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Burning Questions

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12 questions for rookie QB Baker Mayfield

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield won't treat this opportunity any differently than the ones before. 

But to be sure, the rookie is looking forward to making his first NFL start in Thursday's preseason finale against the Lions. 

While Cleveland's first-team offense and defense have the night off, Mayfield -- the first overall pick in the NFL Draft -- will try to end a promising offseason on a high note. caught up with the Browns' signal caller of the future. Coming into the final preseason game, what's your approach to what you want to accomplish tonight?

Baker Mayfield: I think it's a good opportunity for me to go out there and start and set the tone for our offense and the rest of the team. I think what I want to accomplish? Getting the ball out quicker, taking care of the ball and just making sure we're all the same page and we're consistent. We played well at times, but we need to put it all together. How would you describe your comfort level now compared to when you were out there for the first preseason game?

BM: Much more comfortable now I think because we're not installing new stuff, we're going over our plays again and again. Any time you get more experience, it's better for you and I'm much more comfortable now than I was then. Looking back at this entire training camp as a whole, the common answer I've got from a lot of rookies is they don't anticipate it being this long. Has this been a long process just building up to the season and how would you describe your progress throughout it?

BM: I would say that camp has felt long, but I'd also say this whole year has felt very long. Just going through the whole draft process, all the visits and what not, it feels like that's all been a long time. That doesn't help when you're having to come here every day practicing and playing against the same people, that's why it's so much better when you get to compete against others guys. Have you had a chance to catch your breath? 

BM: For a few days on summer break. That's it. What did you do to unwind? 

BM: I just honestly love family time, any quality time. Just relaxing, just stepping away from the game because I think that's important. Some guys take this so seriously — and it's a job, rightfully so — but if you don't take a step back, you kind of lose yourself because it's our job. It's not who we are, it's what we do. I think it's important to always remember that. What's it been like working with offensive coordinator Todd Haley through camp?

BM: It's been great. He's a guy that's been around some of the all-time greatest to ever play this game, so any little tips of advice he has are awesome to listen to and just noticing how he does everything with a purpose. There's always reasoning behind his actions, so it's been good to watch. There's been a lot of from Todd on how this is one of the better QB rooms he's been around. This is your first, but what's it been like to be around Tyrod Taylor, Drew Stanton and Brogan Roback?

BM: It's a great group. I've heard many a time it can be a little bit different when you mix in egos but our room is great. I've got two veteran guys in there and Brogan but the veteran guys help us out so much. Ty goes about his business. He's quiet, what you see is what we see. He's down to earth, humble and just works really hard and knows his stuff. That's awesome to be around. And Drew, he keeps it light but then you realize he's been in the league for a long time and there's a reason for that. He helps us along when there's times that Ty is doing his job. So it's great to have two guys like that who care about this franchise and care about us playing well on every front. I know you're not going to class anymore so that's out of your routine, but what's the biggest change you've had to make to your day-to-day routine now that you're in the NFL?

BM: I think it's just about managing your time, knowing that this is your full-time job. You've got to be prepared. theres not nearly as much mandatory film and stuff like that with your coaches where they prepare you. You just have to make sure you study and put in the extra time. I know that the passing game hasn't been what you guys wanted the past couple weeks but the running game has, how much potential do you see in that group?

BM: Any time you can run the ball it sets up your throwing. That's the attitude we want to have and also, with our division, you've got to be able to run the ball when they know you're running it. So being able to do that and set up play-action. But it also gives our receivers one-on-one chances to make plays against one-on-one coverage. So if we keep running the ball, we'll progress in the passing game. What you have thought of building chemistry with some of your playmakers, getting the chance to work with Jarvis Landry and the first-team offense last week?

BM: It keeps getting better every day. That just comes with experience. I'm happy with where we're at but not satisfied right now. We've got to keep progressing through the season. You don't want to peak too early and make sure you're getting better each week. What's going to be your routine or plan once the practice schedule kind of changes getting into the regular season?

BM: Take it one day at a time. Right now it's about the Lions and then we'll start preparing for Pittsburgh next week. This is going to be your last opportunity with a lot of these guys who are fighting to make the roster. How special does this make that last opportunity for some of those guys? 

BM: It's crazy to think about, it's a do-or-die kind of thing. For some of those guys, it's another opportunity for them to put something on film. It's not the end but they're giving themselves a chance to get picked up somewhere else with what they do this Thursday. I'm excited to be a part of that. Any time I can help some of these guys that we've been through the grind together, I'm happy to help out. ​

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