baker-mayfield

Q&A: Baker Mayfield

The Cleveland Browns quarterback doesn’t shy away from a challenge.

On August 30th, Baker Mayfield will make his first NFL start in the preseason finale against the Detroit Lions. For the 23-year-old quarterback, the impressive performance is really just about meeting expectations. “There's a couple things that come with being a quarterback and then on top of that being the number one pick,” says Mayfield. In addition to talent, the Austin, Texas native know the importance of hard work and leadership. But balance is also a part of his vocabulary. During a two-week vacation in Hawaii this summer he proposed to then-girlfriend Emily Wilkinson. 

Furthermore caught up with him post-trip at Equinox Sports Club LA. There, he challenged his brother, 28-year-old Matt Mayfield to a football-inspired workout on the club’s rooftop. You can watch the full video (and get the routine to try yourself) here. Below, Mayfield talks about constantly proving himself, how he’ll approach being the new QB on an underdog team, and why he can’t wait to play the Ravens this season. 

You went from a walk-on at two different colleges to the number one draft pick. How did you keep pushing when you weren't getting that attention initially?

Somehow I always reverted back to the mindset of being the undersized kid who had to walk on. No matter what situation it was, no matter who I was around or whatever everybody else was saying, I always mentally took myself back to that spot where I had to earn my way onto the team. That's the same mindset I try to carry every day.

How will you apply that mindset during the upcoming season?

I love a good challenge. I've always been competitive. Something about having to prove yourself, having to earn it, there's just something I've always loved about that—having to overcome an obstacle. So this year it's a new team. The past couple years for Cleveland haven't been great, but it's a new start. I'm trying to instill that with the whole team—just start fresh and let's go get it.

As number one pick, and arguably in the hardest position in all sports, can you just show up and be one of the guys or do you feel that there's pressure to be the leader immediately?

There's a couple things that come with being a quarterback and then on top of that being the number one pick. They expect you to have talent. That's why you're there in the first place. But I want to be relatable to our guys. I want to make sure it feels like a team. That's not just one individual person. So you have to have everybody do their job and that's what I want it to feel like. Luckily that's how it's been ever since I got there.

How do you approach your training?

When you're training you can do the same stuff and have progress, but every once in a while, you need to mix it up to make it fun. For some people, working out is miserable. Not for me, I love it.

What are your go-to exercises?

I really try to implement stuff that's going to translate onto the football field, like explosive activities.

Is there a team in particular, whether it's in the AFC or NFC, that you're most looking forward to playing?

The first game against the division rival and the Steelers will be fun. But I have two best friends—Mark Andrews and Orlando Brown—that are on the Ravens that just got drafted as well. That's going to be fun. I can't wait for that one.