Baker Mayfield won't be watching when HBO's "Hard Knocks" premieres Tuesday night. He'll already be in bed.
That's because Mayfield isn't worried about the lights, cameras and action surrounding him as he goes through his first NFL training camp. Instead, he's business as usual in prep for his first NFL action Thursday night against the Giants.
Coach Hue Jackson said Monday he'd yet to finalize his anticipated playing time allotments but acknowledged he expected Mayfield to play "quite a bit."
"Now what that looks like, I do not know. You know how games go," Jackson said. "We will work through it, but I do what him to play."
If you thought Mayfield would have any first-game jitters, you're wrong. Mayfield, who has played in two College Football Playoff games and won a Heisman Trophy, is ready to go.
"I've played this game for a long time. I don't get nervous," he said. "I don't have to worry about that part."
He's not showing any nerves, either, nor does he see the preseason opportunities as anything different than his Oklahoma games. The energy will be no different for him. Mayfield got a small glimpse of NFL action in Cleveland's scrimmage Friday in Berea. It was an opportunity to take repetitions against the first-team defense. He liked what he saw during the scrimmage but notes he has a long way to go.
Against the Browns' first-team defense, Mayfield saw better competition than in previous practices. Jamie Collins, Joe Schobert and Christian Kirksey were all opposite of Mayfield. As was Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah. But Mayfield welcomed it.
"You want to get the best out of yourself and you want to compete against the best," he said." Anytime you see some of those guys, Myles and Kirko and Damarious (Randall) — it's a good challenge for me."
Mayfield hasn't endured many challenges throughout camp, so the reps against the first team were valuable. For now, though, he'll continue to take second-team reps and sprinkle in some scout-team duty.
The scout-team reps aren't new to Mayfield; he began his Oklahoma career running the scout-team offense. But the scout team doesn't run the same plays as the Browns' offense. Mayfield has to run plays off a card and learn them on the fly — just to give the defense a good look.
But Mayfield's mind works differently. He's always trying to relate the scout team plays to Todd Haley's offense, buying extra reps based on the scout team.
"I'm not going to be able to put my mind exactly how Eli Manning's thinking," Mayfield said. "But if I see a concept, I'm going to run it like we do."
No matter where his reps are coming from, the game is starting to slow down for the rookie. It's still a work in progress, but he's taking steps to make sure the fast pace of the league is manageable. But since minicamp, Mayfield admits the game is much slower as he gets more comfortable.
"It's just a part of the growing process," he said.