BEREA, Ohio (WJW)– A new year, new general manager, new head coach, new offense. Then add the global conoronavirus pandemic to the list of obstacles.
But Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield isn’t making excuses.
“I have a different approach to this year,” Mayfield said during a conference call with the media on Wednesday. “It’s just time to work. Time to do our thing, instead of just talking about it.”
He called it, “Moving in silence.”
In between the standard quarantine activities of watching “Tiger King” on Netflix, playing board games and enjoying nice weather when he can, Mayfield is working out in his garage and adjusting his footwork.
“It’s made everyone go back to base fundamentals,” he said.
Earlier this month, the third-year QB gathered a group of nine players in Texas. Mayfield said it was great just being around each other and speaking the terminology, even when you can’t have complex practices.
He also said it feels like general manager Andrew Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski are on the same page. Mayfield noted the additions of offensive tackle Jedrick Wills, right tackle Jack Conklin and tight end Austin Hooper to help the run game and align the offense similar to Minnesota’s scheme.
“It seems like they’re absolutely one message, one team,” Mayfield said. “We’re bringing in the right guys with the right mindset who want to win.”
As for learning a new system, Mayfield said he’s always had the ability to adapt. He said the Vikings were an efficient team with Stefanski as offensive coordinator, while calling his new head coach sharp and deliberate. Mayfield has also been able to talk to newly-added quarterback Case Keenum, who spent a season with the Vikings, giving him greater insight.
Baker said he is staying optimistic and expects to have a full NFL season, adding we all need sports and to be safe.
“I think everything we might have taken for granted when we were living a non-quarantine life, we’ll take advantage,” Mayfield said. “This game of football that we play, it doesn’t last forever.”