Offensive coordinator Todd Haley:
On QB Baker Mayfield's preparation for this week's game:
"He has done a good job. Obviously, a big opportunity for him. He has stepped in and is working hard like he has been and getting an opportunity to try to get better."
On if Mayfield entering the game last Thursday night during a two-minute situation and if that helped him, given there wasn't time to overthink:
"He has gotten a lot of reps in two-minute through the course of the offseason and training camp. It is probably a pretty good point that if you were going into a situation, your first situation was probably as good as any. The plays that he has probably practiced the most were with some of the guys that were out there."
On what he tells Mayfield to expect as opposing defenses challenge rookie QBs:
"We are doing that every week with all of the players, but especially at the quarterback position and a young guy, you are doing your best to get him to just lean on his rules that he is supposed to try to stay closely following. Everything that we have, we have rules – whether it is guys up front, line – you have to always be expecting the unexpected. You have to have a plan on how to handle those situations. It is no different at quarterback."
On Mayfield playing well last week and how reps with the first team offense will benefit him:
"I thought that it says that he was working hard to be ready as the guys who are not playing have to be at every position. The spotlight is obviously on the guy handling the football on every snap. I thought that he did a terrific, terrific job and gave us a chance to win. Now, this is the real test. I know a lot of people are covering the bust for Canton already to steal one from my old pal (Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill) Parcells (laughter). He set the bar high. I do not know that every week is going to go like that went. I will say this: as an offense, we need to execute better earlier because while (QB) Tyrod (Taylor) was in there, we gave him or anybody else – I do not care whether it is him or Baker or (Pro Football Hall of Fame QB) Dan Marino – you get the quarterback hit through no fault of his own on the first five plays, it is going to be a struggle. We as a group – it is not just Baker – our offense has to execute better earlier in games. I talked about mental errors the last time that I was up here. We were about half of that, but the majority of those came in the first quarter and a half of football. If everybody is not doing their job, it is not going to go the way that it went. He obviously has to play his position to the best of his ability, and everybody else has to do their part, also."
On if those first five plays were to blame for Taylor not 'looking himself' the rest of the game:
"Yes. I blame 100 percent. I know that we are all very excited about Baker. That being said, I just want everybody to know that I think Tyrod has done nothing but a tremendous job and has done nothing but put us in a position to win the first two games. I have been very clear when talking about things that are not always comfortable talking about that we have made too many mental errors. A coach is never proud to say that of his group. That is what we need to do as a group because if we make some of the errors that we have made in all three games, it is not going to matter who is playing."
On the value of QB Drew Stanton in his role:
"I think that he has been tremendous. He is a unique, unique quarterback. I took some flak for saying that this is the best quarterback room that I have been around – especially from former guys that I have coached like (Pro Football Hall of Fame QB) Kurt Warner. Guys were texting me like 'What?' – as a whole, as a group. Drew is a big part of that. Tyrod is a big part of that. It is a unique, unique group. He is a unique player. He has insight that I have not seen from very many guys and not so much that because there have been some really smart guys that I have been around, he has a unique feel for how to deal with Tyrod and how he deals with the young guys, whether it was (former Browns QB) Brogan (Roback) or it was Baker. I think it is, as I have said before, a great situation for a young, developing guy to be in. That is a big part Drew, big part Tyrod and obviously, (quarterbacks) Coach (Ken) Zampese."
On defenders rushing unblocked during the first five plays:
"That is why I said of no fault of his own, if you get your quarterback hit five out of the first six plays and really more than that as you start to run through the start of that game, it was not a fair situation to put Tyrod in. That has been the talk this entire week for our entire group. We have to execute better early. I am not a big 'got to start fast' guy because I believe that as an offense, if you want to be a good group, you better start fast. We need to execute and do our job better earlier in games. It can't take us a quarter and a half for guys to settle in because they definitely did. I am not taking anything away from Baker – Baker came in and played great, a young guy, first time in a real game, phenomenal stuff and gave us a chance to win – but at the same time, this is a process as I have said. All quarterbacks are different. Baker is a little more of a gunslinger. He is going to rip it around a bunch. What we have to do as a coaching staff and coaches is make sure that those are going in the right places and to the right guys most of the time. Tyrod is a completely different kind of quarterback. Like I said, it does not matter who is in there, we have to do a better job of doing our job. You are right. On those five plays, he got hit pretty good and not one of those really was his fault in that instance."
On if the offensive changes at all with Mayfield as starting QB:
"We are not just plugging robots in. I said the first time that I ever sat up here, the way that I have been taught and the way that I coach that has been very successful for me, is trying to do your best as a coach to give your guys the best chance to succeed and do what they do well. That does not whether it is a receiver, running back, an offensive lineman or a tight end, I make sure that we, as a group are thinking like that all of the time. When you are talking about the guy that touches the ball every snap, we are going to do the same."
On if Mayfield's play in Week 3 is now the expectation each week:
"For me? No, I just want to see him, like everybody else, continue to get better. That little sample size, throwing for 70-plus percent and making big plays, catching a ball for us, I think that was a small sample size. I have been around long enough to understand that there are going to be ups and downs. We just have to get him as much as possible without taking away that gunslinger attitude to make sure that he is doing smart things, not reckless or careless things. He did a couple in the game and got away with them. That is what we will be working on. It is great that he set a high standard. At the same time, I think that we are realistic."
On if it is 'new ground' having a rookie starting QB who was drafted high:
"It has been new ground – the whole process, really. Never have drafted a quarterback No. 1, obviously, but never even close to there. I have been with some young guys, like (former Cowboys QB) Tony Romo who was not a high draft pick, but I was there when the transition happened in Dallas. He is probably a pretty good comparison – some similar attitudes and similar kind of football savvy."
On if his offense has started to incorporate college elements as other offensive coordinators did:
"The one thing I will always bristle at is when you say 'your offense' because it is a terminology, it is the language. My offense so to speak has been a lot of different places. In Arizona, we struggled in the run game so our passing offense was the short, quick passing game was the run game. Kansas City, we had a couple of big time runners in (former Chiefs RBs) Jamaal (Charles), Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster, and we led the league in rushing. I always bristle at 'my offense.' It goes back to what I said earlier, we are going to try to play to our guys' strength and do our best to do that. That being said, you are always involving and I try not to be a robot, and that is why I bristle at the comment 'my offense.' It is our offense. It is what our guys put into it, and they are the ones that make it come to life, whether it is a route-runner, a running back whoever it is, the quarterback, they are the ones that really bring it to life with their skillset and ability."
On if it was difficult to sign off on the starting QB switch, given his comments about Taylor's and the offenses play early in the Jets game:
"I am going to choose to not talk about any of the internal stuff. I like all of the guys, and I believe in all of the guys. Lastly, what I will say about Tyrod is he came in and has been a leader from Day 1 of this group and of this entire building. There was not this same excitement and prettiness to it right now, and he was and is a big part of getting this thing continued and going in the right direction because I feel like we are. How this goes around, we have to have all of those guys ready all of the time, and he will be."
On if the two-point conversation play was borrowed from the Eagles:
"Absolutely, I have no shame (laughter). If plays look good… Hey, Kenny Zampese has a library of plays I have never even believe could exist. I do not know how he watches enough tape of other people to have it stored up, but a great resource. Like I said, I have no shame if something looks good. I think the way it actually went is I was down in our coaches' locker room, and we have a TV in there and they were replaying the Super Bowl. I knew it was coming up on that part, and Kenny kind of runs our two-point plays, comes up with the ideas and builds the library. That is why he is always searching for plays around the league, and I waited to see the play run on the TV in the locker room and I went up immediately and I am like 'We need to start working on that Philly Special. That is the whole league, though. I think you need to have your eyes open and no different going back. I do not think I ever answered college and pro meshing question, but as coaches, I think you have to keep an open mind and look for things that you think have a chance to work and fit what you are doing."
On improvements in the run game last week and Hyde running hard:
"Yeah, I am excited about our run game. I think we are going to have a chance to be a good running team. The challenge know with Baker in there, I do not think we get 50-60 from him like we do from Tyrod when he is in there. At the same time, I think we have missed just by guys not doing what they are supposed to do. Some real opportunities over the last three weeks to have the run game to have looked a lot better. I like our backs. I think our guys up front are starting to all come together now after a few weeks of being together and getting on the same page. I am excited. I was really excited about Carlos. I take my hat off to him. The guy as his wife is being induced, that is not easy for a player to do. He is texting (running backs coach) Freddie Kitchens, and it is getting close to pregame, 'Do not let them not dress me. I am coming. I am coming.' There is a lot on his plate, and I thought he put the pads on, played ball, played at a high level and gave us a chance to win so I am excited. The tough part is getting all of the guys enough touches because of his build. He is one of those guys much like (Steelers RB) Le'Veon (Bell), the more you give it to him, I think the stronger he gets. He is 230 pounds and wears those guys down so they stop wanting to tackle him a whole bunch."
On if he would have been OK with Hyde leaving the game if his baby was being born during it:
"I do not deal in hypotheticals (laughter)."