Press Conference

Baker Mayfield: 'There's a sense of urgency'

QB Baker Mayfield:

On his impressions of Bengals QB Joe Burrow:

"From the games that I saw him play last year, very decisive. He gets the ball out and gives his guys a chance. I did not see them play the Chargers on offense, but real smooth, kind of looks like a field general back there. Obviously, I think he is an unbelievably talented guy, but I think his teammates love him and they really fight for him. That is what you can tell on TV." 

On the key to getting on the same page with WR Odell Beckham Jr. and Head Coach Kevin Stefanski within the offensive scheme:

"It takes all three of us just being on the same page. For myself, going through my reads, trusting those reads and delivering the ball based on what those reads are telling me. I think we had some great one-on-one opportunities on some of those passes from Sunday but just did not connect. Some of those were the penalties, the grabs and the pass interference that we talked about. Some were just a little bit of miscommunication or a little overthrow. We are working on that so we will get it fixed." 

On if there was a concerted effort to target Beckham more in second half or if he was simply following his reads:

"Based on if you guys were to watch it, there were a lot of one on ones, and we take our one-on-one matchups. I trust those guys, and that is what they are paid to do is one-on-one plays. That is a certain thing if my reads are taking me there, it might have looked that way, but that is a one-on-one matchup." 

On how the quick turnaround against another division opponent may help the Browns move past Sunday's loss:

"The quick turnaround just means you can't dwell on the negative. You are not going to beat yourself up throughout the week. You have too much to focus on. There was a lot to learn from that game. You do not necessarily want to completely forget about it. You want to improve, learn from it and get better moving forward." 

On the challenge preparing for Cincinnati on a short week after the first week of the season:

"Luckily, they have the same defense coordinator so schematically, you are not looking at too much of a change up. It is just a different bit of personnel stuff like the normal changes from year in and year out. It is definitely less exotic looks than we received at Baltimore, but you are right, the shorter week means you have to get all your studying done earlier in the week and we have a bunch of guys that are focused and ready to go out there on Thursday." 

On areas he can personally improve from Week 1 after watching the film:

"Early on, just settle down. I think there were a couple of throws just pressing to get it out of my hands. Then as the game went on, I felt that I did do that. My eyes were in the right place and got the ball to where the reads were telling me to go. I think a little bit of the first game jitters without the preseason might have caused that, but at the same time, definitely need to be more settled in. You look back at it, there are a couple crucial plays that let that game get out of hand. A great team like that, like I said on Sunday, is going to take advantage of it." 

On clarifying the need to more settled in early in the game:

"I would say just trusting my guys to be in their spots, not trying to do too much and get the ball out of my hands There was one early out route that could have let the ball go to Odell and put it on the sideline for him to catch and just moved on. Things like that." 

On finding a balance for targeting Beckham and wanting to get him the ball versus needing to get him the ball:

"I think it has to come naturally. Obviously, you gameplan and you scheme up things to get the ball in your playmakers' hands, but when it comes to game time, they are going to give us certain looks that might take that away. We had a couple plays for him early on, and the Ravens did a good job of taking that away so we had to go through the reads and get the ball into other guys' hands. When it comes to game time, yeah, you can practice, practice, practice and you might have a certain look all week in practice, but then come game time they might show you a different thing and you have to react, play and just move on. It has to come naturally." 

On if Beckham having a one-on-one can make it more difficult to create that balance while progressing through reads:

"Yeah, that is when the alert goes off in your head that we have a one-on-one with him and you want to get him the ball, but it has to be the right scenario and the right situation for us to do that." 

On assessing his poise in the pocket this year compared to past years:

"I would say last year it definitely declined, just based on protection and where my head was. I would say after looking at the film, pretty similar, and just going through my reads, a little bit of improvement." 

On if his comment about feeling similar to how he felt in college, his rookie year or a year ago:

"College or the first year. Not last year."  

On if he feels more comfortable with his protection this year compared to last season:

"Absolutely."

On if there is a different approach from the team this week following last week's loss:

"I just think there is a sense of urgency. Shorter week, obviously, there always will be [a sense of urgency], just about the little and things that we can do better to improve. Like I said, I think we hurt ourselves very early on in that game. I think the focus is on eliminating those mistakes and playing our game, especially on a short week. Just do your job, go out there and execute and do not have those missed assignments and mental errors."

On if he and Beckham will do any extra work together this week:

"Short week, you can't nearly get the physical work as to the standard week. It is more of a mental thing. 'Hey, here in this look, I am expecting you to be here.' We have to trust those things and go out there and be on the same page."

On the potential of the Browns offense compared to what occurred Week 1:

"Obviously, there is a ton of room for improvement. It is not just false hopes. It is there. I thought we ran the ball well early on. We got away from it because of the score was a little bit different. The flow of the game forces you to do that. I thought we ran the ball well early, and finding more completions early on for me, let me focus on that to where we are smooth and just going up and down the field, keeping the chains moving." 

On having approximately 6,000 fans at FirstEnergy Stadium on Thursday:

"It better be a rowdy 6,000 in those stands."

On if approximately 6,000 fans at the stadium can bring a level of energy and normalcy:

"Yeah, it will feel a little different. I think the biggest difference from being out there on the field after talking to everybody, everybody during the TV timeouts, it is just dead quiet in the stadium. Just having some fans in there will make a pretty big difference, but then again, it does not matter where we are playing, who and where you are in front of, you have to go out there and do your job each play and focus on that."

WR Odell Beckham Jr.:

On what he and QB Baker Mayfield can do to ensure that they have the needed chemistry:

"Obviously, Sunday was not what we wanted, but more game reps will be the way to go." 

On Mayfield wanting to go to him when he is in single coverage but needing to so naturally:

"I am going to be honest with you, I have never played quarterback so it is very hard to put yourself in someone else's shoes. As a receiver, you are like, 'Man, I'm open,' or this or that. It is just not feasible for me to think about what he may be going through back there if there is pressure or if there are things going on. I know there is a lot on his plate. I know that none of us played the way that we would have wanted to play on Sunday. You kind of just have to give your hats off to the Ravens. They came out there. They were the better team. They beat the [stuff] out of us, and we keep pushing. It was first game, kind of getting a feel for no fans and how the first NFL game will go, and it obviously did not go the way that we wanted, but kind of just toss it up as a mulligan. You have 15 other games, 15 other opportunities and just keep moving." 

On if he likes getting involved early in a game and if that helps momentum:

"Absolutely. It is like a shooter putting up a couple of threes early, and you hit one, two of them like, God knows you might drop 60. This is just how I feel. I would love to get involved early, but it just did not go that way Sunday. Like I said, you have to give your hats off to the other team sometimes. They just came out, and they just played better than us." 

On if he feels comfortable going to the coaching staff and giving them creative ideas for ways he can be involved, particularly early in a game:

"Yes and no. I just kind of feel like it is a tough position to be in. With the way that I feel like I have been misrepresented to the world, it makes it hard and just seem as if 'Oh, I just want the ball,' and all these things, when really, I just want to help. I just want to be able to help this team in any way that I can. You kind of get the sense of just playing your role, and you have to trust that the coaches are going to put you in the right position and we are going to be able to go from there. I am not very vocal about that, and that could be my fault and something that I need to learn from. Like I said, again, that was the first game. Whether we got beat by 50 are lost by one point, we still lost, that will be on our record and we learn from it. Just keep it pushing." 

On if he was starting to get frustrated during the second quarter following the facemask penalty before his dropped pass on third-and-2 and his mindset at that point in the game:

"My fingers are just long and they kind of were just in his facemask and there was no way of getting them out. I went to [stiff arm] him, and I think he got pushed this way and my fingers were just in there. Other than that, it is just all about being on the same page. That is just little things where game reps are going to determine it. There is no amount of practice that you could do. It is just how it happens in a game. Just learn from it and move on."

On if he feels like he has to watch his body language when he is not on the field, given the TV cameras are always fixed on what he is doing:

"That is just the way my life is going. You have to watch everything you do. Everyone is always watching. If you do not have the same reaction that somebody may like, then a story or a headline or whatever it can be written about you. Yeah, that is always tough. That is just the position I am in. I have helped put myself in that position by some mistakes and a lot of by what I did on the field – all the good things that I feel like we often forget about. That has just kind of helped put me in this position where the spotlight is always going to be on me, right, wrong or indifferent, and know that is something you have to deal with, live with."

On if he feels like he gets overly frustrated sometimes, whether it is not getting the ball or not making a play he wants to make:

"I do not really know how to answer that question. I do not really want to have myself or my team misrepresented in any way so I do not know how to answer that."

On if his performance against the Ravens being his second-fewest receiving yards in his career and if that motivates him:

"Probably keep it pushing. It is one day at a time. One day at a time. One game at a time."

On how did he feel Sunday night after the loss, given the offense's expectations for the first game:

"The same way I felt after any loss. Go to sleep at 5 a.m., just up just thinking. When you want to be at a certain level of greatness or anything like that, anything less or short of that is never going to be acceptable to you. I could sit here like it did not bother me or anything like that – not stats, I just mean as far as the way that the game went – but I would be lying. I definitely would have liked for the game of went a different way. I am just here at a point in my life where I just want to play football and I just want to win, period. There is nothing else that can distract to deter from those goals. I think once I get you all, the world and everyone to understand that I care about one thing – that is winning and producing – I think that you will be able to see some of the other actions and look at it from a different perspective than the perspective of a lot of the names and attachments that have been thrown on me in a way."

On indications of the Browns offense's potential:

"At this time, you are just kind of taking it one day at a time. It is a short week so we are kind of flushing it and moving on. Did not necessarily get to watch the film as much as a group as we probably would have liked to, but we have a another big division game coming up. You kind of have to flush it, move on and call it a mulligan, whatever you want to call it, and just keep pushing."

On if 'the mulligan' makes sense given there was such a different offseason and training camp, plus a new coaching staff and personnel:

"Everybody had the same scheduling and setup. It just comes down to producing and making those plays on Sunday. I could sit here and tell you it was tough, but I am sure it was tough for everybody to get out there and play a full game, to get your wind, to be in condition and to withstand just everything. I think everybody has been on the same level as far as handling that so it is just about producing and being able to make it count on Sunday."

On Bengals QB Joe Burrow, especially given Burrow also went to LSU:

"He is the GOAT – no, I am playing (laughter). He won the 'ship for us. That was tremendous to be able to see. As I was there and the years before leading up, I felt like LSU always had the best of teams but just could not find a way to put those pieces together. I think he soothed a lot of pain that a lot of us players had felt. He is forever a legend. Happy to see him in the NFL now. Obviously, did not get to watch his first game, but heard that he did pretty well so I am wishing him the best of luck in his career. Obviously, do not want him to beat us, but anywhere else or any other game he plays, I am always rooting for him."

RB Nick Chubb:

On the team's mindset heading into a short week after the loss on Sunday:

"I think it is better for us to kind of get back out there right away, get the bad taste out of our mouth and go out there and get a win. That is going to be big for this team and big for everyone around us. I think our team is in the right mindset. We know what happened last Sunday was not who we are or anything like that, but we just have to keep pushing. We have a great chance to show it in front of the world." 

On if the Browns offense can build off of what he and RB Kareem Hunt did in the run game on Sunday with a few long runs:

"I think we all know we can run the ball. It is just we kind of got away from it in the game. Running the ball have never been a problem for us here. We just have to stick to it and get in a rhythm. We know we can run the ball so we just have to get better at other things." 

On if he has watched the Bengals film from Sunday yet and what he expects to see from them on Thursday:

"I see a very exciting team coming into this year, a team that did not have a great year last year but is looking to turn heads. They play extremely hard on defense. They run to the ball. High-motor guys. Extremely physical and fast. I see a great defense." 

On why he remains confident in the Browns offense:

"We have the players, and we have the coaches. We just have to put it together. There is no excuse for us with who all is on our team to go out there and put up one touchdown. That is unacceptable. We know it, we accept that and we are looking to get better." 

On what makes him confident that the Browns have the right group to bounce back quickly:

"We see it every day here in practice. The things that we are not doing on the game field, we have done it here. It is just about putting it all together, finding a rhythm and making it happen when the day comes."

On if he likes the opportunity to line up out wide and in different spots:

"Yeah, I do. I think it helps our whole offense as far as not having a running back in the backfield sometimes and kind of switch it up into something different. Get the guys on defense eyes moving around and just trying to try something different."

On the difference if the team can get WR Odell Beckham Jr. going early, given there are games where he feels on and provides an energy and others where his body language may seem different:

"I am not sure about his body language, but every game he comes out there and he has an infection attitude. I want to be like Odell and make the big plays and things like that. We have to hold everybody accountable to make sure that things are happening the right way."

*On if QB Baker Mayfield may have seemed a bit too amped up early in the game and if that impacted the offense in the first half, given Mayfield's comment about it: *"I am not sure."

On if he felt amped up at the beginning of the game to start the season after a long offseason:

"I am sure everybody on the field was excited so I don't know."

On factors into the Browns not converting on third down:

"I have not come to a conclusion yet. I do not know. I guess we have to make the throw and make the catch."

On if he feels pressure to bounce back and win after losing a season opener:

"I do because not only is it a loss, but it is in our division. These are two big games for us. We need to be 1-1 after this week. I think it is a little pressure to get it because you do not want to 0-2."

On if having 6,000 fans Thursday will bring some energy that was not there in Baltimore with no fans:

"Anything is better than what we did in Baltimore with nobody in the stands. I think definitely because it is Cleveland fans, too. I think it will definitely have an impact."

On if there is a competition to have a better performance than Bengals RB Joe Mixon or other top RBs on opposing teams:

"Not really. I am just trying to go out there and be the best me I can be."

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