There are reasons why Cleveland Browns fans are so full of optimism for the future. They have a young team overflowing with an absurd amount of talent. The have a new head coach . They have star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. And they have Baker Mayfield, a rookie quarterback who in large part helped transform the drooping franchise into one that is invigorated and looking at a successful season ahead. Setting the bar high for himself last season, Mayfield wants to do more with the Browns.
Baker Mayfield Wants to Do A Lot More
His sophomore year is approaching, and expectations of Mayfield are high. Was it a case of beginners luck? How much more can he develop? Will he thrive under the guidance of Freddie Kitchens? Will he and Beckham be a dream duo?
He Doesn’t Lack Confidence
Mayfield is sure of himself. And as Browns reporter Nick Shook says, wise beyond his years. “Everybody is going to say that we could and should be Super Bowl contenders,” Mayfield said. “Every person in the NFL should believe that… I have always firmly believed that you always set your own expectations… If we do not set goals for ourselves and believe in those and work for it, it doesn’t really matter.”
More Of The Same
There are a hundred things to work on in preparation for the new season. But ultimately, Mayfield believes the team needs more of the same. And that centers around new head coach Freddie Kitchens, who in a short amount of time, did everything right. “Everything he stood for last year when he was our interim offensive coordinator was about being upfront, holding each other accountable, working hard, working for us and being just upfront about everything”, Mayfield said. “A lot of defensive guys haven’t gotten the chance to be around him so being that same guy he was for us as an offense the second half of the year and being around those defensive guys, getting to know them, making sure they can trust him and just believe in what we are doing. We’re not going to have it all figured out right now, but come September, we’re going to be ready to go.”
OBJ Is Larger Than Life
Mayfield knows his second season won’t all be smooth sailing but according to Shook, seems to be enjoying this stage of his career. He’s excited to be working with Beckham , who will easily be his biggest rival in terms of talent, star power and attention. Mayfield can’t speak highly enough of the receiver’s “competitiveness and work ethic.” The quarterback believes Beckham’s presence will boost morale. “The impact he can have as who he is as a person speaks much more than anything he will ever do on the field. That’s the big difference when you bring in guys like that. That is why it is such a big deal to us, and that is why we are all excited and pumped up.”
Hit The Ground Running
Kitchens said of Mayfield, “He’s been chomping at the bit to get back.” He had advised the quarterback to get away from the game in order to be refreshed. “The good thing about getting away from the game is that you kind of have a renewed eagerness to get back when you do that. I think he falls into that. We hit the ground running today with him, and we will see where he is at.”
Mayfield Needs More
As we’ve come to expect from this feisty quarterback, Mayfield wants to achieve much more than he already has. “Absolutely not satisfied by how last year ended by any means,” the quarterback said. “You start to realize what jump you want to make from Year 1 to Year 2, and for me, it is really important for people to realize that it’s not just a fluke season.”
Mayfield knows that despite his legions of fans, there are a few who still doubt he will have long-term success. “I’m not satisfied with setting one record. I want to win Super Bowls. I want to do a lot more. That is why you combine that with guys like these guys that talk about legacy and leaving something behind them that they can be proud of… Yeah, they keep increasing the talent I have around me. That is going to make my job easier, but that means I’m going to have to work that much harder for it.”
And he doesn’t seem fazed by it at all.
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