Browns QB Baker Mayfield press conference - 5/5

Included below are select quotes from interviews with the following Browns players during today’s media availability:

·         WR Antonio Callaway

·         QB Baker Mayfield (full transcript)

WR Antonio Callaway:

On if he expected to be drafted or ever doubted if he would be selected by an NFL team:

“I questioned it a little bit, but I just kept my faith up, praying on it and leaving it in God’s hands.” 

On General Manager John Dorsey stating he had first-round NFL talent and if it is bittersweet to hear that, given where he was drafted:

“I agree with John 100 percent. Some of my choices that I made in my past caused me to fall a couple of rounds. I have learned from them, moved on and became a better person and learned from mistakes day by day. Taking it day by day still, growing and maturing.”

On changes he has made to ensure he makes good decisions:

“Just surrounding myself with positive people with the same goals as me, the same energy. Just basically decision making.” 

On how he connected with Steelers WR Antonio Brown and how Brown is helping him:

“He reached out to me on Twitter. I connected with him like that. Basically just been mentoring me, telling me that I have too much talent to let it go to waste. Where we are from, Miami, Fla., people rarely make it out. I am one of the few to be able to say I was blessed to be drafted by the Cleveland Browns.”

On when Brown contacted him:

“About a month, month and a half ago.”

On why Brown took interest in him:

“Because he saw the talent in me.”

On explaining his past:

“I was young. I was immature. I was just living in the moment. I had to grow and learn from my mistakes. I am past those.” 

On the failed drug test at the NFL Combine:

“I had a diluted sample. I did not intentionally do it. I take responsibility for my test.”

On if the failed drug test was a wake-up call after missing a full year of football:

“That was a wake-up call. Like I said, day by day, today I am still getting better as a person, as a player, as a man and as a father. I have a daughter.”

On his daughter’s ages:

“She is going to be three months [old] next week.”

On what he was doing the year he did not play:

“I was working out. I worked out in Atlanta, and I worked out in Boca Raton with Tony Villani.”

QB Baker Mayfield:

On being back on the practice field:

“Feels good to be back on the field. Feels natural out there. It is where I feel most comfortable. Obviously, there is a lot of room for improvement, but that was Day 1. I am looking forward to today.”

On his first practice with the Browns:

“A lot of basic mistakes that I do not usually make. You talk about just plays from the get-go. Snaps under center, we had a couple of problems. When you get used to somebody new, it is handled, but we have got to make sure that we are not worrying about that because if we take opportunities out of our guys’ hands to get the ball and play, then you are hurting yourself. Then obviously, it puts you in play to turn the ball over. Making sure we handle the basics first, and then you are able to move on and progress from there.”

On if he was surprised by the amount of snaps under center in the first practice:

“No, we are going to hammer that until I am good and it feels natural. That is the way it should be because I can play out of the gun. Everybody here knows that. We are going to hammer that and we are going to work on what I need to work on so that we can go from there.”

On if the hardest part of receiving a snap under center is catching the ball or the footwork:

“It is not catching the ball. Once you get used to a center, you are good. Just foot work. Just getting used to getting depth from the line of scrimmage. You have to get separation. In shotgun, you already have it so with the drop, you do not have to get the depth. Now the emphasis is on getting back and being comfortable and under control to where if you do have to step up, you can do that. It is just the footwork and getting comfortable.”

On speaking with former Browns QB Bernie Kosar:

“He had a lot of little tips and bits of advice just about how it used to be and how much fun it was when you win here and everybody rallies around it. Just talking about how he will be around if I need to bounce things off of him. He is a guy that I can learn on. That is something that makes you feel comfortable and makes you feel at home in a place like this where he is wonderful.”

On WR Antonio Callaway:

“He is very, very fast – a fast man. He makes good plays on the ball. When you have a guy like that and you get chemistry down, then it is dangerous. I had that with guys at Oklahoma. You get a talented receiver and then you know exactly what they are doing, you can do a lot with that. Looking forward to working with him. He is a guy that I think can help us out.” 

On if Callaway reminds him of former Oklahoma WR and Jaguars WR Dede Westbrook:

“A little bit, yeah, with the speed.”

On RB Nick Chubb:

“Impressive. At first, I did not know whether I was supposed to like him or not since he beat me [in the Rose Bowl]. I am rooming with him now. He is very quiet, hard working. You can tell everything that you have heard on the outside about him – how well respected he is, his work ethic – you can see that. Being up close in person and being able to see what he can do and just the cuts and his strength and acceleration, it is impressive.” 

On possibly attending the Cleveland Cavaliers game tonight:
“I am not worried about that, I have practice. If they keep winning, then I will come back.” 

On learning the playbook:

“It takes a lot of time. I have had a couple of guys – (QB) Drew Stanton is one – you start to piece things together. When you can put things in groups and in concepts, then it starts to make sense. It starts to click easier. You can relate, ‘Oh, this is just like this.’ You can relate back to it. For me, it is getting all of the basics down first and then grouping it all together so that I can just add on additional knowledge from there.”

On if there is a big difference between his college playbook and an NFL playbook:

“Football is football. Concepts, you are not going to get that much different. You are going to have your three-level floods. You are going to have your one side or this side based on the defense. It is just a matter of how we coach if here, how the footwork ties into that and also just mixing in if we are under center or in shotgun.

On how much he thinks about the College Football Playoff semifinal loss to Georgia:

“Almost every night, thinking I could have been a National Champion. Things happen for a reason so I can’t worry about that now.”

On if the reason him and Chubb are rooming together is because of their connection from playing against each other in the Rose Bowl last season:

“I think it is some sick joke (laughter). No, he is a great guy. Like I said yesterday, we are both team-oriented to it is not a problem.”

On if he has discussed the game with Chubb:

“I have not. It is a little salt in the wound that I am not going to bring up.”

On the back story behind reenacting the picture from Pro Football Hall of Fame QB Brett Favre’s draft day call:

“It started out kind of as a joke just because I grew up just such a big Brett Favre fan. Then my mom and brother started running with it. They started looking at stuff on Amazon online, found all of the little details and pieces to the puzzle to put it all together. It was honestly impressive. I thought it was a joke, and then when I showed up at home for that draft week, they had it all ready to go. It was something fun that we enjoyed.”

On where they found the cell phone for the picture:

“Online somewhere. I have no idea.”

On the walk-on hoodie idea:

“That is just a symbolization of where I have come from. It did not matter what was going to happen that day, the mentality is that you start fresh. You have to start with that mindset. It was just like yesterday, you have to have that mindset. You have to start fresh. I do not have it all figured out whatsoever. I have to work for it, and I have to earn it.”

On the leadership capabilities with the Browns, specifically in reference to playing with players older and more experienced than him:

“I am striving to be a leader. In college, you get there and you are around guys for just a couple of years. If you are a junior or senior, these freshmen that come in, they look up to you automatically because they are just getting their feet in the water. Now when you get to the NFL, these guys have been veterans for a long time so earning the respect of the older guys is important. It is just like I said yesterday, I have to know my job first. From there, I can do everything else.”

On stylistic differences in regards to leadership in the NFL:

“Absolutely. You have got to be able to read people. Everybody reacts differently to whether it is criticism or encouragement. You have got to know what guys need at that time. You also need to know when you need to shut your mouth and work.”

On connections with fans in Cleveland:

“Kind of back and forth from the airport and at the Indians game with my lovely first pitch. It has been so far so good. Definitely have enjoyed it. Have felt welcomed. This feels like home already.”

On reacting to Head Coach Hue Jackson’s statement that QB Tyrod Taylor will be the starting QB:

“I am always competitive. It would not matter what he was saying in regards to the competition, I am still going to compete and try to win that job. I am going to listen to him, but I have to go compete, and first and foremost, I have to learn my job.”

On if he has a concept of what offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s full offense will look like:

“A little too early. I know that he is a guy that adapts to his players. We will see when we put all of the pieces together what time of team we will be.” 

On if he has the full playbook:

“I have my mini[camp] kit.”

On how often he worked under center prior to the NFL in high school and college:

“Never in high school. Our jumbo sets and our big sets [in college] when we wanted to run the ball down on the goal line, short-yardage stuff. That is why working the footwork under center is the important part because I did not do it.”

On if having agile, quick feet can help him at this level:

“Yes, but it can also hurt me. I have to be calm. Almost a less is more mentality. Have to be efficient with it and have to stay calm. That is what I have been trying to work on; not creating my own pressure, not moving around too much.”

On how to stay calm in chaotic circumstances:

“It comes with knowing your protections, knowing that you are good and you do not have to move this way and you do not have to worry about it. Even if you see a guy blitzing, we are going to have a back coming back and scanning. It is just stuff like that. Knowing the offense, being comfortable in it, and then just trusting that your receivers to get there so that you can throw the ball.”

On improving his footwork in college:

“I put a lot of time and effort into that. The transition from my sophomore year to junior year was huge, but it was even bigger to senior year. That is when I made the most improvement with my footwork because I have a knowledge of the offense. I was able to really focus on the details and execute those.” On having a similar need to improve footwork in the NFL:

“Same mentality. Have to handle the first things first.”

On if he called plays in the huddle at Oklahoma:

“Off of the sideline and then what I did at the line of scrimmage is the same thing as what I verbalize in the huddle. I tell the line their protection, I tell the back his route and then I would signal the routes. Instead of it all being verbalized, I just kind of signaled.”

On if it was the same play call procedure at Texas Tech:

“Same thing. Same thing there.”

On his relationship with offensive coordinator Todd Haley:

“Great. He has worked with some of the best. A lot of respect to him. He is obviously very knowledgeable. He would not be here right now if he was not. It is starting out great. I can only hope to keep working hard and playing for him.”

On if Haley’s style of offense will be significantly different than what he has seen before:

“No, I have kind of had a different range of coaches, which is great. Same with being in different locker rooms, you get to deal with different personalities, and you also get to see how you react to different coaching. Looking forward to it.”

On the transition calling plays in the huddle from a headset, longer verbiage and after breaking the huddle:

“It is tough at first, but it you keep repping it, then it becomes second nature. When you hear it, you start picturing it. When they verbalize it, you start see the whole picture to where you get into the huddle and you just spit it right back out. You have to say it confidently so that those guys look at you in a good way.”

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