WR Rashard Higgins (12.10.20)

WR Rashard Higgins:

On QB Baker Mayfield’s slide into the red carpet TD celebration:

“That was pretty impressive. I am not even going to lie, it might be the most athletic thing I have ever seen him do, no lie (laughter). It was pretty nice, though.”

On Mayfield’s performance in the first half of the Titans game:

“I have been telling you that Baker is in for a big season. He is not impressing me. I know he can do it. That is what we look for out of our quarterback. He is our leader. We look to him to get everything going. He has done a hell of a job of leading right now. We are behind him 100 percent, win, lose or draw.”

On reports about a potential contract extension with the Browns:

“I have not heard anything from my agent about any contracts yet. I am just going to continue to work, put my head down and do what I have to do to help this team win. I would love to be here. Other than that, I just want to win games. Onto Baltimore, and we have a mission ahead of us.”

On his chemistry and relationship with Mayfield and how that has helped him as a WR:

“What me and Baker have is special. You see that. We put the work in day in and day out. Him knowing what I am good at, but overall, him putting me in position to win. There are routes that he knows that I am good at, and we have those plays in. That is where (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski comes into play. He knows my strengths, and he plays to my strengths. That is where I see my role in this offense. As I evolve and I start doing good in the offense, it is because Coach knows me now. He knows what I am good at. Baker at the end of the day, he puts it on the money. If someone is above me, he puts it behind me back shoulder or whatever. He gets me open at the end of the day. I make him look good, and he makes me look good.”

On if big performances and big games means more to him after experiencing difficult seasons with the Browns:

“Yeah, I want to get to them playoffs. I want to see what it feels like. I have always asked friends that were before my time and guys that have been here. When (former Browns WR) Taylor Gabriel went to the Atlanta Falcons and then he went to the Super Bowl. I just asked him, ‘What does it feel like?’ I always want to be in that moment. Whatever I can do to help this team get there, I am all for it. I want to go to the playoffs, I want to win games and I want to see this team prevail and overcome the 0-16. I have been here, and to hell with losing. It is not fun. It is not fun at all. To see the other side of losing, it is amazing. It is a hell of a feeling having nine wins right now.”

On how he kept faith in himself through ups and downs of his career:

“I always have faith in God. When things got tough, I always looked up at God, and I never questioned Him. I just had patience. I had patience, and I kept doing the things that got me into the NFL. I keep working hard and keep catching the ball. One of my strengths is catching the ball. I might not be the fastest and I might not be the best route runner, but at the end of the day, I try to catch the ball and I try to catch everything that comes to me because I know that if I could do anything at the end of the day, just the catch the ball when it comes. I see coaches see that if we can count on him to catch the ball, then we can throw him out there and have the upmost faith in him in catching the ball and do it at a high level. I try to practice at a high level to let the coaches know this guy wants to be here, this guy is a professional, this guy knows what he is doing and he does it at a high level all of the time. I just try to always keep that mindset and know that people would die to be in my shoes. I know I would do anything to be in my shoes. You have seen (Former Browns WR Damon Sheehy-) Guiseppi when he was here. He was running routes in the pool. Just little things like that. Try not to be complacent. That is a good way to say it.”

On if his career experience and past records with the Browns make it sweeter for him to enjoy the current success:

“It makes everything much sweeter, way much sweeter, knowing that I have been patient and that my time has come now. So what it took longer than I expected, it still came and I worked my ass off to get here, and I am not going to stop working.”

On progress he has seem from QB Baker Mayfield:
“The type of growth that I have seen in him, he is more comfortable than he has been. With a new coaching change, we all get a fresh slate. To be a leader with a new head coach and to show everybody this is the new Browns. ‘This is what I am. This is what I have become. I am somebody that belongs in this league. This is my team, and I am here to show you all that I can do this.’ That is what type of leader he is.”

On if he has seen Mayfield change in the last five or six games as a passer and decision-maker with no interceptions: 

“That goes with film study. That goes with what he is doing at home and how he is going about things. That is Baker being smart, him maturing and being a quarterback. We expect him to do his job at a high level, and he is doing it. He is doing a hell of a job.”

On how Stefanski has learned what players like and do best to put them in those positions: 

“I feel like he goes to each one of the coaches and just asks them, ‘What do you see this guy as? What do you see this?’ Little stuff like that. You guys ask him when he comes up here on the podium.”

On if there are parts of the Browns offense that could not have been learned until the team was together on the field and played games, particularly given the virtual offseason: 

“Once we started getting on the field, we started honing down on little things. Virtual was kind of hard in the offseason, just trying to pick up on all of the plays. Cleveland had not signed me yet so I was still three weeks in and not knowing the playbook and trying to catch up. I was kind of behind. Once we started getting out here to the field, the coaches held us responsible because it was like, ‘You guys had time. You guys are professionals. You guys should know what to do when you come out here. Of course, you are going to make some mistakes, but you should know what to do when you come out here.’ The coaches trust us.”

On what the postgame locker room has been like following wins this year: 

“There is a lot of excitement. I will say that, but there is still this feeling in the locker room of like, ‘You know what? Yeah, we won, but we still have not accomplished anything yet.’ That is how I want to answer that question. That is how it is.”

On if he does not allow himself to get excited about the wins and playoff possibilities and focuses on the moment: 

“I try not to be complacent. We still have a lot of games left. Big games ahead of us just because they are the next game. Try not to overlook anything. Anything can happen with these four games left. Just keep knocking at the door and keep chopping wood.”

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