Baker Mayfield: I’ll ‘never get my mind right’ about being a backup
Baker Mayfield understands his NFL career will begin as the No. 2 quarterback on the Cleveland Browns’ depth chart. But that does not mean he has to like the decision, even if he reluctantly accepts it.
Mayfield, who has no shortage of confidence, was incredibly forthright with the media when addressing his status as backup to Tyrod Taylor heading into the 2018 season.
“Uh, I would never get my mind right to be a backup,” Mayfield said about how he’ll approach training camp and beyond, via Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot. “That’s the second that I would be complacent. That’s the second that I’d stop working.
“You’ve always got to keep working like you’re going to be the best and that’s the same thing Tyrod (Taylor) has done his whole life. It doesn’t matter the position you’re in. If you’re not going to work hard, then you’re not doing it right.”
Browns head coach Hue Jackson on Wednesday anointed Taylor as the team’s unquestioned starting quarterback. The announcement did not come as a surprise in the least, as Jackson has repeatedly insisted that would be the case regardless of Mayfield’s performance.
Mayfield understands the Browns’ approach with him, despite the disappointment it brings.
“They’re doing everything they think is right and I believe in that and I believe in them,” Mayfield said.
The Browns obviously have high hopes for Mayfield after drafting him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, something the 23-year-old understands.
“My place here, why they drafted me was to help turn it around, so if I’m not fighting like crazy to be the best version of myself and to help this team, I’m not doing my job,” Mayfield said. “You know, everything happens for a reason. I’ve just got to be ready for my opportunity.”
While there is no single approach a team can employ that guarantees a quarterback will enjoy success at the NFL level, allowing Mayfield to learn without the pressure of being a starter arguably can’t hurt.