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Press Conference

Baker Mayfield: 'I believe in this team'

QB Baker Mayfield:

On how he felt going into this game:

"Confident with the group that we have. I appreciate this team. I believe in this team. The group of people that we have, we have been building and improving as the season has gone on so I think we were all confident coming into this."

On what today's performance says about the team:

"We are taking it one game at a time. We are handling everything inside the building. We know there was a lot of talk of this game leading up to it, but we weren't worried about that. We were just worried about doing our job and doing it at a very high level."

On responding to the Titans' early score:

"When you play in a great game like this with two teams that can really run the ball, you go up and when a team scores and you answer right back, it kind of takes momentum away. Yeah, they do score, but when you score right back, they are like, 'Oh, we have to go do that again.' It is not just, 'We are still in this game.' It is a mental game, and we were able to make those plays early on in the game to be able to do that."

On if he believes the Browns 'are one of the elite teams in the AFC':

"I have not watched everybody else to know what the compete team is. We are just trying to improve week in and week out. That is all we are worried about."

On if it takes anything away from the first half for the final score to be so close:

"We have to finish better, and it starts with me, 100 percent. There is no doubt about that. It is tricky when you get up by that much of staying aggressive or calling the dogs off type mentality. You want to run the ball to take the clock away to give them less opportunities, but at the same time, you don't want to go away from what is working. It is tricky, but we just have to make those plays. Obviously, if I hold on to the dang football, then it is not going to be close or as close as it should have been."

On his toe-tap to stay in bounds on his reception and how much he works on that:

"Every morning, I wake up and toe-tap and get out of bed before I get into the bathroom. Before I brush my teeth, I toe-tap."

On why the Browns offense was so efficient in the first half:

"Great plays. Up front, the protection was great, and our guys were getting open and making those plays. It is a combination. Expect to come in and make some of these plays, and our guys are getting open. We base our gameplan and our style of play off the run game, but we are going to do whatever it takes to win week in and week out. In the first half, that was spreading them out and doing some things to take care of some empty space."

On how much pride h takes in having five consecutive games without an interception:

"I would be sitting here saying five games in a row with no turnovers, but I fumbled. Just taking care of the ball is the most important thing to me. It puts us in the best position to win. You look at statistically, teams that have the best turnover margin are the teams that have the best win-loss record. It is just that mentality of there is a fine line of being aggressive but also knowing the situation, pulling the ball down and checking it down. (Head Coach) Kevin (Stefanski) is calling great plays. We have great schemes. These check-downs are making plays. We have great athletes. Trusting those guys that if I dump a ball down in the flat or over the middle, they are going to make a play."

On the Browns defense making a stop on the Titans' first drive and how that impacted momentum:

"It is huge. Our defense played lights out. The defense and special teams – I know we had a few penalties – but for (K) Cody (Parkey) and that group to be perfect on the day and the defense to be able to shut the run game down to where we could get up by that much to where they were having to throw the ball, that was our most complete game. I know we did not finish the way we wanted to by any means, but in the first half, that was the most complete game or complete half that we have played."

On Stefanski trusting him and the Browns offense to throw the ball early this week:

"Those are the things that we have talked about, like after the bye week, going into it and looking at things that I like conceptually and things that he likes, how he sees it and getting on the same page. We are on the same page right now. That goes for (offensive coordinator) Alex Van Pelt and everything that we are installing and putting in week in and week out. It is just a very open line of communication. The fact that he trusts me that much makes me more confident. There is no doubt about that. We need to keep rolling. There are plays that we should have had. This game should not have been as close as it was so need to improve."

On if he had a turning point this week and set his mind to improving and being more of who he is and performing as he is capable:

"No, you do not want to play the mental game too much when you are playing quarterback. Just realizing what I am capable of, I have always believed in myself and I am not going to pay attention to BS. Just put my head down and work. The job is not finished yet. Playing confident, being who I am and not looking for any approval on the outside is how I have always been the best at what I have done. That is how I need to do it. I can't let people change me because somebody did it different in the past. I am who I am, and I have always said that so I am going to continue to do that and improve, but then also trying to elevate the guys around me. That is the one thing that I have always prided myself on is being a leader and getting guys around me to play harder. The thing about being myself, it needs to be authentic to be able to do that, and that is why I am doing that."

On if he has his 'Oklahoma swagger' back and looking more like himself:

"Winning is fun. Winning covers up a lot of things. Having everybody on the same page and moving towards the same goal is the biggest thing. I say it time in and time out, back in the spring and our foundation that we laid about our goals, we are all on the same page. When you get a group that is hungry, sees the same things and works for the same things, that is when it really gets special. We need to continue to get better because the job is not finished."

On if this was the best the Browns can play or the team can still play its best football in the future, given his comments after last week's game:

"No, I still think that is ahead of us. The first half was better than some, but we could have had touchdowns instead of field goals. I just think there are always plays you look back on. We won the game. We need to be proud of that, but we have to continue to improve because some of these plays that we can overcome may be the ones that cost us later down the road so we have to be able to correct those and make those big plays."

On what is different about him now as opposed to a month ago or last year:

"Whenever I am about to do something, I think, 'Would an idiot do that?' And if they would, then I don't do that."

On if he has a sense for how Browns fans are feeling right now with a 9-3 record:

"I would hope they would feel exactly how I do. We are going to be happy about this win until we wake up tomorrow, and then we are on to the next. This is not the end of the season. This is not what we set out to do. We did not set out to be 9-3. There is a lot of ball left, and we hope that way so job is not finished."

On his goals when coming to Cleveland as a rookie and if he is starting to accomplish some of those things, understanding the job is not done yet:

"A little bit. I think we are definitely trending in the right direction. I would be lying if I said otherwise. One of my best friends played fullback at St Edward's – fullback and linebacker – and I went to school with him at Oklahoma so I heard about the Cleveland Browns ever since 2014 and how much it means this place. I did not truly believe him until I really got here. It means a ton to the city, and then I realized when I got here, I was like, 'Wow, this is real. This is a passionate fan base that lives, breathes and dies football, and Cleveland Browns football at that.' I think it means a lot to them, but they need to reset their expectations because we all need to reset the standard. That is what I have been saying is there is a new standard and there is a foundation you have to continue to build on and improve. That is just the way we need to handle things, and I think we are trending in the right direction like I said."

On if the Browns saw anything in the Titans secondary that the team to believe it could be successful in the passing game:

"I knew they were going to give us some disguises. They are a great football team, but I believe in our guys. Whoever we are playing, it never matters. I believe in our guys, and we had a good scheme coming in to be able to attack some of these zones, and if they give us some man-to-man matchups, then we need to make plays. It is all about us right now, and that needs to be our focus."

DE Myles Garrett:

On how he felt today:

"The first quarter, I felt pretty good. After that, I felt pretty tired. I just had to push through it, try to make plays and be there when my team needs me."

On how he overcame the fatigue today:

"(Defensive line) Coach (Chris) Kiffin did a great job of taking me out and putting me back in on key downs where he felt like we should keep working in my favor or turn the tide. It was just a testament to them making the plays they needed to make when I was not out there. Getting back up and getting out there, I got a second wind and I was putting some pressure on the quarterback and making it a rough day for him."

On when the decision was made to play with five DL and the impact:

"That was from the very beginning. We were not going to allow him an open gap to run through or try to exploit everything that we were doing. Play five on five, and we just tried to hold the line of scrimmage and make it as tough as possible for them to get to the edge or find any leaks."

On if there was a mental element for him to overcome and play today:

"Not much. I did not feel like there was anything to get over, really other than physically. I was going to let my body rock, and whatever happens, happens. You would have to carry me off the field before I quit on my team and I am not out there on a crucial drive. Physically, it was wearing on me a little bit. I just have to get back and watch tape. This was a good one for that. We had the time of possession. We have to prepare for that for the rest of the season."

On consistently getting pressure when in the game and finally getting the sack:

"It felt like Aggie-on-Aggie violence (laughter). No, I loved it. I was glad because I was like, 'Man, I can't let him come out unscathed. I kind of have to be able to take something from him.' It was nice knowing that I was so close and got a couple of hits. I was free a couple of times and if was given another half second, I could have got the ball away from him. I just tried to add on to that and keep on having him thinking about me instead of guys down field."

On DT Sheldon Richardson's performance and the impact of Richardson's tackle on fourth-and-1:

"He was huge. He was huge today. That fourth-and-one, the stop, those were takeaways for the defense and that is momentum for the offense to go down there and put some points on the board. You can't understate that, what we do on our side of the ball to get back to them and put them in a good position to put us ahead. That is what they did. They did that all afternoon, and we came out the right side."

On if he feels like the Browns proved something with this win:

"I feel like all wins are statements. Everybody is paid in the NFL to do their job. No matter who you are going against, they are going to give you their best shot. We gave each other a good exchange, and we came out on the winning side this time."

On describing where the Browns are now with their 9-3 and the significance for Browns fans:

"We are 9-3. That is about as good as I can put it. Have to take it one week at a time. That is the record right now, and we are just hoping to be 1-0 after next Monday. Just do our best to prepare and get ahead on the next team preparation wise, film-study wise and doing what we can to know what they are going to do."

On if the win gives the QB Baker Mayfield, the Browns defense or the entire team a boost of confidence heading into next week's game against the Ravens:

"It is definitely something to build off of. We stopped the run today, and that is what they like to do. They like to play off of their run game and play action off of that. If we can attack them and make them one dimensional, and we have the guys to get after (Ravens QB) Lamar (Jackson) if he is back."

On if he feels proud when players like CB M.J. Stewart Jr. make big plays:

"I am proud of all my guys. Just being able to see them out there on an NFL field is an achievement in itself. Mot many get that opportunity to put anything out there. Him making plays does not surprise me at all. He does it in practice all the time. It just about getting your shot to make your name known, and he took it."

On if thinks about the 'dark days' of 0-16 following significant wins like today:

"I do not remember ever going 0-16. I am focused on this year. I will have time to recollect on what happens at the end of this season when this is over. Ride onto the success we have now and keep this train moving."

On when did he felt the most winded during today's game:
"I think we had a long drive before the half. I was quite winded then. I was trying to recover and catch my second wind with that second half and be a force."

RB Nick Chubb:

On the Browns offense getting off to a hot start today:

"It was great. I know (Head) Coach (Kevin Stefanski) has been on us about starting fast this past week. We came out hot, we came out ready to play and it showed."

On how effective the Browns passing game was today:

"I think both sides expected us to come in and run the ball. We have great backs on both sides. I think we used that to our own advantage. We were protecting our runs with the great play actions and throwing it over their heads. Every time we had play action, those guys were running up and biting. It worked out for us in the sense of using the run to work against them."

On what he imagines Browns fans feel like with a 9-3 record:

"I know they are excited. It has been a long time since Cleveland has had success like this and being 9-3. I know the fans are excited. It is for them. Even though they can't be here, we still appreciate them and we are still playing for them."

On if beating the Titans helps legitimizes the Browns first eight wins, given the Titans' current record and AFC Championship Game appearance last year:

"I think it does. I think people know that we are a good team now when we play well. That is what we did today. We came out, and we beat a good team. We have to use the momentum and keep going forward."

On he is ever surprised by Stefanski's aggressive play calls:

"Not at all. That is what he is. He told us he was going to be aggressive, and that is what he was. We had some trick plays, and we were going for it on fourth down no matter what. Whatever he says, he sticks with it."

On QB Baker Mayfield's performance, including four TDs in the first half:

"Baker was on fire. That is the guy that I know, and that is the guy that the Cleveland Browns know who he is. He came out and had a great game and led us to a victory."

On how long the Browns were working on the trick play with WR Jarvis Landry throwing to Mayfield and how fun it was to be a part of it:

"It has always been in our playbook. It is only a matter of time before we called it. It is situational football. I think coach saw a perfect chance to call it, and it was successful."

On the Browns OL's performance today:

"They are great. They are doing an awesome job in the pass pro and the run game. (Offensive line) Coach (Bill Callahan) stays on them and keeps them working, and those guys all bought in. They wanted to stop the run. That is what they wanted to do, and they did a great job."

On what it means for the Browns to be able to start strong against a quality team and get a win:

"That is a great team. They fought all four quarters. If we were not able to score all of the points we did, it could have been different. Props to them. For us, we did have a great game, but we still had a lot of errors out there. We can play more clean football, and who knows? The sky is the limit for us. We have to keep going. We are working every day."

On the TD to T Kendall Lamm being disguised by him and RB Kareem Hunt in the backfield together:

"Yeah, that is the point of it to kind of get their eyes somewhere else, and that was a fullback dive for me. I saw a couple of guys bite on me and I knew that if some guy scarred to Kareem, leaving Kendall wide open. It is all Stefanski and all of us executing."

On selling the fake by diving into the end zone:

"Yeah, I told Kareem I was going to jump and try to get some guys to bite down on me and it worked."

WR Jarvis Landry:

On if he has been giving QB Baker Mayfield tips recently on catching the football:

"No, we have just been teaching each other some things. That is all. He been teaching me how to throw, and I have been teaching him how to catch (laughter). He made a hell of a play. He made a hell of a play."

On if he ever expected to have a roughing the passer penalty enforced following a hit on him:

"No. No chance. Of course not. As a receiver? No chance, but it happened. We will take the extra yards to go along with it."

On if the Browns felt somewhat unstoppable when getting into a rhythm in the first half:

"We got to a point where we could do the things that we wanted to do with no restrictions. (Head Coach) Kevin (Stefanski) called an amazing game. Obviously, it is crazy to be up by 30 points going into the half. We had to come out and try to protect the ball, try to work clock and still be productive. We did the best that we can. It sucks that it got so close, but we are just happy that we won."

On if this was Mayfield's best game:

"He was hot. He was hot. He continued to stay hot. Everything has been coming off of opportunities. He had the opportunity to drop back and make the plays that we all knew he could make. He trusts in us on the outside and in the backfield to make those catches, as well. That is a testament to a lot of hard work and to the things that he has been doing in his approach to make those throws and be as accurate as he was today."

On the T eligible play that resulted in a TD to T Kendall Lamm:

"Love it. Listen, that is another one of those plays that we have been running since training camp. We finally got a chance to call it. He got a ball that he can take home and cherish for the rest of his life. Hopefully, it is not his last one."

On if is ever surprised by how aggressive Stefanski is during games:

"He is very aware. He is aware of his tendencies and the things he likes to call. He is very aware about the things that he wants to accomplish in the game going into the game before the game even starts. Obviously, you would think that about every coach, but that is something that I have realized and noticed in the details throughout the week and how the plan unfolds when you get to Friday and Saturday and see how the first 15 [plays] come out and the plays get listed. We run plays sometimes and I am not on the field, but I can't give you words for what happened, like the Kendall Lamm, thing. We have been practicing it, but we had no idea that it was going to get called today."

On if he has a sense for how excited Browns fans are to be 9-3:

"Yeah, they should be [excited]. They have every right to be [excited]. It is definitely a special, special time in Cleveland right now. We are excited to be part of that excitement. They have every right to be [excited]."

On if members of the team talked at all about last season's opener leading into this week's game:

"Yeah, of course, we have talked about it. We had the things in mind of obviously how that game played out and pretty much how our season went after it. That kind of set the tone for our season in a sense. It was one of those things that for us, not that this was a revenge game or anything like that, we just understood that they are a great football team and we were going to have to play one of our best games to be able to beat them. Unfortunately, we did not play our best game today. Like I have been saying and I said it last week, we still have a lot to learn, we still have a lot to grow from and we are excited about what we did today, but there are still things that we need to get fixed."

On if beating a team that went to the AFC Championship Game results in the Browns 'gaining more legitimacy' across the NFL:

"I think everybody's eyebrows in a sense have been raised about our team. Today was good for us. It was good for us as a team. Again like I said, there are so many things that we left out there. We left yards out there. I had a drop out there on third down that takes another three minutes off of the clock, if I get a first down right there it takes time off. There were a couple of plays in the game that obviously you can't get back, but you make those plays and this game doesn't even get this close. Those are the little things that I talk about that we kind of have to figure out and look and be critical of but also not try to spend too much time trying to pat ourselves on the back about beating a football team. They are a good football team over there. We just played better today."

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