Browns QB Baker Mayfield on Getting Back to the Basics

On how he and Cardinals QB Kyler Murray were able to play together so well and seamlessly while teammates at Oklahoma:

“We were surrounded by great teammates, great scheme and obviously good coaching down there at Oklahoma. There is an extremely high standard. They try to live up to each day, and that is what it is. That is why it has been the powerhouse for so long and it continues to be that way. Kyler, it was pretty fun to have him in the same quarterback room. That is obviously a tremendous player. For him to be patient while I took the extra year and did my senior lap year, it was just fun. We had a great room and a great team, and there was a high expectation for us.”

On the competitiveness between him and Murray:

“Him and I are very different personalities, but he is so, so extremely competitive. He might show it a different way, but he is extremely competitive. I think that is another reason why he is where he is.”

On when he knew Murray could become the QB Murray is today:

“Texas high school football is a pretty big deal. Being from Lake Travis and he was at Allen, and he never lost a high school game. You would see clips and highlights from when he was playing. You could just tell he had it – the way he elevated his teammates , the way he plays and all of that. It has been that way since I had ever heard of him.”

On describing Murray in one word:

“Dynamic, maybe. I do not know. He has all his bases covered. He is obviously a tremendous athlete, but I think he sees and understands the concepts in space a lot better than people might give him credit for. He is able to take advantage of space because he is so quick, but he is able to dissect a defense.”

On if him and Murray helped get the best out of each other while at Oklahoma:

“Absolutely, I definitely think that. We still kind of razz each other back and forth during the offseason and keep in touch every once in a while. It is a healthy relationship for us. He is a great friend of mine so we were able to push each other and absolutely get the best out of each other.”

On what it was like to putting together back-to-back Heisman-winning seasons with Murray as QBs at Oklahoma:

“At that point in time, obviously, all egos were put to the side, and we were able to do some special things. He was able to play my senior year to put him in on some certain packages and do whatever it was going to take to win. Yeah, that is a time that when you look at our whole offense for those two years where he was there that it is pretty elite talent all around – offensive line, skill position, running backs, receivers and tight ends. We had a good group.”

On if there will always be an extra layer when him and Murray play against each other:

“With him, there is always something. There is always a little bit of trash talk. We see each other quite often in the offseason. Like I said, he might show it differently, but behind closed doors, he is quite the trash talker so do not let him fool you.”

On if there is radio silence between him and Murray this week:

“No, we will definitely catch up. I am sure I will hear it later on this week. He is probably working today, and he will catch me up later in the week.”

On if not finishing games is a concern and what needs to happen to finish:

“I think when you look at this past game specifically – I hit on it after the game – we left a lot of points on the board in the first half to where we would not have needed a late drive. To us, it is about execution. It always comes down that, whether it is the last drive of the fourth quarter or early on in the first half. You have to be hyper focused on those little details to be able to execute your offense no matter the circumstances.”

On if last week at the Chargers was his best game of the year thus far:

“I mean if you look at statistically, sure, but I care about one stat, and that is wins and losses, and we did not win so no.”

On if he mentally turned a corner after his performance last week despite not winning the game:

“No, it is still trying to produce a win, and that did not happen. That has been my key focus ever since I got here, and it is going to continue to be that way. Whether I am a great fantasy quarterback or… To me, I do not really care about that. I am trying to win, and we did not do that so I did not do my job.”

On the Cardinals being the only unbeaten team in the NFL and what the Cardinals have done to be successful, particularly on defense:

“They do a lot to be honest with you. They have a lot of mixed coverages, different fronts and different looks. They are making a ton of plays on defense. They are plus-five in turnover margin so they are making plays. They are flying around to the ball. You can just tell their effort. It just screams off of the tape how quickly they are playing and how they are playing for each other. Obviously, you have your guys who are really talented up front, there is no doubt about that. In the back end, you have (Cardinals S) Budda Baker who is flying around. He will be in one spot and make a play on the other side of the field. They are playing at a high level right now.”

On if the Browns having multiple injuries on defense adds more urgency to the Browns offense:

“No, for us, it is about doing our job each week. We have to be able to play complementary football. For us on offense, that just means going out and scoring touchdowns and not settling for field goals in the red zone, which we did not do nearly a good enough job last week. We have to fix those things. That is complementary football on our side of the ball. We have to do our job first and foremost. We will see how the game flows, but obviously, we know going into it they are scoring a lot of points and that is why they are undefeated.”

On Stefanski calling a couple of draw plays on third downs and if he would prefer to have the ball in his hands:

“Like I said after the game, hindsight is 20/20. Nobody said anything when we were in Minnesota before halftime and (RB) Kareem (Hunt) popped a 20-something yard run to convert on third-and-20. It is hindsight is 20/20. It is natural human instinct to want the ball in your hands and to have the last-play mentality, but it is over and done, and we are going to move forward.”

On if the draw on third-and-10 was the original play call or a check at the line:

“Yeah, that was the original call.”

On how TE David Njoku can build on last week’s strong performance:

“He needs to work on his stamina – he almost got caught down there in the red zone (laughter). David is a tremendous athlete. We are lucky to have him. He is one of those guys who you build the confidence with him, continue to get those reps and experience, and it is only going to go up, which is great for us. He is a dynamic player. I told you guys earlier in the year, he has come a long way in the run game. He is an extremely physical presence. Obviously in the pass game, he is an explosive player.”

On what WR Odell Beckham Jr. is providing the Browns offense despite lower statistics:

“For one, the run game, he was off the charts physicality wise. We talk about our identity is run first and we are physical team, and we are trying to finish people in the run game and dominate that. You go back and watch him in the run game, and he is physical. You do that, and then go look at (WR) Rashard Higgins’ touchdown and see how many guys are covering Odell compared to Higgy, and you will see exactly what kind of value he brings to us. Whether it is numbers on the outside or whoever wants to put a label on it, we are just trying to win ball games. However that comes, if teams want to roll coverage over the top, he understands that is going to happen. We have to take advantage of his opportunities when they are there because they are not going to come that often. That is the emphasis right now.”

On his conversation with Beckham about the drop on fourth-and-two:

“Just one of those where I kind of gave it a slight pump fake to the flat so he took his eyes off, and it just kind of crept up on him. It is just one of those things that it is a rare play for him to have one of those freak things. Just get better from it.”

On the Browns scoring 42 points and producing 530 yards on offense but if he still reflects on potentially needing to get Beckham more than three targets:

“I look back at the end of the game and say I need to do whatever it takes to win. There is not one specific thing that I have to do this or this. The opportunities we left on the board in the first half are ultimately what came back to bite us on offense and then not taking advantage of the last two drives.”

On how close the Browns are to playing a full complementary game after the offense performed well in Week 5 and the defense was strong in Weeks 3-4:

“For us, it is about putting that complete game together. That is the focus right now of doing your job on all three phases – offense, defense and special teams. We have shown flashes, whether it is defensively or offensively. That is just about doing your job each week and all three phases showing up to play and doing whatever it takes to win. We are capable of scoring a lot of points on offense, and we are also capable of shutting people down on defense. Obviously, you see how our kickoff team and the special teams are helping us out. We just need to put it together.”

On his relationship with former Browns and NFL QB Drew Stanton, given the CBS broadcast mentioned them during the Chargers game:

“Drew is a guy who was a veteran quarterback when I was drafted here. His role was to be my mentor, and he continues to be that, even though he is not being paid by the Browns. He is just somebody who I have a great relationship with. We talk about on the field stuff and off of the field. Just a great human being. He was just helping me out with – whether you want to call it accuracy – it was more of my fundamentals within throwing and just getting back to the basics, following through my throws and finishing towards the target. It is somebody who he has seen a lot of my reps and knows exactly what it is supposed to look like compared to what it was. Obviously, it helped out.”

On the Browns not losing back-to-back games in a season under Stefanski:

“Whether you want to call it how you handle adversity, challenges or bounce-back week and making corrections and all of that, we emphasize that. When there are mistakes and corrections to be made, you have to fix them. That is just part of doing your job. Fortunately, we have been able to do that. We need to handle that this week obviously at a very, very high level with a great team coming into town.”

On if the NFL fined him for his comments after the Chargers game:

“I am sure the letter is in the mail.”

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