Quote of the Day is a recurring series that will single out something said by a Browns player, coach or executive in a given day and provide context behind its importance.
The quote: "Scheme-wise, I think my attributes match up to what they want to do. Not only that, I think it matches up to our team and the people they have brought in. Our whole offense, just mentality-wise, culture-wise and of a no BS policy, you are going to know exactly what we want to do and you are expected to do it. It is just a being adult type thing. Handle your business, and we will have success and we will have fun doing it. I think there are things that we are doing within the building and within our online meetings that are ahead of the game and ahead of the curve. Hats off to our staff for being able to get those guys and making these moves to where we really feel like we are in a true training camp, even though it is a little different. We are having a lot of fun with making the most of it, so hats off to those guys." - Baker Mayfield on how the new coaching staff and offense fits him well.
Ever since the general manager-head coach duo of Andrew Berry and Kevin Stefanski was created in January, the Browns' goal toward roster construction has been clear.
With Berry, it was important each move was going to align closely with the strategies Stefanski planned to implement.
On offense, those strategies were based around the wide-zone scheme, which was going to increase production from Pro Bowl running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, highlight an emphasis on two tight-end sets and create more big-play opportunities from play-action plays.
All of those plans centered on making Mayfield a better quarterback. His quote Friday afternoon shows the plan has come to fruition.
"I think it is an unbelievable opportunity for everybody in this building," he said. "With the moves that we have made, the pieces we brought in and the culture that is being built right now, I think we are really excited to get out there and show that of what we have been building behind the scenes."
The Browns' first big offseason moves started in free agency, when RT Jack Conklin was signed to a three-year deal. Offensive line coach Bill Callahan — a 40-year OL coaching veteran hired in January — had rave reviews for Conklin.
He was a perfect scheme fit.
"You talk about a system fit, you could not get a more perfect tackle in free agency than Jack," Callahan said in May. "He fits the mode for the wide zone game and his pass protection sets, how he short sets and he jumps at the line of scrimmage, which is a tough skill to acquire. Then, of course, in third down and later downs, you can watch him set vertically and you can see his variance of sets."
The Browns also added TE Austin Hooper, who had 16 touchdowns over four seasons with the Atlanta Falcons and quickly became one of the most reliable tight ends in the league when he was drafted in the third round of the 2016 draft. Hooper's advanced stats were great, too — he caught 93.8 percent of his catchable targets, according to Next Gen Stats — and was a great talent acquisition for the tight ends room, a position of great importance in Stefanski's schemes.
"I did not have any personal connections with Austin," Stefanski said in April. "What happens is you start to sit down with Andrew, (Chief Strategy Officer) Paul (DePodesta) and our ownership group, and you start to look at the lay of the land and look at the roster and say, 'All right, where do you think we can add some good players that fit the scheme and that fit the personality of the locker room?' I think Austin right away checked those boxes. I just thought adding a really good player at that position made a ton of sense."
The Browns' draft selections followed a similar criteria, and each player fit like a puzzle piece into the plans Berry and Stefanski built for their offense. Jedrick Wills Jr., the first-round selection, would make a transition from right tackle to left tackle. That's a move that is often tricky for offensive lineman to make, but Callahan is one of the best coaches available when it comes to transitioning linemen to a new position. One of his greatest achievements was turning Dallas Cowboys OT Tyron Smith, a promising right tackle, into an All-Pro left tackle.
Callahan believes he can help Wills find a similar career path.
"I am quite confident that he is capable of being our LT," Callahan said. "He is really a sponge of information. He has absorbed all the content that you can give him and he wants more. I am really excited about him."
The next two offensive draft acquisitions were Harrison Bryant — another tight end and the 2019 John Mackey Award winner — and Nick Harris, an offensive lineman whose scouting report was ripe for a zone blocking scheme.
The list continues for every new player added to the Browns over the offseason. There's a plan in place, and every move has followed it.
Mayfield can certainly attest to that. He's clearly bought into the plan created by Berry and Stefanski, and his words Friday show he believes the new additions will elevate his play and help the Browns take a big step.
"Our guys are ready to get out there and prove what we have been doing this offseason because that is all that matters is this year," Mayfield said. "We have a new team, a new staff and we are ready to roll."
Check out photos from the first day of Browns Camp