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Press Conference

Browns QB Baker Mayfield press conference - 10/31

On his reaction to the coaching changes:

"For me, it is definitely something new. It caught me off guard but have to roll with the punches. Whatever happens, happens. We have to stick together as a team. We have to use this as something to make us come together. Obviously, it could be a huge distraction or it could be something that could bring this locker room even closer."

On if the coaching changes were a 'welcome to Cleveland' moment for him in his rookie year:

"I have not been in Cleveland long enough to say that is my moment. I think later on in my career, I will be able to give you a better answer on that."

On if he was surprised that both Head Coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley were relieved of their duties:

"Like I said, for me, it being the first time I have experienced something like that midseason was surprising on all fronts. Specifically, it does not really matter if it was one or both. It was just surprising to me. I have never gone through anything like that. That is my 'welcome to the business moment,' I think."

On Head Coach Gregg Williams' message to the team:

"To stick together. We have this. It is what it is, but we have to push forward. We have a game this week and that is the important part. We can either use it as an excuse to throw in the towel or to rise up and come together as a team."

On if he noticed 'internal discord' between Jackson and Haley:

"Tried not to see anything else besides doing my job. Like I said, I am taking it one day at a time. I am learning as we go throughout these things. Whether there was or not, I do not stick my head into that stuff. I stick to doing my job, being around these guys and trying to improve every day."

On how the situation can turn into a positive for the team:

"It is one of those things that you can handle it as a distraction or you can use it to come together as a team. This locker room can become a lot tighter. I have not been through a midseason change, but when (former Oklahoma Head Coach) Bob Stoops stepped down and (Oklahoma Head Coach) Lincoln Riley was the head coach, that was kind of the same situation. It was different. It was new to us. We used that to come together. I expect the guys in here to be grown men, to be experienced football players and to handle it that way and keep that same mindset of that we have the same goal. We need to reach that and work with each other."

On what changes for him with the coaching changes:

"Obviously, (former offensive coordinator) Todd (Haley) will not be calling the plays; (offensive coordinator) Freddie (Kitchens) will be. Still have (quarterbacks coach) Kenny Zampese being the quarterback coach. Within the routines of day-to-day stuff, it is very similar. As I continue to learn from Freddie and how he likes to call plays, just be comfortable to voice my opinion on certain things. We are all learning as we go here, but it is not an excuse."

On people looking to him as the person to push the team through adversity, particularly as a No. 1 overall pick:

"Bring it on."

On how the Browns can improve on offense:

"We are going to stay with the same system. We are not going to midseason throw in a new playbook. That is not what we are doing. It is the same things over and over. We have to be detailed. We have to do our job the best we can. This is a good week to do that. With all the distractions, we will see what kind of men we have in this room – not what kind of team that we have but what kind of men can handle a distraction the right way – can come together and focus on doing their job and doing it at a high level against a great team coming Sunday."

On what was most memorable about the 2016 Oklahoma-Texas Tech game:

"That it was a basketball score. Looking back on it, [former Texas Tech and Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes] had I think 800-plus total yards, and they were 20 of 25 on third down. I think that is we can keep from completing 20 of 25 third downs, then we will have a better chance of winning."

On if he expected the 2016 game to be that high scoring:

"Absolutely. That was my 'Welcome back to Lubbock' moment. Weird things happen in Lubbock, Texas on Saturday nights. It is pretty funny, Oklahoma goes back to Lubbock this weekend and then I am playing Pat on Sunday." 

On if he thought Oklahoma could score on every possession in 2016:

"That is kind of the belief and confidence I have had in the offenses that I have played in. That is the kind of thing that I want to install here. It is something that goes a long way. It does not matter what they were doing – they were completing every pass and scoring a lot of points – but we have to do our job. It does not matter."

On if he will think about the 2016 Oklahoma-Texas game on Sunday:

"No, I will be thinking about Sunday and playing the Chiefs."

On if a particular pass or play stands out from the 2016 Oklahoma-Texas game:

"There were a bunch so no, not really."

On how he is feeling physically following last Sunday's game:

"Good. Ready to go."

On if he notices differences in coaching styles between Kitchens and Haley:

"No, considering we have not even had out first day of practice, I will not be able to answer that one."

On if he would like to see Riley ultimately become the Browns' head coach:

"I love Linc, but we have what we have. He is doing his thing and, I am doing mine. Not worried about that. Coach Williams is our head guy now, Freddie is our offensive coordinator and we need to roll with that. We need to believe in that. We have the team that is capable of winning in this locker room. Have to trust that."

On how Riley's coaching style would fit in the NFL:

"All coaches are different. You have your guys like Gregg Williams that are fiery leaders, and you have your guys that do not talk as much – and Lincoln is one of those guys. What it comes down to is the players trusting the coach and who is in charge. They have to believe in that. Without question, they have to follow. I think his style would work, but that is just because of who he is. He is smart. He gets his guys to believe in him. That is what it is. So does Gregg."

On Kansas City running a similar offense to Oklahoma:

"Fair to say. Obviously, I am not studying their offense, but from what I have seen, they do a lot of mismatch stuff, they do a lot of play action and they allow Pat to do a lot of things and make plays. Obviously, playing at a very high level."

On if there might be a quicker offensive tempo on Sunday:

"We will see. We will see as we go through the gameplan."

On if he has ever lost three games in a row:


On handling three consecutive losses and if the NFL is as tough as he expected:

"The NFL is a tight game because of how talented everybody is but it comes down to the details. You have to do your job the very best, and that is why we are looking to improve week by week. This will be a good test for us to see how we handle it. It is a tough game, but it is because it is about the little things."

On if he remains confident in his abilities:

"Absolutely. Ready to roll."

On if he has made a mental note that his leadership right now may be more important than ever:

"I do not think that I had to tell myself that. I think that has been something that I try to realize every day but now more than ever. We talked about it – it is kind of a fresh start for everybody, even through it is midway through the season. I think that my leadership, my presence and making sure that guys stay focused is more important now than ever."

On if 'internal discord' got in the way of the Browns winning games:

"Like I said, I was not looking at that. If that was there, I was not paying attention to it. What it comes down to is the fact that we were not making the plays and doing our job well enough to win. If you look at the tape, it was always a mistake here or there – a bad read, stuff like that and missed assignments. It does not come down to the stuff off of the field. It comes down to the play."

On if he would benefit from installing more of an Air Raid offense or similar concepts for the final eight games of the regular season:

"No. When it comes down to schemes and stuff like that, you can't come up with something brand new that you have never seen. I have seen a lot of these things. It is just the way that it is coached. I just have to do my job and do it at a high level. I do not think that we need to bring anything new. We just need to keep doing it."

On if his history with Mahomes has the potential to turn into a rivalry like the one between former Colts and Broncos QB Peyton Manning and Patriots QB Tom Brady:

"I would absolutely not say that it going to be Brady-Manning right now, but it is humbling to be in that conversation. If he keeps playing that way, there is no reason why it would not be on his side of things. Now, I just have to pick up my side and play better."

On his relationship with Kitchens:

"It is very laid back. I have not had to work directly with him. Now, I am getting to see that side of him. It is a great relationship. He is a guy that is very honest and he is up front about a lot. I expect it to be something similar to that."

On if the 2016 Oklahoma-Texas Tech game is 'as good as it gets for a quarterback':

"I think so."

On if a QB has time to think during a high-scoring game like 2016 Oklahoma-Texas Tech:

"You have to hit the reset button after every series. You can never be happy with what is going on. You just have to go do your job on every series."

On if he watched a lot of Mahomes in the game:

"Yeah, I watched him convert a lot of third downs (laughter)."

On Mahomes' success this season:

"Not a surprise at all. He has been very talented. Everybody has known that since he got to Texas Tech. I hosted Pat when he was on his official visit. We knew what type of athlete he was. He was a two-sport guy. Has it in his jeans – his dad was a baseball player. He can throw form any angle. He can extend it. He is not easy to bring down. I have seen that first hand. He is a big guy with a strong arm."

On if he can replicate Mahomes success once he has a supporting cast like the Chiefs:

"I believe in our guys. I do not need anything else than what we have. I believe in those guys, and I think if we get on the same page, that is going to be great. Pat has been there and this is his second year. They have had those same guys going on Year 2 now. That is chemistry and stuff like that, but we need to speed up our process so we can get to that point."

On if he and other QBs are jealous of Mahomes' arm:

"Absolutely. Absolutely. There was a play in that college game, he was rolling to his left, flicked it and it went about 65 in the air for a touchdown back of the end zone. He does stuff that you can't even think of even being possible."

On hosting Mahomes on his recruiting visit:

"Patrick has always been an easy going guy. That is why those teammates he has always had play for him so hard. He gets their respect not just based on talent – that is the easy to respect – but based on who he is as a person. He just has that presence about him that you want to be around. You gravitate towards that so it is fun to see him grow."

On if he was surprised Mahomes was not the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft:

"Talent wise, I thought he should have been – I love (DL) Myles (Garrett) but… (laughter) Coming from the Texas Tech system, there are always your skeptics about people doubting the fact that all he did was sit back there and throw the ball. He threw it 88 times in our game, but when it comes down to it, throwing the ball is throwing the ball, and he is really good at it."

On if he wished he could have had more time to watch from the sidelines similar to Mahomes in his rookie season:

"I have not though about that because if I was thinking about what could have been, I am not worried about what is going on right now. I have never been one to want to sit out. I have always wanted to play. It is what it is. I think I can learn from experience. I think he learned from both. He started the last game in 2017. Everybody is different. He benefitted from that and I think I can learn quickly, as well."

On reaching the level of Mahomes' and the Chiefs offense's play:

"We just have to make the clutch plays. We have to convert on third down, and we have to make the plays in critical moments. We have to win situational football, and we have to score touchdowns instead of field goals. To be honest, that is what it is."

On if it helps that Kitchens called offensive plays during the Lions preseason game:

"That was my first start so I enjoyed that. It was different than going through practice with Todd calling the plays. That was the first game, but I thought it went smooth. That is the starting foundation for that, and we will see where it goes from here."

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