Press Conference

Baker Mayfield talks expectations vs. Steelers, offensive efficiency - press conference 

On Head Coach Freddie Kitchens’ comment about it taking two teams to make a rivalry and that the Browns’ performance in recent years hasn’t been what is needed for a rivalry:

“I think if you look at recently, yeah, that could be the case, but it is about right now. It is about what we have in front of us and this game. To us, this is this the biggest one of the season, just like the next one always is. That is how we have to handle it.”

On if it was particularly significant to him to earn his first win against the Steelers two weeks ago:

“Any division game to us means a lot more. Thursday night of a short week, the physical game that it is against Pittsburgh, that was a good win.”

On the Browns’ 1-0 mantra as it relates to this game and external noise:

“The most important thing is your job and the task at hand, just like we have over the past three weeks. We have to do the same thing but even more so this week.”

On how the Browns have grown and matured in recent weeks:

“We have come together, eliminated the self-inflicted wounds, those mistakes that we could control. We have done our job better and continue to be better each week. To improve is what the good teams do.”

On the expected atmosphere at Pittsburgh:

“A playoff atmosphere. This game means a lot to both teams. Looking at the bigger picture, we talk about the singular focus, but there is no hiding how much this one really means.”

On how the Steelers may defend the Browns differently this week:

“They had success there in the middle of the game when we hit that offensive lull so we can expect some of the same things. They played well defensively last week doing a lot of man coverage so we will see.”

On if the Browns can potentially influence where Steelers S Minkah Fitzpatrick moves based on their personnel alignment, specifically with RBs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt:

“He is a guy that they give him a lot of freedom to play. Just seeing formationally how we can mess around with them, see how they are playing it, yeah, but having both backs in there at the same time kind of makes them show their hand.”

On the difference in the Steelers defense’s statistics on the home compared to the road, including sack totals:

“They really feed off of the energy of the crowd at home. I think the stat was 30 of their 38 sacks were at home so that just goes to show they feed off of that momentum, and they play well at home so we have to do our job.”

On the importance of QB protection this week at Pittsburgh, particularly with T Greg Robinson in concussion protocol:

“It is the same focus every week – protecting our football, penalty-free, that singular-focus mindset and just amp-ing it up a little bit more.”

On the physical nature of the last Steelers-Browns games, including penalties and fines, and if he expects the Steelers defense may have ‘something extra’ for them:

“We will see. We have to do our job first and foremost and they have to do theirs within the lines of football. I expect it to be a pretty tightly called football game just knowing what happened a couple of weeks ago. We will find out.”

On the potential impact if TE David Njoku is able to return:

“Kind of that message that I have been saying all year of pick your poison exactly how you want to play us. If you want to double-team somebody, we have the athletes and the weapons to be able to exploit one-on-one matchups. Taking advantage when we do have one on ones, playing well and getting the ball out of my hands when they are playing zone coverage.”

On the Browns offense averaging more than 7 yards per play when Chubb and Hunt are on the field together and comfort with two RB sets from college:

“I would not say it is directly related. Anytime you have two guys like that, our guys are special how hard they run. I think part of it is just the things they are willing to do for our offense to go and have success –the blocking that they are willing to do, the blocking for each other and just the team-oriented mindset that they both come with, it makes it special to have both of them.”

On the Browns offense’s improvement since Hunt returned and what Hunt has added:

“Explosive plays. Even the check down early in the Pittsburgh game the first time we played them, he takes it, gets the first down and converts. It is just the little stuff to where it could become a big play. He is that type of guy.”

On the importance of the Browns keeping their composure in this week’s game:

“We have to do that every week. It is just the standard that we live by. It is the same message throughout the week.”

On DE Myles Garrett and Steelers QB Mason Rudolph and Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey not playing in this week’s game and if that takes away some of the emotions from the previous matchup:

“We ride together. That is it.”

On the biggest factors in the Browns being able to connect on more deep passes in recent weeks:

“Getting good one-on-one shots and our guys making plays. We are doing a good job right now of our playmakers are doing exactly what they need to do when they get those opportunities. To continue to do that, to take those shots when we get them and play smart when we don’t have those one-on-one deep shots. It just needs to continue to be part of our offense.”

On if Chubb and Hunt are creating one-on-one matchups for WRs downfield:

“Just in general how we are running the ball right now – the downhill attack mode that we have when we run the ball physically, all of those things play a factor.”

On stating the Browns needed to start force-feeding WR Odell Beckham Jr. early in games and if that has paid off in recent weeks:

“Yeah, keeping teams honest with all of our weapons and keeping everybody involved, it helps all of us out. For our guys up front, getting the ball out quickly, that helps them and then getting the ball in the playmakers’ hands gets them a hot hand and gets them comfortable to make that big play later on.”

On if he has always fed off of hostility and energy in road games:

“Yeah, that has always been that way. I would say probably the most violent place I have played in was my return back to Lubbock. I don’t think Pittsburgh could match that. I really don’t.”

On the environment in his return to Lubbock against Texas Tech:

“It was about 40,000-50,000 people screaming, ‘F You, Baker.’ We will see.”

On if Texas Tech fans had any Mayfield dummies at the game:

“They throw a lot of tortillas.”

On his ability to succeed in hostile environments on the road:

“I think just the type of guy I am, the back against the wall mentality. To be able to feed that off into our locker room, it is not like I have to do it for these guys. Once they feel that, the team comes together. There is nothing like playing on the road. That goes for anywhere you go. You play on the road and to try to win the game in a hostile environment is always fun.”

On if he feels more comfortable personally than four or five weeks ago and if a momentum is building:

“Yeah, I have tried to build consistently to get better each week. Obviously, the turnover last week was strictly due to a bad throw and it was bad feet. I just try to improve each week and continue to get better for our team.”

On WR Jarvis Landry’s performance in recent weeks:

“He has had the hot hand. I said it after the game, that one meant a little bit more to him, but the past games before that, he was making a lot of plays and taking advantage of his one on ones. You can tell he has felt a little bit disrespected that teams are continuing to leave him one on one, as well. We are happy for him.”

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