Baker Mayfield entered the 2018 NFL draft with high expectations after a stellar 2017 season with the Oklahoma Sooners. Mayfield threw for more than 4,600+ yards against just six interceptions that season. His efforts earned him the Heisman Trophy and made him the number one draft pick that year after being picked by Cleveland Browns.
His first season with the Browns was a decent one but fans expected more out of their star player heading into 2019. However, things did not go as planned for Baker Mayfield. The University of Oklahoma graduate finished last season with 3,800+ yards and a pass completion rate of 59.4 which is well below-par for his own standards.
The arrival of new head coach Kevin Stefanski this offseason could prove to be a catalyst for Baker Mayfield heading into 2020. Can the 25-year old quarterback put behind his previous displays and regain his ‘star’ status in Cleveland?
While speaking to Daryl Ruiter in a recent interview, Mayfield spoke about how he is looking up to later Lakers legend – Kobe Bryant – for inspiration ahead of the 2020 season.
“(I’m in) a much better state, mentally obviously physically, you know I put in the work like you said but (I’m) just ready to roll and try and get back to be you know where I need to be, to be the leader for this team, for this franchise.”
“You know, the reason I’ve gotten here is because I’ve been myself and able to attack each and every day with a hundred percent effort, so you know, being able to do that. Just to have that open communication with coach Stefanski….It feels a lot better and we’re taking it one day at a time as we should,” Mayfield told Daryl Ruiter.
The Browns’ starting quarterback further spoke about how hard the last two years have been for him. He added that he wasn’t used to ‘not being successful’. It will be interesting to see if Mayfield, Odell Beckham Jr, and Myles Garrett can resurrect their fortunes under Kevin Stefanski.
“Having success all through high school and college and having that standard so high and then the past couple years have been a roller coaster of emotions and not nearly as much success as I am used to,” Mayfield said. “I would say I lost myself not having that success, not finding out what was working. I tried different ways of trying to have that success, and I didn’t find it and I lost myself in that, and I wasn’t able to be who I am for these guys on the team.”
“You have to find that belief and you have to find that confidence within yourself,” Mayfield said. “That is what I have based my whole story on and my whole career on is confidence in myself and taking those chances.
“There were times — and these guys know that everybody has their moments — you can’t just hold onto yourself. You have to have people to lean on, and we have those guys here,” Mayfield said in a recent interview.