With Baker Mayfield, what you see is what you get.
That’s why the Browns rookie quarterback didn’t back down from his comments after Sunday’s win over the Bengals or his subsequent social media post Monday. Mayfield’s no-nonsense demeanor doesn’t have an on-off switch because “that is what has got me here.”
“Although I am an athlete, I am not a cookie-cutter quarterback. I never have been, never will be. I speak my mind,” Mayfield said after Wednesday’s practice. “People do not have to care. I am not looking for anybody’s approval. I do not regret any of it. It is about this team and what we have and we have to stick together and play together.”
“I am never trying to be anybody else. I am going to be the best version of myself. That is what has got me here.”
Mayfield’s rise from a walk-on at Texas Tech and Oklahoma to the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft has been well-documented. At each step along the way, Mayfield has displayed the same matter-of-fact, take-it-or-leave-it approach that has won over teammates and coaches alike.
Sometimes, it’s rubbed his opponents and observers the wrong way. Mayfield’s had no issue with that part of the microscope he’s under as one of college football’s most popular players and, now, as a starting NFL quarterback.
“You have to block it out,” Mayfield said. “If I am not doing my job, then what it comes down to is I should not be playing. I have an opinion, I am entitled to that. But the most important thing is me doing my job. I can manage both. That is what people do not understand. Yeah, a quarterback that is a little different from some of the guys to have a voice.
“That is just how I have always been. I am not going to change for anybody.”
Mayfield on Wednesday was more than ready to move forward as the Browns embark on their final five games, a final stretch they hope turns their current two-game winning streak into something special.
Asked if his teammates have embraced the “swagger” he’s shown throughout his rookie season, Mayfield shrugged it off. It all comes back to “be yourself,” he said.
“Obviously, I want people to follow in with that same passion for the game and work ethic, but I want everyone in here to be themselves and be able to find our identity as a team and kind of gather that in and reel it in,” Mayfield said. “At the same time, you have to be who you are. That is what has gotten these people to this point.”