Baker Mayfield isn’t concerned about leading the Browns, despite the team’s coaching turnover and subsequent uncertainty.
When asked if he could be the player to lift up the franchise during this pivotal time, the 23-year-old quarterback said: “Bring it on.”
“With all the distractions, we will see what kind of men we have in this room — not what kind of team that we have, but what kind of men can handle a distraction the right way — can come together and focus on doing their job and doing it at a high level against a great team (the Chiefs) come Sunday,” Mayfield told reporters Wednesday.
LIVE: Baker Mayfield at the podium https://t.co/GrO32Rgbkk
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) October 31, 2018
The Browns fired head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley on Monday after Cleveland got off to a 2-5-1 start. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was named the interim head coach, and assistant Freddie Kitchens will serve as offensive coordinator going forward. But Mayfield feels that his leadership and his presence will help lead Cleveland.
“It is kind of a fresh start for everybody, even though it is midway through the season,” Mayfield said. “I think that my leadership, my presence and making sure that guys stay focused is more important now than ever.
“It caught me off-guard, but have to roll with the punches. Whatever happens happens. We have to stick together as a team. We have to use this as something to make us come together. Obviously, it could be a huge distraction or it could be something that could bring this locker room even closer.”
Mayfield said Williams’ first message to the team as the interim head coach was “to stick together,” and the quarterback is hopeful the change will bring the players closer.
“It is one of those things that you can handle it as a distraction or you can use it to come together as a team,” Mayfield said. “This locker room can become a lot tighter.”
The Browns will host the Chiefs (7-1) on Sunday with kickoff slated for 1 p.m. ET.