Skip to main content

Baker Mayfield hard on himself in the film room after 'worst loss I have ever had'

Baker Mayfield was quick with an example as he talked with reporters after Wednesday's walk-through. Off the top of his head, he rattled off a wayward pass he threw Jarvis Landry's way as an example of the kind of throw he knows he has to make as the leader of Cleveland's offense.

Clearly, he'd spent the past 48 hours watching clip after clip of his toughest performance yet.

"I think it is a lot of getting back to the fundamentals, making sure that I do great on my progression reads and then on the shots that we are taking, if they are not there, getting off of them quick and getting the ball out," Mayfield said. "It goes back to getting it into the playmakers' hands. I talked about that. Now, it is time to actually do it, getting it into their hands and letting them work."

The opportunity to bounce back can't come soon enough for the Browns offense and Mayfield, who will look for redemption Sunday against a Buccaneers team that has surrendered plenty of points and yards through the air but has kept games close with one of the league's most potent passing attacks.

Needless to say, the 12 and 14 points Cleveland's offense mustered in its past two games probably won't be good enough if the team wants to rekindle its winning ways.

The Cleveland Browns will play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 7.

Mayfield said he's very hard on himself during film review sessions, win or lose. He was especially so after an uncharacteristic performance that included a completion percentage of less than 50 percent, two interceptions, five sacks and one of the most lopsided results of his entire football career.

"Any loss like that hurts. That is the worst loss that I have ever had," said Mayfield, who lost just six times in his three seasons at Oklahoma. "You have to push forward and just have to do your job, and you will find out what this team is made of. It is never about the week before or if you win or lose – it is how you react from it. Coming off of a loss, we will really see what this team is made of."

For Mayfield, that starts with righting the wrongs of last week and leading the charge for a Browns offense that not so long ago scored 42 points in a game even while turning over the ball four times. The Browns have taken better care of the ball in the past two games but have found the end zone just three times -- the last of which coming when the result was well sealed against the Chargers.

The Chargers, of course, had a hand in Mayfield's performance, as they covered up his targets down the field, brought effective pressure from their interior linemen and bottled up Mayfield inside the pocket -- minimizing the game-changing ability Mayfield possesses when he rolls out and makes something out of nothing from broken plays.

Still, there are ways Mayfield believes he can thrive in the face of similar looks from the team's upcoming opponents.

"When it comes down to it, I was not drafted here to run around and do things with my feet. I am not fast so I have to be able to throw from the pocket," Mayfield said.

"I have always said that you can never defend a perfect ball. Even if the guy is covered, if you can put it where only he can reach it, kudos to the quarterback for that. Do a good job of that and then finding my checkdowns. If they are covering people down the field, have to get to the check-down. If not, throw the ball away or make a play."

That chorus was echoed Wednesday by coach Hue Jackson, who stressed the players around Mayfield need to step up to put less on the rookie's shoulders. Still, he likes "the fire" and dedication to improvement Mayfield has shown as he looks back at a start that didn't go as planned.

"He is very critical about the little things. I think that is where it is going to start for him. It is the little detail things," Jackson said. "I do not want him taking all of it on his own. We have to help him. He teammates have to help him. He has to help himself. He has to continue to get better. But, I do like the fire that burns in him."