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Browns QB Baker Mayfield conference call - 4/27

Posted Apr 26, 2018

The No. 1 pick talks with local reporters

On being the No. 1 overall pick and how he won over the Browns:

“First of all, an unbelievable feeling, a surreal feeling; something that I only could have dreamed of and actually becoming a reality is amazing. I am so thankful that I am here. Throughout meeting and talking with the coaching staff, they were a great group of guys from the management to the owners. Just being around them, being myself and being upfront about the mistakes that I have made and what I have learned throughout the process. Also, the one great part about the interview process is that you get to sit down and talk football and show what you are capable of knowing as they quiz you on certain things. It has been great.”

On being told he would back up QB Tyrod Taylor after stating at the combine he didn’t want to sit:

“For me, I know exactly what they said and exactly why they said that. That is a veteran that has been in the league, a guy that I can sit behind and learn from. When I say those types of things, it is because I am competitive. If I came in with the mindset of just being happy that I got drafted and just to settle for a backup job, that wouldn’t be myself. I am going to come in and compete but also with the hunger to learn from a guy that has been in the league that has seen things that I haven’t seen. I have said multiple times that the best things that happened to me throughout the process at Oklahoma was sitting the year after I transferred. It was a great year for me to be on scout team, to learn from going up against great defensive coaches in Coach Mike and Bob Stoops every day in practice. I was able to develop things that I needed to with my body and my mind.”

On keeping the chip on his shoulder after being selected No. 1 overall:

“It is a fresh start for me. It is kind of the same thing, I have not done anything yet. It is a blank slate. Right now, I am not going to get complacent. I am getting a fresh start in Cleveland, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.” 

On if he believed the Browns could draft him in the pre-draft process after saying the Browns should draft him:  

“Oh, I absolutely did. I would not have said that if I didn’t mean it. I enjoyed meeting with the coaches. I wanted to be a guy that comes in and helps change the culture of the locker room and be a positive energy and be a leader on matter what the playing time looks like. I just want to be able to help the team win and strive for greatness.”

On being brought to tears after being selected No. 1 overall:

“Fifteen minutes prior to that, I had been looking around my house and seeing who I was surrounded by, people from all different stages of my life who have helped me get to get to where I am. It brought out all of the emotions with the tough times that we had went through and the good ones. To think that they were all there in that moment for wherever was going to be the fresh start, it was then a whole lot of emotion packed into one phone call so when he asked me [if I was ready to be the No. 1 selection], it was an emotional thing for me.”

On is relationship with Dorsey and their back and forth related his off-field incident, given reports that Dorsey ‘busted his chops’ about it: 

“It has been very entertaining going back and forth with him which makes it fun. He has been upfront and honest talking to me about my mistakes, and I have been upfront and honest about what I have learned from it and the fact that it shouldn’t have happened. It has been great. When you can have a relationship that is like that to where everything is out in the open, you are up front and there is open communication, it makes for a great relationship. For me, that is how this whole process has been. I got to sit down and meet with the coaches for the past couple of months has been a good experience.”

On the Browns drafting him No. 1 overall despite his height:

“It means the world to me. It shows that I have been able to show everybody or at least them that I have learned from my mistakes, I have grown up and I can be honest about those mistakes. I am just excited that I get to do that with them. It is a good relationship to have when you are honest. On top of it, it shows that it is not about your size; it is about winning, it is a mentality and leadership qualities.”

On his long-term goals, given an expectation the No. 1 overall selection is a really good player:

“I don’t know what the plan holds for me, but I have always been one that where I get settled in, I want to stay there for a long time. I am hoping that I can help be the start of something new for Cleveland, we can turn it around. For me, that means taking the right steps in whatever it is – being the best backup, being the best starter – whatever comes my way and being the leader that I always have been. It just means a lot because I know that the Cleveland fan base is hungry and deserves a successful team.”

On if he took note of the Browns acquiring QB Tyrod Taylor to ‘pave the way’ for him, given he cited Taylor specifically at the combine when asked about height:

“Not necessarily. It showed me that they didn’t care about that and that they cared about winning. At the quarterback position, between winning and leadership qualities, I don’t think that you could have two better things at the QB position. Those are definitely things that Tyrod does. That got me excited. That showed me that they have an open mind about it. Obviously, it has worked out now.”

On public comparisons to former Browns QB Johnny Manziel and him working to prove that is not the case:

“For me, I am here right now because I have been myself. Johnny and I are two completely different people. That is nothing against him, but what I have been able to do is be able to be up front and honest about who I am during these meetings. I am confident that I have shown that with this coaching staff and with the management and throughout the process. For me, moving forward, it is just being myself. I am not going to go out and try to prove that I am not Johnny. I am going to be myself. To me, that is going to take care of the rest.”

On the first impression Cleveland fans will have about him when learning about him:

“I hope that they are going to [see I love to play] because playing for a fan base like that, the loyalty and everything that comes with it, from what I have heard, it is unbelievable. For me, I am hoping it is going to be a mutual relationship.”

On why he could be the person to end the Browns’ long-term uncertainty at QB:

“It is a mentality. You come in and think about the past so that you can focus on the present and work for the future. For Cleveland right now, we are making the right moves. Tyrod and I, we are going to put an end to that list of the QB names on the back of the jersey.” 

On playing against DB Denzel Ward in college:

“He is an unbelievable player, a guy who has been obviously been great for them the past couple of years. To be able to move forward with him and to be able to be a part of that draft class with a great player from a great program, I am looking forward to it to go up against him in practice and grow and learn together.” 

On playing for Browns offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who has worked with many highly regarded QBs:

“It is great. He talked about what he wants to accomplish scheme-wise and why they were good at it. Also got to talk personnel. The great one’s that he has coached, it has been awesome to hear the different things that they did to progress and get better each day. I am looking forward to learning from him and finding my own niche and growing, and starting fresh with a guy who has obviously had a lot of success.”

On his leadership abilities:

“For me, it is the most important thing. If you can elevate the level of play of your teammates around you and not just the 10 guys around you and on the field at the same time but the defense and the special teams and even the coaches, if you can inspire and get people to play with a passion and a focus that they didn’t have before, that is the most important thing. If you can get guys to believe it and never have a doubt, no matter what the score is or what your record is, you can start something great.”

On his game and postgame at Ohio State last season and playing now with Ward:

“I’m looking forward to playing with Denzel, like I said, learning and growing with him. I talked about it earlier this season after it happened. It was an emotional win, one that I had burned in my memory after they can and had absolutely crushed us on our own home field. It was an emotional win. It shouldn’t have happened at midfield, but I am looking forward to hoping that I can change some of the eyes and opinions that [Ohio State fans] have. Now, we are all in it together.”

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