Dirk Koetter Impressed with Baker Mayfield's Performance in First NFL Games

Sports Xchange

(On what he needs to see defensive ends William Gholston and Carl Nassib do to step up)

“I don’t really need to see anything. Your guys are your guys. Whoever you have, whoever you’ve got going, they’re going. That’s just life in the NFL for every team that has injury issues. Whoever you’ve got up, they’re playing.”

(On what he hopes to see from defensive end Noah Spence)

“Noah has worked extremely hard to get back. That guy’s as hard of a worker as there is.

He puts effort into every single day. When he does get back out there, I think we just need to see more consistency and detail of assignment.”

(On the biggest challenges of winning with a rookie quarterback)

“Once you’ve committed to playing any quarterback, for whatever reason: winning the job, veteran quarterback, quarterback injured you’re playing another guy – whatever the reason, once that quarterback’s your starter just like we talked about with D-Ends, he’s your guy. You build a game plan to attack your opponent and then you have to always base your play-calling on what you see in practice on how your quarterback can execute that plan. You’re either going to add to it and give more or you’re going to pull back a little based on trust is built and how you execute in practice. And then also how a guy after he plays, what his track record it.”

(On if rookies may be more prepared now than in the past)

“I just think if you draft a guy high, they’re expecting you’re going to play them. There’s exceptions to that. Aaron Rodgers, first round pick, sits for a few years. It depends on your situation and I also think that’s where – I didn’t [scout] any of the quarterbacks coming out last year – but I think that’s also where people have to do their homework on how ready do they think a guy is to come in and play and then what’s your current quarterback situation? Are you going to make him the guy when he first comes in? My own opinion is if you draft a guy that high, on the job training is best.”

(On if Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is a player that can be dangerous if he escapes the pocket)

“Yeah I think so – throw or run. I think he’s a thrower first, but he’s already proven that he can hurt also hurt you with his legs. I didn’t do any work on him because I knew we weren’t going to pick a quarterback. What I’ve seen him do in the NFL – forget college – in the NFL I’ve been really impressed. I’ve been impressed with mainly his timing – how quick he gets it out. He hits the back of his drop, he knows where he’s going, and he gets the ball out on time.”

(On how he game plans for Mayfield, a player with few starts in the NFL)

“You would start off by game planning for their scheme. You would game plan for – first of all, Cleveland is a run first football team. They’re fourth in the league in rushing. They’ve got the three-headed attack at running back – three really good running backs. I think Carlos Hyde is definitely having his best year since coming over from the Niners. We’ve talked in here about our own offense. If you can run the ball successfully, then you’re going to take your play-action game off of that. In the NFL, third down is third down. You’ve got your third down game plan, your red zone game plan, your two-minute game plan. I think it start with our defense. We have to start with how are we stopping the run and how are we – the plays the concepts that Cleveland runs they run on a consistent basis – how are you going to try to attack those?”

(On how he feels about the run defense overall)

“Yeah, good. We’ve done a good job running it, but no one that we’ve played to date has really been a run-first team. New Orleans in that first game, maybe because of their running back situation they ran it some, but not as much as I think that they will as the year goes on with both their backs. Nobody’s tried to consistently pound the ball at us.”

(On what he sees from how Cleveland gets the ball out)

“Going back to our New Orleans game, in really three of our games this year, that’s really been it. Maybe more than that, but at least three off the top of my head. If you are in a high-scoring game, those possessions are going to matter a lot and Cleveland is doing a really good job of taking the ball away right now. Third-down defense and takeaways are their best things.”




Luke Easterling