Press Conference

Browns QB Baker Mayfield press conference - 12/26

QB Baker Mayfield:

On preparing for the Ravens defense:

“Obviously, it has been a top defense in the league for years, but they are playing really, really well right now. They are playing as a unit. They kind of are all on the same page. They are able to do a lot of things out of the same personnel and just give different looks. They do not just have one thing that they do very well; they do it all. They kind of just mix it up so it is not like you can key in on any tendencies, stuff like that. You just have to be paying attention, go through your base rules and execute.”

On if the Ravens defense is different now than in Week 5:

“I think they are more on the same page. They have veterans at every single position and different levels. They are all on the same page. They have been communicating and executing well. It looks like they are having fun playing defense because they are playing as a unit and playing together for each other.”

On if he has to be smarter with each possession, given the Ravens’ ability to limit opponents’ possessions:

“Yeah, and I think that just anytime that you play a division opponent, taking care of the ball is the most important thing. A lot of that is momentum. Taking care of the ball and being careful but I still have to be myself. I still have to let is loose and play fearless, make those throws that I have been making and trust our guys to make those plays.”

On if this Sunday’s game will be taken to another level due to playoff implications for the Ravens:

“Absolutely. This is the first playoff-atmosphere game that our guys have seen. Denver was great, a primetime game, but this is a big one. They are playing for a playoff spot, and we are playing to prove who we are. As I said last week, we have to win the last few games. Right now, we are focused on the Ravens. It will be a great atmosphere.”

On if he realized the magnitude of the Browns becoming successful after a lack of wins in the past:

“I had an idea, but it takes having that same idea and mindset to go to work every day because it is a process. I talk about the culture change – the little details, it is all a process. You have to be able to hit the reset button every day and come in with a positive mindset and ready to work. That is just how it is. If you do not have that, it can be overwhelming, but because I had an idea of that and had the right people around me, it has been pretty easy.”

On if the momentum from the end of this season can carry into next season:

“Absolutely, especially since this has been such a new team and so many new faces. We will see what happens. We would obviously love to have this one and end the season on a very, very high note. Obviously, disappointing somebody else’s playoff hopes, that is motivation, too.”

On AFC North rivalries and how winning Sunday could ultimately result in the Steelers reaching the playoffs:

“I think if we take care of business on Sunday, that is 4-1-1 in our division this year. That is pretty much a really good turnaround from past years so that is the way we want it to be.”

On national attention on him staring at former Browns Head Coach and Bengals special assistant to the head coach Hue Jackson and his feeling behind it:

“I do not get why people have a problem with football being a competitive sport. You are supposed to play with emotion. You are supposed to play with passion. Quite honestly, if you do not like it, whatever. Football is not meant to be a soft game. Couldn’t care less.”

On FOX Sports analysts Colin Cowherd’s remarks about Sunday’s game:

“I said this after I went on his show, he is very good at what he does. He gets an opinion going in the media, and then once you go onto his show, he is very cordial and professional, and then once you leave, he is back at it. It creates viewers. It creates money and revenue flowing through his stuff. I think he is a very good businessman. Now, if that is his real opinion or not, I do not know, but in person, he was very nice. It is just funny to see how he gets people riled up. It is entertaining.”

On if he ever has concerns his on-field actions will be wrongly perceived:

“That sounds like the exact questions I got before the combine. No, not one bit.”

On other NFL QBs not necessarily visibly as much competitiveness during a game or doing so in a visible manner like he does:

“Everybody is different. Everybody is different. That is how it is. I have said it, I am not a cookie-cutter quarterback. Everybody is different. Everybody leads a different way. Everybody is competitive in a different way. I am not trying to be anybody else. I have been who I am. That is what has gotten me here, and I am going to continue to do that because I try to improve every week. I have that same mindset. That is why I said a couple of weeks ago that I am not trying to get anybody’s approval. I am trying to win football games and do this for as long as I can. That is the goal. The guys inside of this locker room know that. They know that I would fight for them. They know that I would take a bullet for them. To me, that is what matters. I do not have to make any friends outside of this locker room. I am not trying to do that. Once they are in here, they know exactly what they are going to get. That is what really matters.”

On the importance of getting on the same page with WR Jarvis Landry early in the game and the Browns offense having an efficient start:

“When you play a great defense like the Ravens, you have to execute. You have to do the little things right. Kind of like you mentioned, taking care of the ball. Realizing that you are not going to have as many series on offense, you have to take advantage of the opportunity – taking care of the ball, executing and doing all of the little things right. We talked about when you play good teams, like when we played the Texans, it is all of the little things that really matter, and they show up. If you do not do them right, it will hurt you. It will cost you. Starting out fast against this team is very, very important. There is definitely going to be an emphasis with that this week.”

On his familiarity with the history of the Baltimore Ravens franchise:

“Pretty familiar. My left tackle from college (Ravens T Orlando Brown, Jr.) is starting at left tackle for them and his dad played for the Cleveland Browns so pretty familiar with the story. It makes the history and this rivalry interesting. I think that makes it fun. It makes it passionate for the fans and something worth watching, especially when we are going to try to make this rivalry competitive again.”

On if he knew about the Browns’ and Ravens history prior to being drafted by Cleveland:

“I knew a little bit about it, but there was definitely a lot that I found out afterwards. Realizing that it was an overnight change and stuff like that. It is pretty dramatic to be honest. That is a very important thing that happened.”

On explaining a gesture made on the sideline during Sunday’s game and how it is being interpreted publicly on social media:

“I honestly could not tell you. I do not know. We have a lot of stuff within our locker room and within what we have going on offense. A lot of inside jokes. Who knows what is was.”

On if he knows what gesture he is being asked about:

“No, I try to stay off of social media so everything trending that you are talking about…”

On the gesture being interpreted as exposing himself:

“Oh, well I didn’t so.”

On Ravens QB Lamar Jackson:

“Talented. Very very naturally talented. A guy that can change the game in one play. If you do not contain him, he will hurt you with his legs. I think the thing he does not get enough credit for is how good of a passer he really is. How he is able to put the ball in his teammates hands. His play, he is not going to run just to run, even though they have some designed zone reads and stuff like that. When it comes to passing, he is not going to try to run around and run the ball. He wants to distribute it, he wants to get it out of his hands and get it into his playmakers’ hands. He is a game changer.”

On if he does not want to run as much as Jackson runs:

“If I had that speed, it might be a different story (laughter). You want to use it when you have to. That is what it comes down to.”

On if he knows Jackson well from Heisman or the draft process:

“Yeah, I know Lamar and his family pretty well – two years in a row going to New York City and throughout the draft process, as well. Great guy. He is someone who is fun to be around and makes it enjoyable so I would assume it is the same when it is coming to work every day.”

On if he views games as competitions against the defense and/or against the opposing quarterback:

“I think there is a little bit of everything. For me, it is always us trying to do our job the best we can, but then yeah, the extra motivation, the extra stuff on the side is who you are playing. That is what makes it fun. That is what makes it interesting as a challenge and the task at hand, but the most important thing is always making sure you are doing your job the best you can and improving every week.”

On if Browns fans dislike the Steelers or Ravens more:

“(Whistles) Steelers. Steelers, but I do not know we have a lot of Steelers fans becoming Browns fans this weekend (laughter).”

On receiving the local PFWA Joe Thomas Award (player of the year):

“I found that out earlier but a pretty good honor considering Joe Thomas is quite the legend around here. I appreciate that one.”

On WR Breshad Perriman facing his old team and if that provides extra motivation for Perriman:

“I would assume so. He is not the type of guy to show it, though. He is very about his business. Quiet, just comes to work but knowing him how I have been around him more and more, that is an internal thing for him. It is going to push him this week and so we are hoping it is going to be a positive thing.”

On OL Joel Bitonio receiving the Dino Lucarelli ‘Good Guy’ Award and becoming the first back-to-back recipient:

“He is the new Joe Thomas (laughter)? Back to back? Back to back good guy, huh, Joel? Congrats. man.”

On Bitonio’s leadership:

“Obviously, the easiest way to put it is he is a captain and everybody looks towards him, but the type of veteran leadership he brings to the table is that presence. He does not always have to say anything, but him knowing his job and how to handle things and get everybody on the same page up front and just within the huddle of communicating things that the coaches want relayed like playing the next plays, the details of doing our job and stuff like are the things in the right moments that he says because he is not going to be one to talk to talk. He is going to have it in the right moments, and I think that is his type of leadership. It has been vital for our team.”

On the motivation to potentially knock the Ravens out of the playoffs:

“It is a lot of motivation, and it is not just about them. It is about us winning and going out on a high note, even though the playoffs are out of reach. It is about us. That is what it has always been about so that is the motivation. The true motivation is taking care of business, making sure everybody knows exactly the standard around here. Keep talking about setting a standard and winning is that standard so that is the goal this Sunday.”

On facing one of the NFL’s top defenses as it relates to his development:

“Anytime you play a good defense like that, it is always a good key to evaluating yourself and as a team to where you are at. I am looking forward to it because they have been playing really well as of recently, and obviously, the challenge at hand for them and what is on the line, it is going to be great. Looking forward to it this Sunday.”

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