Press Conference

Baker Mayfield: 'We have to carry the same mindset to go in there and execute' 

Cleveland's QB and other players meet with reporters Wednesday

QB Baker Mayfield

On how tough it was to see the number of significant injuries across the NFL on Sunday:

"It is never good to see injuries. You never wish that upon anybody. You never want that for anyone around the league – division rivals or anything like that, it does not matter. You want these guys to be healthy. It was pretty sad to see all that going on. All you can do is pray and hope for speedy recoveries and just hope for the best for those guys. It is tough to see. We got lucky so we just have to move on."

On if he thinks the lack of a full offseason program and preseason games may have contributed to the number of injuries on Sunday:

"Not having the preseason games, I think, your body is not used to getting hit, and also, just being on the field. You can say that is why and I think that might have helped be the reasoning for some of that, but I do not have the answer for that."

On facing the Washington defense that leads the league with 11 sacks and Washington DE Chase Young:

"They are really good up front. That is the challenge for us. The game starts up front. We have to bring the intensity. They have great players. Obviously, Chase Young, a high draft pick, but he is playing like it. He is proving why they chose him so high. They have guys all around. It is not just him. We have to find completions, get the ball out, establish the run game and not let them be the game wreckers."

On Washington sacking Eagles QB Carson Wentz eight times:

"They had a really good game that first game. This weekend, (Cardinals QB) Kyler (Murray) got away from a couple just with his quickness and getting the ball out quickly. We have to approach it with the idea and the mindset of not letting them affect the game too much."

On what he wants to build on from the team's offensive performance in Week 2:

"First, carrying over the mindset of finding completions and establishing that run game. Like I said after the game, that is the standard that we are trying to set and the expectation for us. Have to come out firing and executing early on. You have those first 15 plays that you want to come out and get going, and we need to do that again."

On if he has found a sense of normalcy with his weekly routine following adjustments to the offseason and training camp:

"Absolutely. I think we are all into a routine now that works for us. It helps to have the Thursday game and to have a little bit of extra prep. We do not have a lot of film to watch, except the Eagles and the Cardinals game. Yeah, we found routine. I think everybody has, but especially speaking for myself, I have."

On the Browns OL's protection this year:

"I feel really great. I hit on that after the game last week, we had no sacks and over 200 yards rushing. They played extremely well. We are going to lean on those guys and trust them to do that week in and week. We know it is a different opponent this week, but we have to carry the same mindset to go in there and execute."

On the Browns using more pre-snap motion in Week 2:

"We have some of those motions in there for indicators on what they are doing – man, zone tells and just certain run plays getting looks and getting the leverage. It helps a lot, but when it comes down to it, no matter what play is called, we have to go out there and execute it."

On G Wyatt Teller's performance this season:

"I think Wyatt took advantage of the long offseason and being able to get his body right, something I can relate to. He put on a ton of muscle mass. We have a great O line coach in Bill Callahan. I think Bill is extremely hard on those guys, but I think Wyatt has learned a lot from him just from the short time he has been with him, and you can see it in the production that he is having."

On the interception on Thursday night:

"Coming off of the play-action bootleg game, having somebody in your face you want to obviously find a completion or find an incompletion. No negative plays when you have someone in your face like that. As I am coming out, there is somebody right there and I see (TE) Harrison (Bryant) win on (Bengals S) Jessie Bates on the corner post, but because I stepped up and had to stop and did not have my eyes on the backside corner, that is where the interception happened. When it comes to that stuff and I can't see the whole field or the perfect look that we need for it, just check it down or find an incompletion."

On if there are similarities between the Washington DL and the 49ers DL the Browns faced last season:

"I think just what they are trying to do, let those guys go make plays. San Fran had where they put the five bigs in the game and said one on one, somebody is going to win. We are not seeing that with Washington. That does not mean they can't show up and do that because they have the personnel. It is just different schematically, but yes, talent-wise, very similar."

On if his long TD with WR Odell Beckham Jr. can give the pair momentum:

"Yeah, I think so. We had a few more completions last Thursday so just continue to build that, get the ball in his hands and let him make plays."

On if it is tough at times for him to stick with the gameplan with all of the Browns' offensive weapons and wanting to get all of the team's playmakers opportunities:

"No. I would say yes but that is something in the offseason just knowing to trust the system, go through my reads, not try and force the ball, get it in those guys hands and trust that we have everybody around the field that I can trust to do that. They can go out there and make plays. That is why they are all here so I have to trust that, go through my reads and put that on the coaches. AVP (offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt) and (Head Coach Kevin) Stefanski have said many times to trust that their play calling will get the ball in guys' hands to get them going, and I just do my job."

On how Stefanski's offensive system fits his skillset and how comfortable he is rolling out of the pocket:

"I am very comfortable doing it. It does not just help me, though. It helps the O line move in the pocket where we are not just dropping back and letting teams tee off on us and having them having to react. It helps our run game out. When they have to worry about us pulling the ball and throwing passes and rolling out, that means they have to be a little hesitant on the backside, which opens up holes for some of those cutback runs, not that we had any last week because there were a lot of gashes front side. It just helps everybody out. It makes us more versatile, and teams have to prepare more for that."

RB Nick Chubb:

On FB Andy Janovich saying the Browns could have ran for 300 or 400 yards last Thursday against the Bengals if the team wanted to, given their success in the running game:

"I did think we did a great job running the ball. We had a mindset that we were going to run the ball no matter what. That took all of us – players, coaches, everyone around here – to get in the mindset that we are going to run the ball. No matter what they throw at us, we are going to find a way to get past it and run the ball well, and I think we did that."

On how the Browns running game will impact Washington's balance as the opponent has to be prepared for both the run and pass, including play action:

"It is just a matter of those guys figuring out which one they want to contain more or something like that. I am not sure how they will play us. I think us having more of a balance will help us out on offense."

On Washington's defense on film:

"They are very aggressive. Those guys up front play very hard. High motors and they run to the ball well. They are always pursing the ball carrier. I think it will be a great challenge for us. I look forward to it, and I know they have a great group of guys over there. I look forward to playing against them."

On how to neutralize Washington's talented DL:

"I am not sure."

On QB Baker Mayfield's performance against the Bengals and the Browns' run and pass games complementing each other on Thursday:

"I think Baker did a great job. I think we did a great job of handling the pressure and marrying the run and pass, like (Head) Coach (Kevin Stefanski) wants us to. I think it was great by everybody." 

On how Mayfield is different as a leader this year compared to last year:

"He always been the same leader to me. He has just always been the same guy. We feed off of his intensity and the way he approaches the game. He has always been a great leader."

On if Mayfield's confidence level seems higher or different this year:

"No, it does not."

On the best way to involve both RB Kareem Hunt and him throughout a full game: 

"I am not sure. That is definitely something we will have to think about. I am not sure. Just keep rotating us. I have no idea. That is a coach question, I guess." 

On how fresh he felt after the game with Hunt available for the full contest, particularly given it is early in the season: 

"Yeah, I am a little more fresh. I do not know if that had anything to do with the later start or whatever, but I felt fresher." 

On his familiarity with Pro Football Hall of Fame RB Gale Sayers: 

"I am not that familiar with him. I did just see a video about him. I have a lot of respect for him with him being a running back way back when running backs got even less respect. I am a huge fan of him, and I support him. I just saw his highlight tape. He could move. He was very fast." 

On G Wyatt Teller: 

"Wyatt has been great for us. I know (offensive line) Coach (Bill) Callahan is on his tail every day at practice to get him going and not letting him slow down or stop or anything. I think he has been a great part of this team." 

On how much pride he takes in making 'dirty runs' and being able to break tackles: 

"I like those runs a lot, not only for me but for the team. It gets everyone pumped up, and it also lets the other defense know that we are going to run the ball hard, and they have to come and bring it every play." 

On the significant injuries around the league on Sunday, what he does to prepare in the offseason to offset potential injury risk and if it is a main focus of his offseason training: 

"Yeah, it is. I do things to kind of strengthen all my body areas to prevent any kind of injury. I do the same thing. I lift weights and I run almost every day. It has been working for me."

T Jack Conklin

On working through his ankle injury: 

"The ankle is feeling great. I will be back to 100 percent this week and rolling. Obviously, it is a tough situation on a short week trying to come back after getting beat up. It came down to the wire. Obviously, (Head) Coach (Kevin Stefanski) made the decision after the workout to have me stay active but keep me down in case of some sort of emergency. It is tough. You want to be out there playing, but that is why I am here. Hopefully, we do not have that situation again." 

On if the extra rest after playing on Thursday night gives him more confidence that he will be able to play and perform well on Sunday: 

"Definitely. Definitely. Having those 10 days, that was fantastic for my ankle, and I am feeling great." 

On if the success of Washington's DL impacted his decision to play this week and what he has seen from the unit on film: 

"First of all, I am ready to go. No matter what, it would have been this week. I am rolling. Obviously, they are a great front and they are playing really well. They have some young guys up there that are doing a great job, really coming together and working as a group. They have a great front. It is going to be a great challenge for us this week to keep everybody up and keep everybody clean. It is going to be a fun week. It is a great challenge for us. We are excited to get out there and show what we can do." 

On his reaction seeing RB Nick Chubb run hard and carry defenders: 

"It gets you really excited. That is the fun part with Nick and (RB) Kareem (Hunt). We block up our guys so they can make somebody miss or just flat out run them over. That really pumps us up, and it is awesome to have those two back there." 

On if an OL needs to learn the RBs and adapt to their styles, similar to run game coordinator/running backs coach Stump Mitchell's comment about the RBs needing to do the same with OL members:

"Definitely. With the zone game, it just comes down to how set the blocks a little bit, how they press the holes and stuff. I think it plays back and forth. It is really one of the big things figuring out between the two of us – the offensive line and running backs – is just figuring out how to work off each other. That is really where you see those big runs starting to happen is when that cohesion starts to take full stride."

On T Jedrick Wills Jr.'s development during the first two games:

"I think the biggest things is confidence. I think for him, just coming into the league and moving from right tackle to left tackle, that alone is a tough transition, and then not having any preseason games, that is a whole another one, just being out there not seeing anybody but your own jersey in front of you. Luckily, we have such a good defensive front and it was a great challenge for him. I think just getting out there and now being in the game having the shots fired at him, you can really see him fighting back and figuring out and really gaining confidence every week."

On if Wills has settled into his position and if Wills is ready for Washington's defensive front:

"Yes, definitely. He is prepared, and I am excited to see what he can do out there this week."

On Washington DE Chase Young and Young's start to his rookie season:

"It is impressive. You saw what he was in college obviously, and to see how that has translated so far for him in the NFL, it is impressive. It is a tough transition for anybody, but he is doing an awesome job. I think he is going to be a great player in the league for a long time."

On if the entire Browns OL needs to be prepared for Young, expecting Young to move around the DL:

"Yes, their entire front, they do, especially with the DEs. You can see them on both sides right to left. Both me and Jed definitely have to be prepared for seeing just about anybody over there."

On if he has seen flashbacks to the formula the Titans used for their running game success last year:

"Definitely see a lot of translation there just with the wide zone and then hitting. Once you get the success in the run, that turns into the pass and the play action stuff. I think it definitely correlates a little bit more with what you saw from Minnesota last year, obviously, with (Head) Coach (Kevin Stefanski) coming from there. It is definitely a lot of similarities just with the formula of how we did things at Tennessee and now here in Cleveland, as well."

On if the Browns goal is to rush for 200 yards every game and if the team has that potential:

"Definitely. It is a big goal, but it is something that we can do. When you have two backs like that, you never are going to have somebody who is tired. You can just bring in the next guy, and he is not going to be a drop off at all. It is a goal, and it is a tough one. Every week, it is a great team and great front to go against as an offensive line, but that is what we want to be. We want to be a team that can pound the ball and put up 200 yards a game. Again, that will just lead to more openings in the pass game and a lot more play action when teams start filling and sitting in the box to try to stop our run. We have great threats on the outside to back them off and then hit them again."

On if he marvels when he sees Chubb carrying four players towards the goal line:

"Yeah, it is impressive. He is one special back, and he is so tough. It is funny quiet he is. You do not expect that much out of him, and to see him to do, it just kind of blows your mind."

On DE Porter Gustin:

"I did go against him quite a bit. He is a guy who was out there working every day, and you could just see him getting better throughout camp, too. He is a real tough guy. He is a big weight room guy. He is a guy that is going to stay after practice, keep on working and trying to work moves. You could definitely see throughout camp his progression."

On Gustin being 'legendary' in USC's weight room and if he has seen that from Gustin with the Browns:

"Yeah, oh yeah. He is funny. He is always marching around with his shirt off, going to the weight room, back and forth."

On Mayfield having success with play action and roll outs on Thursday and if this is a 'perfect system for' Mayfield:

"Yes, definitely, especially with the threats we have. We need to get the quarterback out in space and we get the defense to worry about the run, it is just going to give him a lot more time and getting him in a position where he is not worrying about just having to sit back in the pocket. That is tough for any quarterback just to sit back there and worrying about the offensive line holding up. When you change it up on the defense and make them think we are going to be out of the pocket so then in the situations where you do have to sit back, they are a little bit slower and it is not going to be a collapsed pocket as quickly. You can really see him starting to grasp the offense on Thursday night. I am excited to see what he can do the rest of the year with it."

On if Mayfield has conveyed to the Browns OL that he is a lot more confidence in the unit this year:

"Definitely. He is always honest just about working hard, understanding the playbook and knowing everything. He is a great leader. He always has confidence back there. You can feel it."

On G Wyatt Teller:

"He is an extremely powerful guy. He is a guy that is going to put people on the ground and finish. It has been fun to see throughout camp and really starting to figure out the wide zone concepts. It takes a while, and you can really see him throughout these first couple of weeks starting to figure it out and put his strength into it. You can really see it. Last week, he was all over the field putting people on the ground. He is a lot of fun to watch."

On C JC Tretter calling offensive signals with no crowd noise and defenses hearing those calls: 

"It is definitely a week-to-week thing. We have to change a lot of stuff. Even with teams going back and watching the TV copies, they can hear a lot of our calls. It definitely makes it a little more challenging in having to change things every week just to mask our calls and different things. It is a challenge we are up to. As an offensive line, you have to be able to be cerebral and figure these things out. It is definitely eerie as a player. It was nice being back home and having at least those 6,000 fans out there. It was exciting for me just to hear how loud 6,000 people can get in our stadium. It is going to be fun when we finally do get it back to full capacity."

T Jedrick Wills Jr.

On the challenge Washington's DL presents: 

"They have a lot of great guys up front. Their defense kind of relies on the defense line on the strength of their team. We just have to come ready to play." 

On what makes Washington DE Chase Young so good and worthy of the No. 2 overall pick: 

"He is just a freak of nature. You do not see a lot of guys like him around the league. He just has a lot of size and ability and a lot of speed and power, which is a good combination of everything you need."   

On his confidence level and development after his first two NFL games: 

"I am feeling good. Just trying to come in each week and get better. There are a lot of things I still need to improve on so just trying to work to clean those things up."  

On the Browns' balance between the run and pass: 

"That is what we are trying to do. We are trying to create a marriage between the two. I feel like it is a work in progress, but we are definitely making the right steps."  

On his reaction when Browns RBs are running hard and breaking tackles: 

"It hypes you up. It gets you ready to keep running the ball. You just want to keep making those plays happen." 

On his relationship with Washington DTs Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen: 

"I played with Daron Payne for only one year, but they are both really good players. They are in a different system now than they were at Alabama, but I feel like it should be a fun and interesting matchup."  

On if practicing against DE Myles Garrett in practice helped prepare him to face a player like Young: 

"It helps a lot going against those guys like that. I have full confidence in myself, seeing those guys in practice like that every day. That is what they get paid to do, and we get paid to protect." 

On his injury sustained in Week 1 and if it was difficult to return for the Thursday night game following a quick turnaround: 

"It was scary when it first happened because I was kind of feeling a little bit of a combination of different things – ankle, leg, shin, knee. I could not really tell what it was. I got body whipped by one of their linebackers. Just still trying to recover and get better. It was a quick turnaround for that Thursday game, but once you get that adrenaline pumping, you do not really feel it."  

On if he feels his confidence growing each week: 

"I do not really pay too much attention to confidence and things like that. I do not really get into it. I just go out there and do the best I can do." 

On his biggest adjustments during his first two NFL games: 

"Really just the speed of the game, I guess. It is a little bit different than college, but you kind of pick that up fast when you are practicing day in and day out. To me, it was an easy transition for now. I am still trying to get better, but it was not as difficult as I thought it was going to be."  

On if he has had nervous moments prior to or during his first two NFL games: 

"Before the first game, you kind of get jitters, and then after the first play, it goes away. You hit somebody one time, and that kind of disappears." 

On if he enjoys seeing the success of the Browns RBs and running game: 

"100 percent. I feel like as a running back and offensive lineman, you want to be able to run the ball every play, but in reality, you can't do that. We have a whole lot of playmakers who need to get the ball, as well, but it is fun. It is a great time when you get to do things like that." 

On if he blocks out outside noise and evaluations of his play, both positive and negative: 

"100 percent. There are going to be people who say good things. There are going to be people who say bad things. I just block out the critics and all the reports and everything and just focus on one thing at a time." 

On Washington rotating DEs to either side and if it can be difficult to not face the same player every snap: 

"Yeah because everybody is a different player. I feel like it more just comes from preparation and studying up on everybody because you never know who is going to go in, in case an injury happens or maybe this guy is better for the gameplan this week. You really have to study up on everybody and just be ready for those different guys to come in." 

On if he watches a lot more film now than he did at Alabama: 

"No, it is about the same."

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