Cleveland QB1 Baker Mayfield was one of the many starter on the offensive roster that sat out during the Browns’ preseason debut against the Jaguars on Saturday. And according to recent statements made by the former No. 1 overall pick, it looks like that trend will continue during their second preseason matchup on Sunday.
Mayfield insinuated that his starting offensive unit doesn’t need any preseason reps to prepare for the 2021 campaign.
“Yeah, I mean, our job is to be ready physically, mentally, and just ready to roll as soon as the season comes around,” Mayfield said, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “You’re supposed to be ready when you come back to camp physically and work through all the [details], iron out all the little details, and right now, we’re on pace to do that.”
While many of the Browns’ offensive starters won’t see time during this year’s preseason schedule, they’re still getting valuable game-simulated reps in practice. Ahead of their matchup with the Giants this weekend, Cleveland has been participating in joint practices with the New York squad — working on two-minute drills, red-zone trips and short-yardage scenarios.
#Browns takeaways: Baker Mayfield knows starting offense doesn’t need preseason to be ready for Week 1 https://t.co/AtE3i3jEka
— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) August 20, 2021
“Right now, we’re overemphasizing communication on certain looks and adapting on the fly, taking care of the ball and no pre-snap penalties. That’s the biggest thing going in,” Mayfield said. “[The key to] knocking the rust off the early weeks of the regular season is don’t beat yourself. That’s the important part, and we’re focusing on that right now.”
For the first time in his NFL career, Mayfield is heading into a new season with the same head coach as the previous year: Kevin Stefanski. This level of familiarity with the coaching staff and his reloaded roster of offensive weapons should have him primed for an even more solid season in 2021.
“That makes life a whole lot easier right now,” Mayfield said of his returning teammates. “We’re trying things that are pretty challenging offensively — how we want to run routes, certain looks and formationally how we’re setting things up. So we’re trying to challenge ourselves each practice. Our guys are handling it correctly, and we’re just getting better.”
He also isn’t worried about those who doubt him or say that he’s not worthy of a big new contract, after his rookie deal is up.
“I don’t care what the doubters say,” Mayfield said. “You have to have self-confidence. You have to trust the people in your corner. It goes along with setting expectations. You set your own. You live up to that standard. You have to hold yourself accountable to that every day. That’s the key to it. If you get caught up on the outside and listen to the B.S., then I’d probably be done. So I just focus on me and get better every day.”
Trying to avoid an unnecessary preseason injuries, Baker Mayfield and the Browns will kickoff their regular-season schedule with a marquee matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sep. 12.
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