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  • Writer's pictureJoey Jarzynka

Browns' QB Baker Mayfield Quotes 5/27/20


On if training during a unique offseason has provided any positive components and allowed him to focus more on football:

“There has been a lot of learning throughout this process. During all this, it has kind of made everybody go back to the just shear fundamentals. You can’t do so many complex drills and all the stuff you might and everybody might not have the same equipment, but we can teach the very base fundamentals of what this new coaching staff wants to do and go from there. I think that has been the best thing is essentially just getting back to the basics.”

On recently training with several Browns teammates in Austin and to ‘get the competitive juices’ going again:

“It felt really good, I will be honest. We did not have everybody. We did not want to bring some of the younger guys down to overwhelm them because we are not through our installs yet. We wanted them to still feel like they are getting used to it. We had nine guys here. It felt really good to get around them, to start speaking the terminology and for some of these guys to just to be around each other. I think that was a big thing for (TE Austin) Hooper to be down here and be around some of the guys. A lot of them were here last year, but it was good for everybody to be around, speaking the same terminology and just kind of hanging out during all this. You are kind of stuck at home, but we had a chance to get outside and throw a little bit.”

On his progress with adjusting his footwork and building new muscle memory at the recommendation of offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt:

“The big thing when he is talking about that essentially is changing my stance up in shotgun formation and putting my left foot forward, which I have never done. As you look at places he has been, (Cowboys QB) Andy Dalton did it in Cincinnati. (Packers QB) Aaron Rodgers does it in Green Bay. It is just a different rhythm and timing. It is breaking some of the habits that I have had for a long time, but I am getting used to it. It is just about repetition to be quite honest with you. You can drill it and you can get used to it, but that is why having the guys down last week was so great, being able to actually translate that to real timing on routes.”

On what Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry has done this offseason to improve the team, specifically on offense, and how much tape he has watched of Head Coach Kevin Stefanski’s offense when with the Minnesota Vikings:

“Looking at the grand scheme of things of what we brought in throughout the draft, trading, free agency and all of that, it seems like they are absolutely one message, one team. We have a gameplan for what we really want to try to accomplish, and it seems as though Andrew, Kevin and the whole staff have gotten on the same page personnel wise and probably wanted to accomplish that. Seeing the cut-ups and everything, we do have somewhat similar personnel to what Minnesota had with the strong running game and picking up (T) Jedrick (Wills) and (T Jack) Conklin as of recently for our run game to help those backs out. Just for the passing game and what Minnesota did, they had some good tight ends so having (TE) David (Njoku) still on board, (TE) Stephen (Carlson), a young guy going in and then also obviously Austin Hooper to come help out, with that as productive as he is. Personnel wise of what they have tried to do for the scheme and matching that up, they are on the same page, I will say that. For the whole team, we are bringing in guys that have the right mindset, that want to win and it seems as though they will do anything to have that accomplished.”

On challenges learning a new offensive system, especially without being in the building and on the field with coaches and the team:

“It is what it is. Coming out of the draft, I always thought I was able to adapt to whatever system I was going to be in. To be a smart player is something I pride myself on. It could be an excuse if I wanted it to be, but there is nothing wrong with getting knowledge from different guys that have coached and been around great players, if you can pick up something from all these different systems and put it all together. I know I have not had the success that I truly want to accomplish down the road, but if I can combine all this and play within the system that I am in now, that is when the good things happen. You can relate and you can react because you have seen certain looks before and you have seen reads before. It is the combination of knowledge. That is why having guys like Alex Van Pelt and Stefanski that have had so much success; then you bring in Case Keenum, who has played in that system so you can relate to those reads; and then also having a guy like (QB) Garrett (Gilbert) in our room, as well, that I can just bounce things off of, it is going really well right now. I am happy about it. It is not an excuse so that is not what it is going to be.”

On why he believes 2020 will be better than 2019 for him personally:

“I have a different approach to this year. I think everybody who has been interviewed on our team has hit the nail on the head over and over about it is time to work. It is time to do our thing, instead of talking about it. This is the first media thing I have done just because there is no need to be talking about it. It is just time to go do it. Right now, it is kind of moving in silence, which is fine with me. That is how I used to do it before getting on a bigger stage so I am happy to get back to those roots and like I said earlier, get back to the fundamentals to where I can accomplish the goals when the season comes around.”

On how motivated he is to prove himself in his third year:

“For me, it goes back to the mindset that I am comfortable and living in and that work-ethic mentality. I think that fits it. There is no doubt Year 3 is always a big year in these contracts. Timing wise, everybody knows that. I am not going to put any added pressure on myself. There is no need for that because if I win, good things will happen and good things will happen for our team and the guys around me. That is the most important part. That is why quarterback is one of the positions that is the hardest in sports. If I play better, our team is going to do better. I put that pressure on myself. It does not matter what year it is. I have to play better each year.”

On his early impressions of Stefanski and the offense during the virtual offseason program:

“Kevin is obviously an extremely sharp guy. He is able to relate to everybody That is one of the best parts about him and being around him so far. Just hearing his message, everything he does is with a purpose. It is a very deliberate message, and he has everybody believing in that on the staff. I think that is how the foundation should be set, and he has done an unbelievable job of that. Scheme wise with him establishing the run, everything he did in Minnesota and what that does for the rest of the game and opening it up in the play action, the pass game and also just controlling the clock, they were a very efficient team for the last few years. That is kudos to him.”

On if COVID-19 has changed him personally and potentially helped him better realize how important football is to him:

“Absolutely. Everything that we might have taken for granted when we were living in a non-quarantine life, I think we will look back on that when things do open up again hopefully soon and that we will take advantage of those opportunities. You only get so many [opportunities] in this game of football that I have been blessed to play. It does not last forever. To be able to take advantage of that and enjoy the moments, I think it is going to be good for me, getting back to that and having fun and enjoying the process of how to get to winning because that is the most enjoyable thing looking back on it. It might not be fun during the process, but then you look back, and you are very grateful for that process. I think it is taking us back to the basics, like I keep saying, but I think that is very true.”

On Year 3 being an important year for a QB’s career and some NFL QBs reaching the Super Bowl by that timeline, and if it is unfair to him that most QBs do not start their careers with three different head coaches:

“No, it is not an excuse for me. I said and I always have, the best quality about a quarterback is raising the productivity and the level of the guys around him. It does not matter what is going on. If I do my job, try to do that and accomplish that, then I am I am playing quarterback at a high level. Yeah, you are in Year 3, but the goal every year is to make it to the Super Bowl. If you do not set that goal, then you are playing for the wrong reasons and you are not playing to win. It is what it is. Like I said, it is not an excuse.”

On how his skillset matches Stefanski’s offense:

“I think it matches up very nicely with being in control, getting checks in the run game and just being efficient. Last year, I know, was not a great year for turnovers, but I have always prided myself on not turning the ball over. That is something in the conversations we have had is where we do take our shots, it has to be smart decisions and there is nothing wrong with throwing an incompletion every once in a while. Scheme wise, I think my skillset matches up to that very well and also how he is coaching it. I think it is going to be a great fit.”

On WRs Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry returning from injuries and surgeries and if the possibility of the two potentially being limited in training camp may be a hindrance early in the process this season:

“No, I think what we are doing right now in these Zoom meetings and these installs has created a great foundation for scheme wise being on the same page. I have enjoyed kind of sitting in and listening in on some of the receiver meetings with (pass game coordinator/wide receivers) Coach (Chad) O’Shea. He is a very sharp guy, as well. Those guys are working extremely hard after their surgeries for the rehab process. They look really good, and they say they feel really good. It appears that way. It is just a different mindset going into it. Like I said, I think they went back to the basics. They are ready to take over, and it is their time now. They know that. We only have so many more opportunities together. They are going to do it and everything for each other. I am looking forward to seeing the productivity they have.”

On the QB room including Keenum, who has succeeded in Stefanski’s offense, and how their relationship has developed virtually:

“I think that is a huge part of why I was looking forward to being around Case was that he was in this system so I can hear his thoughts on how it is taught and how he reads it. He has been in a lot of systems, as well, and it has not been an excuse for him. Just hearing how he visualizes certain things and certain reads has been great. He was able to come to the throwing session we had here in Austin, as well. He is down in Houston so he drove up. It was great for him to be around those guys, too. It was his first time meeting a lot of them, but he is a great guy and a great veteran guy to have in the room.”

On Beckham and Landry playing through injury last season and the impact on the offense, and the importance of both players being healthy this season for the Browns offense to meet its potential:

“Them being a little bit banged up – well, not a little bit; they had to have surgery – it definitely hindered them, physically obviously but the mental part of it and the frustrations that came from that I think affected it more. If you don’t feel like you are able to play at a certain level, that is frustrating. That is really frustrating if you are not able to physically do the things you are normally capable of doing. For them, I feel that frustration, but like I said earlier, they are taking advantage of this time to get better. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do this year.”

On if he is optimistic there will be a full season and if he is confident it will be safe to be playing a contact sport, considering COVID-19:

“I am expecting to have a full season to be quite honest with you. I don’t know if we will have anything in the offseason. I know there are rumors going around about a possible minicamp or things like that. I am staying optimistic because the world needs sports. We need to be safe with that in mind, but I think hopefully soon it will start to open up and we will have football back again. I know I need something to watch on TV right now. It would be great to watch the (NBA) playoffs in basketball. It is good to hear the news that other sports are attempting [to return]. That is the blessing in disguise about football having the later start to the season so we get to see how people handle it and how it goes before we really have to make any rash decisions.”

On player safety being a primary focus for a return to play, C JC Tretter serving as NFLPA President and what he believes needs to happen for players to be safe when returning:

“I think there are a lot of steps that people are taking now, washing your hands and doing all the basic stuff we have talked about with social distancing and helping out to just kind of clean the world as it is. As it continues on, there will be different steps that everybody takes just throughout everyday life. Once we get there down the road – I can’t predict what there will be, some better treatments and things like that – I am expecting a good process and for us to be able to open up. JC is in our locker room, and he is going to lead a great chart with the NFLPA.”

On how he is spending his free time to remain entertained when not preparing for the football season:

“I have tried to get better at golf. It is not happening. My efforts there, I have always been a high-effort guy. I am swinging hard still, but it is still not going straight. Other than that, I have tried to find some new shows. I enjoyed the ‘Tiger King’ and got back into ‘Ozark.’ We have been on the lake quite a bit. We are trying to enjoy the weather while we can. I am sorry [about the weather] for you that are in Cleveland right now. It has been pretty hot down here so have been getting outside, and a lot of board games to be honest with you – a lot of competitive board games that don’t always end in happiness, but it is good to keep that drive.”

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