Browns QB Baker Mayfield "We Want to Be Better"

On if he believes WR Odell Beckham Jr.’s father was speaking on behalf of Beckham with the social media posts yesterday:

“I can’t exactly speculate exactly as to who he was speaking on behalf of. I think a lot of it comes from his father’s perspective. I think you know obviously naturally he wants his son to succeed. I can’t blame him for that. I want Odell to succeed. That is where we were or at least so I thought. That is all I really have about that one.”

On if he has spoken to Beckham since yesterday:


On his reaction to the video Beckham’s father posted:

“I was probably just about as surprised as all of you were.”

On if this situation with Beckham is salvageable:

“I do not know. I thought we had a very open line of communication going into it so we will see. Like I said, more surprised than anything, as everybody was. We will see going forward. There is always room for improvement in any relationship so we will see.”

On if he wants Beckham back with the team:

“I would take anything to have a winning team right now. Our focus needs to be on winning. Anything like this and stuff that is created on the outside drama-wise takes away from the focus and attention to detail that we need to have, which is exactly the reasons why we have not been able to win. We have not executed well enough to be able to do that. I think a lot of this is frustration and tension that has built up because we are not playing how we should be, and we want to be better. We want to be better than .500, but that is where we are at right now. It is time to look in the mirror and handle those things internally because nothing on the outside is going to help us. It is only going not create drama, and that is just a fact.”

On how to prevent something like this from potentially dividing the team:

“I think this is definitely different than a normal sports media circumstance. It comes down to realizing our priorities. Our job is to go out there and do anything we can to win. We have to be focused because Cincinnati is playing well right now. It comes down to knowing where your heart is and knowing your teammates extremely well, and that is something I take an extreme amount of pride, and I truly care about each one of our guys. It is about that, and it is about me going out there and being able to do my job this week, focus on the week of practice, see what happens and then go out there on Sunday and execute.”

On if he has spoken to WR Jarvis Landry about the situation:

“I have.”

On if he feels good about his relationship with Landry going forward, considering Landry’s close relationship with Beckham:

“Yeah, he is extremely close with Odell. Like I said earlier, we all want to see O succeed. There is no doubt about that. We are just going to take it one day at a time. We did not get into too many details because I do not want to draw that line in between them at all. That is not what I am trying to do. Jarvis wants to win just as badly as I do. Those are the types of guys and the types of focus that we need to have right now.”

On balancing his focus for Sunday’s game and being a leader for the Browns while handling the situation with Beckham, as well as Landry:

“Unfortunately, this is a part of the job that is not a much fun. You want to try and eliminate the distractions and everything, but trying to get the best out of your teammates is first and foremost and I think the most important thing for me is trying to elevate the guys around me. Being able to get the focus back on football is extremely important. This is something that is very unique. There is not a manual for this one. There is not a handbook on how to navigate this besides talk to people, see how they are feeling about it and just keep it open because this is one of those things that like everybody can see, it can be a dividing thing or it can be a rally cry or whatever you want to call it. Case and point, we are a .500 football team, we have not done the things to win and that is where the importance needs to be.”

On if he could forgive Beckham and would accept an apology:

“Yeah, I think any sort of conversation would go a long way.”

On if he is hurt by Beckham expressing frustration through this avenue:

“Hurt? No. Surprised? Yes. I think there are different things that play a factor into it. I have had conversation with his dad before man to man, face to face. I was pretty surprised by the video and the intentions and the feelings behind it. I would be lying if I said otherwise. But hurt? No. I am good. I will be alright.”

On if he is surprised he has not heard from Beckham in the past 24 hours:

“No, I think there are a whole lot of stuff they are trying to figure out, like (Head) Coach (Kevin Stefanski) said earlier with (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager) Andrew (Berry) and their guys that they are trying to figure that out. We will see when the time comes.”

On if there needs to be a resolution as quickly as possible with important games ahead:

“Resolution? I do not know about that part. I think it is just need to [focus on the] task at hand. We are having to multitask right now. That is just the unfortunate circumstance of what is going on. We are having to multitask instead of just being able to focus on winning, and it has been created by something on the outside. We need to find a way to do that. We have had pretty big challenges before considering what we went through last year during COVID and having people out and having to be online during virtual meetings. This group has been challenged before. This is nothing different. This is a time for us to stick together as a team and not let anything else divide us. That is how I am going to handle it. I was brought here to do that, to bring people together and to win. That is exactly how I am going to handle it.”

On if he feels he has the trust and support from teammates in the locker room:

“I do. I do. Like I said, they know where my heart is. They know exactly what I do on a daily basis and how much I care for these guys. I do not have to verbalize that specifically because they can tell that with how I work and everything like that. I am not worried about that part. To me, it is about making sure that we are just all on the same page. I want to hear everybody’s feelings about it. I want to know that, and I want to understand. If somebody is going through it and they do not understand the situation, we need to have that open dialogue because obviously, this is one of those things to where it was not communicated well enough to where it has gotten to this point. I am here for these guys.”

On if he has that open dialogue with the team or if the team needs to have a players-only meeting to discuss the situation:

“I do not think there is going to be some ‘Oh, we need to have this. We need to have that.’ I think it is just if I can tell somebody is going through it, just have a conversation and just go about our business. We have to be professionals here. We have to still do our jobs, like I keep saying, and focus on these little details that we have not done well enough so far.”

On his reaction to an allegation that he was deliberately not throwing the ball to Beckham:

“Deliberately not throwing the ball to an extremely talented player who I have done a lot of work with is an opinionated statement – I will say that.”

On his work with Beckham to the side of practice and their time together outside of the building and how it has come to this point:

“I can’t exactly give you the full answer as to why, but I am here now, and I have to be the leader for these guys. We will see where this situation goes, but I have to do my job and lead. This is a bump in the road of adversity, and we are going to have to handle it and roll with the punches.”

On if he sees indications from the practice field or film that the Browns passing game can turn things around:

“I do. Like I said, it is little details and things that we have not done well enough. It has hurt us in big moments to get to this point. Like I said, there is a lot of frustration built up because we have not been as successful as we expected or we thought, but that does not change the work and the grind. These are all fixable things. Until halftime in Cincinnati on Sunday, we are not even halfway through the regular season. It is what it is, and we have to roll with it.”

On if he feels like he has done a good job of finding Beckham enough when open:

“There have been plays and things where he is not exactly the first read, which we talk about spreading the wealth around because we have a lot weapons. There have been throws that I would love to have back – we talk about the Minnesota game or just minor things. It is what it is. There are always things to get corrected. Now, am I going to focus only on him and force him the ball? No because that is not who I am and that is not how this offense operates. You saw that last year. That is how I am going to handle it.”

On if the Browns are planning to move forward without Beckham on Sunday:

“I was pretty much told exactly what you guys heard earlier [from Coach Stefanski]. I am prepared to do whatever. If he is back, then we will work through it and do whatever it takes. I can put my ego and pride to the side to win because that is all I care about is winning. If not, then we will roll with the guys we have out there, and those guys will know that I completely trust them and they will know that I am always here for them. That is the leader and that is the quarterback I am.”

On if he can trust Beckham moving forward:

“That is one of those things that once or if we address it then we will see, but I do not have the answer for you, though.”

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