Baker Mayfield: It’s okay if the guys don’t like me, but I have to earn their respect

Baker Mayfield: It’s okay if the guys don’t like me, but I have to earn their respect

NFL: December 12 Ravens vs. Browns

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Quarterback Baker Mayfield said a lot during his lengthy appearance on the YNK Podcastincluding that he felt disrespected by the Browns.

But Mayfield also acknowledged that he plans to do some things differently when it comes to leadership in his next step – wherever that is.

Towards the end of the 90-minute interview, Mayfield was asked if he’s happy to have guys rallying around him in a new locker room. The quarterback made it clear that his process isn’t about trying to get guys to like him.

“I’m not going to force it. I’m going to be myself,” Mayfield said. “Because I feel like I tried to force it when things on the pitch weren’t going well, like the last two years. I feel like I’m going to go out there and be myself, because it’s worked for me in the past. I’m going to go in there with the same work ethic and mentality. And if they don’t like me, great. But when I step on the court and I play as confident as I do and what I think I’m going to do on the pitch next time I get the chance to do it I’ll earn the respect of the guys who did it I haven’t been enjoying it since the start.

“And if I’m afraid they’ll love me, what do I do? They don’t care if I like them either. They want their quarterback to win. They’re trying to get a paycheck. If their team wins, they get paid. So guys who don’t really like me personally, it’s fine. But I must have their respect. And the way I do that is just work my ass off, be myself. Because you can get sniffed out in the blink of an eye if you pretend. They will sniff it out quickly.

Mayfield was not asked about ESPN’s Chris Mortensen’s report that the Browns wanted “an adult” at quarterback — a comment Browns owner Jimmy Haslam denied making. But the quarterback acknowledged that he strives to improve his top professional teammates in the locker room.

As Mayfield said, one of the most important jobs of a quarterback is to get everyone to avoid complacency.

“It’s like, how do I get the most out of people making a ton of money?” said Mayfield. “Because I could always motivate people when we weren’t making money. It was easy. I could face them, I could do all of that because, you know what, we were on the same playing field.

“You get a pension after four years, you get benefits and all that. So how do you motivate people who are at this point who have already reached it? This is the biggest battle for me right now. I can motivate myself. I know how to do that. I haven’t always done it correctly. But I know how. How can I get him out of everyone? Because it’s a leadership perspective to be a quarterback. I have to get everyone around me to be better than they really think.

Mayfield added that “a lot” of his energy goes into his leadership, in part because he knows how he is perceived and portrayed through the media for his teammates and their families.

“When they come home at night, they’re going to talk about how my quarterback acts,” Mayfield said. “And he better be a responsible guy who actually cares about them as human beings – not just about winning. And how do you galvanize that? And that’s a huge problem.

At this point, no one is quite sure where Mayfield’s next destination will be or when he will get there. But for who he plays, he could get a quarterback with a renewed appreciation for leadership and its importance as a team’s QB1.

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