Mayfield, of course, wanted to improve his own individual game, too. That’s why he worked with a nutritionist and strength coach in Austin, Texas, where he spent most of his offseason. He wanted to take advantage of the unusual offseason created by the COVID-19 pandemic — which kept players away from team facilities until the beginning of August — and spent extra time focusing on the playbook and building his body into great physical shape.
“I think with the long offseason and online meetings and info work, I was able to get my body healthy and ready to roll,” Mayfield said. “I really worked on things one at a time. Scheme-wise, since we weren’t trying to install and get out on the practice field and run plays, we could really take our time with it.”
Now that team practices have begun, we can finally see how far the offseason work will go in Mayfield’s performance. He’ll be surrounded by talented players at every corner of the offense, too, and the stage is set for Mayfield to take a big leap.
Stefanski has already seen some of Mayfield’s work pay off in the early part of training camp. Even though the Browns have been confined to individual workouts up until Friday, Stefanski has been complimentary of the way Mayfield has carried himself around players. He’s molded into a core leader of the Browns, and players want to win for him.
That’s what any coach wants from a quarterback. He has yet to coach him in a real game, but Stefanski has plenty of confidence in Mayfield.
“I think I’ve seen a guy who has taken his job seriously and has made sure he’s ultra-prepared for the job,” Stefanski said. “We haven’t practiced yet, so we have to get a few days into this to make any statements about any player, but I really like where Baker is at from a schematic standpoint, a physical standpoint and definitely a mental standpoint.”
The 2020 version of Mayfield has arrived. Expectations are still high, but Mayfield isn’t focused on what the end result will be this season. He’s locked in on how the Browns can be a better team in training camp.
So far, it appears his plan has worked.
“I think it’s an unbelievable opportunity for everybody in this building right now,” Mayfield said. “With the moves we’ve made, the pieces brought in and the culture being built right now, we’re excited to get out there and show what we’ve been building behind the scenes. We have a new team and a new staff, and we’re ready to roll.”