESPN beat writer) Jake Trotter might actually know more about that than I do (laughter). The Brewer family grew up in Lake Travis. (Former Texas Tech QB) Michael (Brewer) was the quarterback ahead of me in high school. He was two years older so I was always over at their house. A great family. Their dad played at Texas. Their uncle was an Oklahoma guy. A very football rich family and tradition is all there. Charlie was a youngster and kind of came into his own. Three or four years younger than me, I think four, but just always watched him and kept in touch with him. I actually talked to him a couple of days ago. He is doing well. I am happy for him to be able to get out there and play another year.”


On how high Brewer’s ceiling could be: 

“As high as he wants it. I think there are enough guys that are around our size to prove that it does not matter how tall you are, but the production speaks for itself. I am hoping and praying for a great season for Charlie to be able to take that next step to the next level.”


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