Browns QB Baker Mayfield Exc ited for Upcoming Game Against Chiefs

On how he feels physically and how much his offseason conditioning from the past few seasons contributes to it:

“Tremendously. Obviously, getting your body right, that is the main goal in the offseason is to get physically and mentally ready to go for the next season. CJ (McFarland), he has been great. Unfortunately but good for him, he took a job in Baton Rouge at LSU as an assistant strength coach. Happy for him, but he has been great for my routine in the offseason and Angie (Asche of Eleat Nutrition) diet-wise has been unbelievable, as well. I was fortunate enough she went to school with Emily (Mayfield) and her older sister so I know them. It is great to have somebody like that who knows so much about nutrition.”

On where he feels his training and offseason work makes the most significant difference:

“I would say a little bit more quick-twitch, the efficiency in any of my movements within the pocket, throwing mechanics and any of that. I think Point A to Point B is going to happen quicker.”

On Emily Mayfield and his support system during the offseason:

“It definitely takes a village. There is no doubt about that. I have never been in it by myself. Going into workouts with your brother every morning in the offseason has been pretty fun and then coming home and having a home-cooked meals is pretty nice, too.”

On the Chiefs being the gold standard for the AFC:

“You said it, the gold standard. They have been top of the top in the AFC for the past decade or so. They are highly competitive so it is good for us to play somebody like that, but it is all about the next game. We are playing the Chiefs this week. Hopefully and obviously looking for a win, and then move on to the next one after that. You try and improve each week. This week, we are trying to do our job.”

On if there is a specific moment or play that has stuck with him from last year’s AFC Divisional Round loss at Kansas City:

“I think there are a bunch. We have watched the tape quite a few times. Just seeing how we were at the beginning, like I said, we have to do our job, not trying to do too much and that goes for everybody. Just do your job, be fundamentally sound and try to execute.”

On T Jedrick Wills Jr.’s development, given Wills said he was ‘trash’ at times last year:

“He said he was trash (laughter)? I think a lot of that was him getting used to just foot-work wise. He was a right tackle his whole life, and switching over to the left side and getting used to the fundamentals, that is tricky for him. I would not say that he played as poorly as he described. He is definitely a lot more comfortable and not having to learn a new system and terminology-wise of him knowing all those calls and being comfortable with it where he can just improve on the physical stuff, you see a big difference. He is ready to go.”

On the Chiefs defense:

“Obviously, they have been playing extremely well together for a while. They are forcing you to make mistakes and they are trying to do that and trying to get the ball out of your hand and makes you take chances. It is about doing our job and taking care of the football. They do a great job of creating mismatches and trying to get guys free on blitzes.”

On his offseason work with WR Odell Beckham, Jr.:

“Anytime you can continue to get reps and anytime you can go off of experience and speaking the same language, you are going to continue to see improvements. For us, getting those extra reps, talking about the fine details and finding the time to do that, that is extremely vital for success.”

On playing in front of a full stadium for the first time in more than a year and the challenges of playing at Arrowhead Stadium:

“Arrowhead is one of the more hostile environments in the whole league, and them being back at full capacity, I can only imagine how loud it is going to be. We have to know our gameplan inside and out to where if a guy does not hear complete calls, they know exactly where to fill in the pieces. We just have to be great at communication, getting lined up quick to where we have to change or fix something and we can do it efficiently. For our guys, it is just knowing the plan, doing your job and handling the adversity. It is not like we are going to be shocked by the environment. We know exactly what we are stepping into. We just have to do our job.”

On the excitement level for competition in Week 1:

“Anytime you are playing in the NFL, you are playing against the best of the best. For us, it is about playing the guy in front of us and doing our job. For us, we erased last year. We are trying to start from Game 0 and move on from there. We are trying to evaluate ourselves based by how we do our jobs and executing.”

On seeming to use his legs more later in the season last year and if that was a byproduct of being more comfortable in the offensive system:

“Yeah, I think it is comfort, going through the reads quickly, being efficient with it and also knowing how teams are trying to defend us. We did see some zones and man coverage a lot the back half of the year to where there were some lanes to scramble out. I think that is just us trying to eliminate negative plays and stay ahead of the chains. I think that is going to be another key emphasis for me, as well.”

On element WR Odell Beckham Jr. brings to the offense after missing significant time in 2020:

“Obviously, his catching ability speaks for itself, but I think people forget how truly fast he is and to be able to take the top off defenses. Safeties have to worry about that. Teams will have to defend it and pick their poison because we are a physical, run-first mentality team, and that is not going to change, no matter who we have out there at receiver. He adds an element to where teams are going to have to decide.

On having multiple playmakers on offense and determining who should get the ball:

“For me, it is just going through my reads. We are going to call the shots, and (Head Coach) Kevin (Stefanski) is going to get those dialed up when he feels comfortable in doing so. For me, it is just going through the reads and not forcing anything, and much like the mentality I had the second half of last year, find the open guy, go though my reads, trust the system and go through my progressions every play.”

On if he has noticed any changes in Beckham since the first time they played together, including Beckham’s approach and fit with the team:

“He cut his hair, and it is not blonde anymore (laughter). No, I think there is always a picture that wants to be portrayed about him. We have talked about it quite a bit. He is a very passionate guy when it comes down to football and competing. He wants to win. He is a guy who once he is in your locker room, you appreciate the passion and drive that he has. There has not been a whole lot of change.”

On if the loss to the Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Round provided any additional fuel to the offseason:

“I think that is always something that is in the back of your mind. It is the last time you stepped foot on the field for real, and just knowing if you win that game, you are in the conference championship and the next game the Super Bowl. Just knowing how close you are to that and all of the little things matter. For us, as we continue to talk about our goal this week is to do our job and focus on that, and it is all of the little things matter.”

On the importance of hitting the ground running out of the gate to open the season:

“That is the goal. Like I keep saying, it is just about us doing our jobs. We have the bread and butter, the fundamentals and the schemes we are good at, and we need to keep building off of those and do extremely well. When we have our shots, take advantage and no negative plays. It is about doing our job efficiently. Hopefully, we do hit the ground running. That is the goal.”

On if there is a lined football field at Yellowstone:

“There is. I think No. 12 down at Tampa Bay (Buccaneers QB Tom Brady) had something to do with that.”

On how the Chiefs’ offense in the past few years has changed how the entire NFL plays and approaches the game:

“They play fast. They are so heavily based on mismatches, getting guys open and formatting stuff to look similar and to have some creative ways week in and week out to make different plays but they all look similar. I think they are just very innovative in the way they call the game. Obviously, (Chiefs QB) Patrick (Mahomes) has done a great job. They have some great athletes who are making a lot of plays. I think it is making teams get up to get lined up fast and pick their poison of how they want to defend them, and I think you see that around the league.”

On RB Nick Chubb being disappointed in his own performance during the AFC Divisional Round game and if he has seen that motivate Chubb at all this past offseason:

“You can tell – not that his body language is much different than anytime – he definitely has a bit more hunger and is ready to roll. He is definitely more vocal this year, which I think he has been eager to get back at it. I would say that is the biggest difference.”

On if it is somewhat shocking to hear Chubb be more vocal this year:

“It is. I told him I just want one free Chipotle burrito off of his deal, and that is about it (laughter).”

On how the trip to Yellowstone with teammates came together:

“Anytime you can spend more time off of the field, it builds chemistry. Obviously, that three-day mandated time off from the league, just a chance to get away, do it safely and not exactly being around a whole lot of people. We will benefit from that just based on bonding and that time off of the field.”

On if the feels like members of the team are closer together than in past years:

“Absolutely, just based on the fact that we are able to be around each other. You are going to see improvement just because of the trust, the open communication and all of the things that we are able to openly talk about.”

On Browns players stepping up as leaders of the team in recent years:

“That is what you want to see. I think our coaching staff would say the same things of they are creating a baseline and they want to feel comfortable enough to let us run with it, take ownership and have accountability within the locker room and have that strong leadership. We want to have that. That is the kind of team that we have. That is why I keep saying that the people who we have brought in and the pieces culture-wise, it has been great for the team and for the franchise. It needs to continue to head that way, and that is one of my biggest jobs.”

On how he feels physically and mentally entering this year compared to last, especially given the continuity on offense:

“I feel great about where we are heading into Week 1 compared to last year, just because of having that communication with Kevin and AVP (offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt) about game plan wise, thoughts and suggestions whereas last year I was still learning and getting some of those live reps with some of the schemes we were doing. For me, obviously, far ahead of where I was, and I think I would say the same for everybody else, as well.”

On if he, teammates and their families spent more time talking about life than football when at Yellowstone together:

“We did. We did. We played a lot of card games and some competitive things. It was great. Those are the type of things you remember and you look back on. Those trips, you look back on and enjoy the year because of the friendships and the bonds that you have.”

On the challenges of preparing for a team in Week 1 when you do not have immediately recent film from previous weeks to review and gameplan:

“I think that goes with any Week 1 and the first couple weeks of a season. You are going to see what they want to put on tape in preseason games, but you have to go through and trust your eyes and trust your rules and the base fundamentals. When you get back to the sideline after seeing a new look, adjust and adapt. It is about eliminating negative plays early, adjusting and seeing how they want to attack because every team is going to have different schemes and things that you have not seen before. That is just the nature of the game. We have to be prepared to handle it correctly.”

On if DE Myles Garrett has opened up and been more vocal as a leader:

“MGTV has changed him – he has his YouTube channel (laughter). He has definitely come out of his shell a little bit. Not that I think he was ever too quiet of a person, I just think you had to be pretty close to get to know him. It is good to see Myles wear his personality on his sleeves and for people to see that and the caring human being that he really is off of the field. On the field, it is a different story. Happy for Myles and him showing that personality.”

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