Burning Questions

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13 questions with Baker Mayfield, who can pinpoint when this year’s Browns came together

Baker Mayfield can commiserate with you, Browns fans.

Cleveland’s quarterback agrees. This has been the longest offseason ever.

That ends Sunday, when Mayfield and the Browns host the Tennessee Titans at FirstEnergy Stadium. He’ll be front and center for what’s expected to be a wild, fun day by the lake.

ClevelandBrowns.com caught up with Mayfield after the team’s final practice of the week.

CB.com: Fans have been waiting forever for Sunday. How’s it felt on your end?

Mayfield: It has felt like a long time but, you know what, that just means everyone’s ready and anxious to get back at it. It’s finally here. It’s been a long wait but it’s an exciting time right now.

CB.com: You were named a team captain Friday, the lone representative for the offense. How does it feel?

Mayfield: Exactly like you said. It’s an honor, a humbling thing to be voted on by my peers and have the respect of them. It means a lot to me.

Check out photos of the Browns 2019 captains - Baker Mayfield, Christian Kirksey, and Charley Hughlett

CB.com: Was it a personal goal to become a captain?

Mayfield: A little unexpected just because it was a last-minute thing Freddie (Kitchens) did for us in a team meeting. Just like with anything I do, title or not, I strive to be a leader on this team.

CB.com: When did you learn you were a good leader?

Mayfield: I think it’s something I realized over time, just having people gravitate toward me just based on the passion and energy for the game I have and trying to be relatable to people.

CB.com: Over the weekend, this team went from 90 players to 53. What do you like about the guys who are making up this roster?

Mayfield: It’s a business. It’s tough seeing some guys go. We’ve got guys calling the shots. They know what they’re doing so we’ve got to trust that. We know we have the guys in this locker room, and that’s all that matters now. We’ve got to trust they’re going to do their job and we’re going to be surrounded by guys who are very capable of playing and doing well in this league. What it comes down to is everyone doing their own job and trusting everyone else to do it as well.

CB.com: What do you like most about this version of this team right now?

Mayfield: I think we’re really together right now. Now that it’s finally here, we’re ready to go out there and prove what we are. We’re tired of the outside noise, we’re tired of everybody else trying to put a label on us. We’re ready to go put one on ourselves.

CB.com: How does a team come together like that during training camp?

Mayfield: I think there’s certain moments or events that happen that bring a team together. To be honest with you, traveling to Indy in the middle of training camp and practicing against them brought everybody together. Going on the road and practicing against them was great in front of their fans. Kind of an away game type scenario and just being able to come together then.

CB.com: When did things really start clicking on offense during the preseason?

Mayfield: When we started getting more guys out there and having Freddie around and just being able to diagnose and everyone hearing the same language. It’s been a process over time but we’re clicking now.

CB.com: Quarterbacks coach Ryan Lindley has said he wants you to take ownership of this offense. What does that entail?

Mayfield: To be able to feel freely within the game week, taking the plan up there and talking through it with the coaches and making sure we’re on the same page. I say what I like and then relay it to everybody. You make sure all the little details are covered, the expectations are set on routes and concepts and where we think the ball’s going to go. Everybody has to do their job.

CB.com: What’s it been like this week seeing the offense at full strength?

Mayfield: There’s been some explosive plays. What it comes down to is me just doing my job and not trying to do too much, trust that I’m surrounded by guys that are more than capable of doing their job very well and trusting them.

CB.com: What do you like most about this quarterbacks room?

Mayfield: It’s a very open room. There’s respect in the whole room. Garrett (Gilbert) has been in a lot of different offenses and his knowledge of the game is great. Obviously, Drew (Stanton) is going into his 13th year, so he knows the game of football very well. He also knows how Freddie wants to accomplish things. That being said, it’s a very open forum in meetings and then you add in our coach, Ryan Lindley, who played with Drew and under Freddie in Arizona. It’s a very open room about how we view things. It’s a healthy dialogue. You can’t have sensitive skin in that room. You’ve got to be able to take stuff and roll with it.

CB.com: What do the Titans do on defense that makes them tough to face?

Mayfield: They’re a very savvy group. Obviously with (Coach Mike Vrabel) being a defensive coach, he has them doing great looks and disguising things. They can make it look like one thing and completely show another. It’s hard to get a bead on them. We’ll see if we can. They do a good job of rolling through their coverages and blitzes.

CB.com: You were around for some really good moments at FirstEnergy Stadium last season. The atmosphere is expected to be on another level Sunday. What goes through your mind thinking about that.

Mayfield: It’s obviously exciting. That’s why it’s felt like a long offseason because the fans are so excited as well. I’m expecting high energy in that stadium and for the defense be able to feed off that, offensive playmakers feed off that, but I’ve got to be able to hone in and get our guys focused and doing their job.

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