Press Conference

Baker Mayfield talks facing a tough Steelers defense, Thursday night preparations - Press Conference

On the Browns offense with both RBs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in the game together: 

“I think we kind of did some experiments on just how much we can do with that package. Obviously, two dynamic players with Nick and Kareem, we are able to do a lot but kind of make to where we format it where it all looks similar, but we are doing different things out of it. It can be an explosive package for us. We just have to go out there and do our job.”

On the biggest challenge for QBs preparing during a short week for Thursday Night Football:

“I think doing the fundamentals right. The communication throughout the couple of days of preparation. You are not necessarily getting a lot of physical work in. It is a lot of mental stuff. Being on the same page, going through the reads and being decisive. Making sure that we over-communicate throughout the week to where when we go out there just after a couple of days, you are playing fast.”

On if this week’s game potentially having a playoff intensity, given the rivalry, night game and implications for both teams:

“Great atmosphere for us. Singular mindset and focus that we need to have. It just so happens that we are playing a divisional opponent so it is a big one for us. We know that. We have treat it as such to do our job. With all that being said, it comes back to us focusing on doing the best we can at our jobs, eliminating mistakes, protecting the ball and creating turnovers – the same things that we have been trying to harp on the past couple weeks.”

On the Steelers defense:

“They are making a lot of plays right now. Obviously, they picked up (Steelers S Minkah) Fitzpatrick, and he has had quite a bit of turnovers. They are creating plays up front. Obviously, they have the dual pass rushers with (Steelers LB Bud) Dupree and (Steelers LB T.J.) Watt on the edges. They are able to create plays in the backend.”

On Steelers QB Mason Rudolph as a player and person:

“I have been around Mason for a while just in college playing him, in-state rivalry. Mason is a great guy. He is playing well, taking care of the ball, putting them in a good position to win. Obviously, they have rolled off four straight right now so he is doing his job.”

On if it is cool to him that it is the first time in NFL history that former Oklahoma and Oklahoma State QBs have started against one another:

“I think it is interesting, especially because now it is division rivals, as well, not just from college. so I am looking forward to it.”

On the Steelers’ success following the injury to Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger as a reflection of Pittsburgh’s culture:

“They are playing well right now just as a team. They are playing good football all around, playing off each other, good chemistry, complementary football in all three phases. They are making plays on the backend. They are capitalizing on offense and taking care of the ball. If they are able to have that next man up mentality, it has been a great team for a while, and they are just continuing that.”

On Fitzpatrick and his ability to be around the football:

“He does a great job reading quarterbacks’ eyes. There are some coverages and things they do that allow him to have some freedom to be the playmaker that he really is. He has made a lot of plays. He has put himself in good positions to win and create those turnovers, and then their pass rush has been a unit that has created some chaos up front so it allows them in the backend to play freely even more.”

On if the combination of Hunt and Chubb changes the identity of the Browns offense:

“I think we had so much success running the ball on Sunday that it is always the identity. It is just a matter of how we are going to do it and however we want to attack teams. Just having both of those guys back there, it creates keeping to key on that. It can change the identity, but what it comes down to is being physical up front, us doing our job in the run game and establishing that early and often to where we can take our shots when we want to.”

On if there was a point of emphasis to connect with WR Odell Beckham Jr., including on deep passes early and later in the game:

“We are very close. Obviously, we would like to have some of those back to be able to connect on some of those. You know those are game-changing plays if those hit. We are very close right now. Obviously, we would have loved to have hit those. We have to keep teams honest. When we have those guys, we are able to take shots.”

On having the level of trust to throw a 50-50 ball to Beckham and know it will be a long completion or an incompletion at worst:

“Absolutely. There are times where I am putting it up for him that I am trusting him to make those plays. I would not necessarily say that last game was one of those because they were mostly one on ones, but yeah, we are there right now.”

On the Steelers ranking second in the NFL in turnover margin and takeaways, trailing only the Patriots who the Browns played earlier this season:

“I would say there are certain things you can carry over, but it is about what are the Steelers doing right now. The thing that jumps out to you on tape is that they are creating turnovers but they are protecting the ball, as well. That is why their margin in the turnover battle is so positive for them. It is about us doing our job mentally and going out there and executing on Thursday.”

On indications the Browns have started to turn the corner and improved in recent games:

“We are just going out and doing our job, and that is what it is all about. It does not matter who we are playing, you have to do your job each and every play and have that focus throughout the game.”

On the crowd noise while on offense during the Bills game and if that a reference to the number of Bills fans in attendance:
“It was not that. It was just the fact that we were on offense, and we need it to be quiet. It might have ruffled some feathers, but once again, that is OK. When we are on offense on a critical down, we need to be able to have silence in our home stadium. It has to be an advantage for us, and then when they get the ball, it has to be really loud. It is just football.”

On if he felt a need to talk to WR Antonio Callaway after Callaway was inactive on Sunday:

“No, it is apparent we all know what we need to do here. We need to do our job, and I have been saying that for weeks. We need to show up each and every day with that focus to do our job every day. He knows that.”

On if he expects Callaway to return against the Steelers:

“Yeah, we are preparing like it is so we will see what the coaches decide playing time wise.”

On Steelers CB Joe Haden:

“Very instinctive. A guy that plays the ball well. He got me once last year. When the ball is in the air, he makes a play on it. Have to be on time, put the ball in the right spot and trust our guys to make those plays.”

On the importance of building upon the win against the Bills with multiple AFC North games ahead, including this week against the Steelers:
“There is a singular focus of doing our job each week, but yeah, there is a little bit extra just it being a division game against the Steelers. We have talked about it that we still have the rest of these division games so this is No. 1 for us and it is right now.”

On if the need to stack wins and needing to go on a run is part of the team’s mindset:
“No, we are a singular focus. What we did last week, win or lose, does not matter. We have to be able to go out there and do our job and have that same focus that we did last week.”

On Steelers LB T.J. Watt:

“He is one of those guys you have to know where he is. They are doing some things to move him around, give him different looks and have him stand up in the box or on the edge. He just makes a lot of plays. He is a smart player, he has played ball for a while, he recognizes plays quickly and he is able to react.”

On his confidence level with the Browns’ goal-line offense, given the team’s efficiency on the goal line against Buffalo:

“It is tough when you get down there that tight. The Bills were a good team up front. They are just physical, they create that line of scrimmage and they did on that stand. We tried to throw it and had a couple of penalties, but we realized later in the game, we made the correction and came back to it.”

On Head Coach Freddie Kitchens mentioning the significance of Browns players’ controlling emotions during this week’s AFC North rivalry game:

“I think just the general nature of playing a division opponent, people that you see twice a year, it does get chippy at times. With the Steelers and their nature of how they like to play, it is physical, they like to try and bully you and try and play their game. We have to keep our heads and do our job, and that is the focus.”

On WR Jarvis Landry saying he would not change what he did that resulted in a taunting penalty and that falls into the category of controlling emotions this week:

“I think that would probably fall under that. I am not exactly sure what happened for him to get the penalty, but we love that type of passion. Obviously, we do not love penalties, but that type of passion is the stuff we are asking for. I said after the game, that is the type of guy we want Jarvis to be to set the tones for our guys. Obviously, I do not know what exactly caused the penalty.”

On his emphasis on ‘singular focus’ in recent weeks:
“I think when I say singular focus, it has obviously the meaning of one game at a time and one day at a time, but it is also about doing your job. Do not worry about anything else or what is going on on the outside. Do your job. That is all we are asking for and this team could be good and we can carry and continue to build success if we just do our job.”

On what he likes best about his performance in recent games and if he feels the Browns are continuing to face strong defenses each week:
“Yeah, we have been playing some good teams. If we eliminated some of the turnovers in some of those early games, we would stack up a little bit better. That is what happens when you play good defenses. You have to eliminate mistakes, eliminate turnovers and we have been able to do that over the past couple weeks. Now it is just about making the plays when we need to.”

On the matchup with Rudolph bringing to mind memories of their college games:

“Yeah, the last one I played with him in college was a good one, an exciting one, but I think it is all a little bit different now. I am sure you know as the years go on, we will continue something, but it is different now.”

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