Browns’ Mayfield admits he was ‘lost’ in chaotic 2019 season
BEREA, Ohio — Baker Mayfield knew he needed to drop some weight, and maybe a little of the attitude.
If there was anything the Browns’ self-assured quarterback learned during a chaotic, losing 2019 season in Cleveland it was that he had to change.
“I would say I lost myself not having that success, not finding out what was working,” he said. “I tried different ways of trying to have that success, and I didn’t find it. I lost myself in that, and I wasn’t able to be who I am for these guys on the team.”
Mayfield opened up about those struggles — and more — that he faced in his second NFL season on Friday before the Browns held their first training camp practice under first-year coach Kevin Stefanski.
For Mayfield, this past offseason provided the chance for a restart, and the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner and 2018 No. 1 overall draft pick who has spent his football life proving people wrong, dedicated himself to becoming a better player and leader.
He arrived at camp in great shape after working with a dietitian and changing his eating habits — “my Mexican food fix” — and re-shaping his body through weight training and strength conditioning. General manager Andrew Berry said Mayfield added four pounds of lean mass while also cutting fat.
Mayfield said he got out of shape last season partly because injuries prevented him from working out the way he would have liked. He needed to be more mobile, and just couldn’t move like he once did.
“I was not able to work out as much being beat up,” said Mayfield, who dealt with an injured hand and badly bruised ribs last season. “I was heavier than I was ever playing before at a playing weight. I needed to (make physical changes) to be able to have the scrambling ability and to be able to move in the pocket.”
“That is my job to be in prime physical shape to show up and do my job on Sundays. That was definitely a key factor in that and being back. Look good, feel good, play good.”
He’s also more emotionally fit.
The losing has taken its toll on Mayfield, whose massive success at Oklahoma was followed by 18 losses over two seasons in Cleveland. In addition, he’s playing for his fourth coach and third offensive coordinator in three years.
So while doing reps with dumbbells, Mayfield worked on his mind.
“In a much better state mentally,” he said when asked about the difference from a year ago. “Obviously, physically, I put in the work. Just ready to roll, attack and get back to where I need to be to be the leader for this team and for this franchise.”