Mayfield said the high expectations for the Browns this season mean that people already want to see them lose.
With high expectations for Baker Mayfield's Browns this season, the 24-year-old quarterback said he understands that people want to see them lose. But he's not worried about that.
With Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. at his disposal on Cleveland's roster, Mayfield is focused on keeping "an even-keel mindset” this season considering his team just celebrated its first win in two seasons last year and is now one of the most-hyped teams in the league. Mayfield said “chatter doesn’t matter" but understands that critics are waiting to say that they were "too hyped up."
“The expectations for us within the locker room last year were higher than what we accomplished,” Mayfield told Complex.com. “Outside the locker room, people threw us in the trash before the season. They didn’t expect much out of us just because, the year before that, [the] Browns were 0–16. So, you know, you can only go up from there. And I think now we need to have the same mentality. It stays within that locker room. You’ve got to believe in it and take it one week at a time."
The Oklahoma product and former Heisman winner added that the newly perceived target on his team's back does not necessarily mean everyone wants to beat the Browns but it does mean people will want to see them lose.
He continued: "Because I wouldn’t say that everybody wants to beat us. I think in the media and everything that comes with the hype around our team right now, people want to see us lose, just because the hype is so real. But we’ve got to go out there and take it one week at a time. We’re trying to win every week."
Mayfield added that the growing expectations don't add any pressure for him or the Browns. Mayfield completed 63.8% of his passes last season after taking over as the Browns' starter partway through the season, throwing for 27 touchdowns to 14 interceptions.
The second-year quarterback led Cleveland to a 5–2 finish to the 2018 season.