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Press Conference

Browns QB Baker Mayfield press conference - 9/24

QB Baker Mayfield:

On his reaction when Head Coach Hue Jackson named him starting QB:

"It is humbling. It is an honor. That is what I wanted to be, though. I wanted to be the starting quarterback. I wanted to play. That is just human nature. I am happy, but it is just the beginning."

On if it means more that had earned the starting position, as Jackson stated:

"Absolutely. That is how you want it to be. You want to have to work for it. You have to earn it. You have to have that mentality. You want to work for everything that you do to have success. That is why the success is so much more fun when you have to work for it."

On the hardest part of not being the starter until today:

"I did not think that it was that difficult. I had my role and I took pride in doing that. I wanted to help this team any way that I could. I was not stressing too much. It was not in my control. I was going to take it day by day. Like I told you guys, they were very up front about the plan form the beginning so there was not anything that I was not aware of."

On if his game preparation changes now that he is the starting QB:

"No. I am going to carry my same routine. So far, it is working for me. I have guys around me that I can learn on for support. Now, the only thing different would be the vocal standpoint of leadership. We still have (QB) Tyrod (Taylor). He is still one of our captains and one of our best leaders. There is no doubt about that. Now, I just need to be more vocal. It just comes with the position."

On if it is harder to be in the backup role or in a starting role, given his past experiences:

"To be honest with you, I love playing so I would say it is harder to be the backup."

On if it was difficult to 'pull back' his vocal leadership when not the starter:

"It is harder to pull back when it is in my nature. That is just who I am to be vocal, to express my feelings, my emotions and to lead with passion. I am not going to be fake. I am not going to do a rah-rah speech or just talk the talk. There is always a purpose. I think that you get the most out of your guys when you are doing that."

On if he had a 'quiet confidence' as a backup, given he had to wait to earn starting QB opportunities in college:

"Absolutely. Having been through some adversity, starting from different points and having to work through the depth chart on many occasions, that has definitely helped my story. I have been here before. I am just going to keep that same worker's mentality, and when my chance comes, take advantage of it."

On playing first road game at Oakland:

"Anytime that you play on the road, it is a great opportunity to see what your team is made of. It is kind of your back is against the wall. It is just your team – just the team that you bring and you travel with. It is always exciting with that. Then, you add in the perspective of the Black Hole. It is a hostile environment. You want to see how your team is going to react. You want to see how they will battle adversity and how you take on the challenge. I am very excited about the opportunity."

On raising the level of play of his teammates Thursday and in college:

"You could be a terrible quarterback talent wise, but as long as you make the players around you better, you are doing your job. I told you guys during training camp and in OTAs, my job is to get the ball in their hands. That is how they look better. They are doing their job. That is what they are paid to do – to make plays. That is what I want to do – get the ball into their hands. They are the playmakers. I have just always had that mentality. Let them do their work. I just get my job done."

On opportunities for growth for the Browns offense:

"We have been talking about how we need to grow each day. I do not think that it was any different than when Tyrod was playing. We have to get better each day. There is always something that we can work on. Right now, it is finishing up the fourth game – the last one of the first quarter that we are talking about breaking the season into four quarters. We just have to get better each week and come out with a win."

On practicing with the Browns first team offense:

"It is nice to get reps and to slowly build that timing and chemistry. To be able to do that, you start to get into a rhythm. I am happy with how I played without any reps. Right now, I have very, very high expectations for myself having a full week of practice of being able to get those reps with the offense. We should be in-tune by Sunday and be ready to go."

On if he would like to see elements or plays from his college offense in this week's game plan:

"I do not think it is about me. I can adapt to whatever offense we want to run. Whatever our guys are best at, whatever our guys are comfortable with and whatever the guys up front feel comfortable with, that is what is important. Obviously, doing the plays that I had at Oklahoma I would be very comfortable – I did them for three years – but at the same time, it is not about me. It is about getting the guys around me better."

On returning to Oklahoma this past weekend:

"Always fun to go back to Oklahoma. I will be honest, it felt really weird to be there on a game day and not travelling with the team. It did not feel like it was actually real. It was alright. I got to see (Oklahoma Head Coach) Lincoln (Riley). Talked to him. It was excited because when I got there, it was the day after the (NY Jets) game. It was exciting. Got to see everybody. Just was a good time. Luckily, they came out with a win, playing against the triple option."

On the Raiders having an opportunity to gameplan for him:

"They can game plan for me, but we have other skill guys. We have guys that are doing their job very well right now. Like I said, my job is to get the ball in their hands. I am not going to be the one to run around and create all of the plays. I am just going to do my job, and let them do the work."

On keeping the hype and attention on him in perspective:

"That is kind of my story. There have been a lot of highs and a lot of lows. You have to find the happy medium. That is one thing why I have a tremendous respect for Coach Riley. He helped me learn that along the way. You have to find that happy medium. You have to have that same attitude each day. You have to show up to work. What got you here does not need to stop. Even though I had one good game, that is just a building block. I did not come here just to win one game, and I did not come here just to start the next. We are building a franchise here and we are turning it around. It is about culture so being that same person every day, which means finding that happy medium, never listening to the outside noise."

On if he was aware of the 'outside noise':

"There is obviously going to be a lot of excitement about it. That was the first win around here for a while. You could feel the energy. You could feel that from the stadium during the game. You have to do your best to block out the distractions and do your job."

On if he felt a sense on Thursday that the City of Cleveland needs him to carry the city and if he can handle the responsibility:

"It comes with the territory. That is what I signed up for. I am living my dream, and I would not have it any other way. Without pressure, I do not think this would be very much fun without all the people watching and finding the joy in this game. I love this game. Without the competitive nature, I would not enjoy it."

On reaction from teammates today:

"It has been positive. We had a good first day of practice. It is about building blocks. Like I said about blocking out the outside noise and distractions, that is one thing. Like I said, we have the next man up mentality, and now, we just got to roll with it."

On if he said anything to his teammates after Jackson announced him as the starter:

"No. Carry that same attitude each day. Be that same person like I have been from the second I walked in this building, and that is what they need to see. They need to see that I am not going to change no matter the circumstances – starter, backup or whether we are winning or losing. I am going to be that same person for these guys, and they can count on that."

On RB Carlos Hyde's performance while awaiting his son's birth:

"Unbelievable. I can't put myself in his shoes, but I would imagine it is pretty tough to have to come to work when he is having a baby. Tremendous amount of respect for him for doing that, and then he obviously rushed out of the stadium and showed up to the hospital before the baby was fully out. I am happy for him. It is an exciting time."

On if he heard anything about the birth in the huddle:

"No. After he scored, I told him happy birthday, though because among having a baby it was his birthday, as well."

On the Raiders defense:

"A talented team. As we start to look more into the tape, we start to see matchups, and we talk about the red-dot players – they are important guys that you want to try to take out of the game. You want to eliminate them making big plays and game-changing plays. We will have more details on that as we start going through the week. Right now, it is about doing our job. That is the most important thing is we have to play our offense. We have to do it at a high level, no matter who we are playing."

On if his Tuesdays will get longer now that he is the starter:

"No, like I said, it is going to be the same routine. Not going to treat it any differently. Maybe an extra meeting here and there with the offensive line, but that is about it."

On if it is a relief to no longer have to answer questions about when he will start:

"Anytime not having to answer extra questions, that is great (laughter). I can just focus on just doing my job."

On if it is fortunate that he had an opportunity to build chemistry with WR Rashard Higgins, who is now contributing on offense:

"Absolutely, but I am not excited about that for me – I am excited about that for him. During camp and OTAs, we worked hard together. I am happy to see him having success and it coming out on Sundays."

On how he benefited from the sidelines:

"I think the preparation and the routine for the first couple of weeks and getting into that. It is different for me having all of the free time and having to manage that, doing film study on my own and learn and being around those guys. Just the time management of being in a different routine during the season. I have benefitted from that and also just being eager enough so once I get out there having the mindset of taking advantage of the opportunity."

On if he is aware that he is the 30th QB to start for the Browns since 1999:

"It is 2018. Don't really care."

WR Rashard Higgins:

On QB Baker Mayfield being named the starter:

"It is the next man up mentality. It has been that way since I have been here. It kind of reminds me of the shoes that I have been in all of the time. When a guy goes down, the next guy has to go in and has to perform. That is the exact same thing that Baker did. He came in and performed. He got me my second W since I have been in the NFL. Wonderful feeling. Can't describe it. The energy in the stadium, it was unbelievable. I am glad that it came."

On his chemistry with Mayfield after working together throughout training camp:

"I am excited. Me and Baker, and the timing that we have, you guys have seen it. It is unbelievable. To have something like that with another guy is well worth it. I hang out with Baker all of the time. We live in Crocker Park, and I am always at his house. I am always asking him, 'Hey man, do you need anything to eat? Anything? (laughter)' All jokes aside, I am very excited for him. He is going to get the job done. I am happy that he is here."

On how Mayfield makes him a better player:

"Just the work ethic that he brings, the desire that he has, the confidence that he comes out there with – it only excels us in the huddle. That is what we look for in a quarterback – somebody to pick us up when we are down and to tell us, 'Hey man, c'mon. I am the leader. I got y'all. Let's do this.'"

On playing in the Black Hole this week:

"Fired up. I am excited. Nothing more to say about that. I am excited about it."

RB Carlos Hyde:

On describing Thursday and Friday, given the game and awaiting his son's birth:

"It was a handful day right there. Just being at the hospital, getting to the game, playing the game, then having to get back to the hospital and then my son was actually born two hours later after the game. 

On if he went straight to the hospital from the game:

"Yeah, I was in the room when he came out. I was one of the first people he saw."

On if he held his son and when did he left the hospital to get to FirstEnergy Stadium:

"I did. I left the hospital at like six o'clock. They told me, and I told Coach Jackson. He said that we do warmups at 7 p.m. He was like try to get here by 7 p.m. so you can at least warm-up. I was late to warm-ups. I was the last one out there. I was getting stretched and stuff so I got there by 6:40 p.m."

On if he was thinking about his child's birth throughout the game or if he shut it out of his mind at any point:

"The only time I shut it out was when I was actually playing. Once I was on the sideline, that is what I was thinking about. I am like, what is going on? I had someone hold my phone so they would let me know like 'No, we have not heard anything yet.' So I was like alright, cool."

On if had someone update him consistently while he was on the sideline:

"Yeah, I would be like 'Is there anything going on? Let me know.'"

On if he was pumped during the game with all that was happening:

"I was excited already. It was my birthday so I was already excited for that. I was excited we had a game. Then I was excited when I knew my son was coming so it was so much to be excited for. It was a little overwhelming, but I think I handled it well."

TE David Njoku:

On if he believed QB Baker Mayfield would be named the starter:

"Honestly, I do not really know. I just see ball, catch ball. I just try to focus on my job. As far as seeing him play on Thursday, he looked like a grown man out there. He handled himself very, very well, focused on his accuracy and everything and being a great quarterback. I think that he did a very good job."

On what Mayfield does to help make the entire offense better:

"What he does, he is very accurate. I think that he is just a great quarterback. Having a great quarterback helps the whole offense. I am really excited for us to keep this going."

On if Mayfield being the starter could be the 'start of something big':

"Of course. The sky is the limit for him. Everyone thinks that just because we are rookies or second-year players that we still have a long way to go, and some people do, but I am excited for him. I think that he is a great person and a great quarterback."

On if Mayfield provided a new energy for the offense when he entered the game:

"I do not really know. That is a great question. I am going to have to check the film and see if I saw that spark once he came in. I do not really know. The first play, obviously, he threw it to (WR) Jarvis (Landry) and then the second play to me. He was moving the ball. He looked really good. I do not know if that answers your question."

On Mayfield leading offensive possessions that resulted in points:

"It was great offensive work from the whole offense. He, being the quarterback, was the main [leader]. When he got out there, I think that he handled it very well. He played tremendously and we did good."

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