Baker Mayfield went back to his roots during this strange offseason, a time he's used to reflect and forget a season that didn't go well for the Browns' brash quarterback.
He's also worked on his golf game.
“I've always been a high-effort guy," he said. "I am swinging hard still, but it is still not going straight.”
Neither is his NFL career, and Mayfield's spent the past two months trying to get it back on the proverbial fairway.
After an electrifying rookie season, he regressed significantly with Cleveland. On Wednesday, Mayfield, who will be playing for his fourth coach in three years in 2020, spoke to reporters for the first time since January, when the Browns' 6-10 letdown was followed by yet another coaching change, front-office purge and renewed questions about whether he's a franchise QB.
Mayfield knows the upcoming season is vital.
“There’s no doubt Year 3 is always a big year in these contracts and timing-wise, everybody knows that,” Mayfield said on a Zoom call from his home in Texas, where he's been holed up during the COVID-19 pandemic. ”I’m not going to put any added pressure on myself. There’s no need for that. Because if I win, good things will happen. That’s the most important part.
“If I play better, that’s why quarterback is one of those positions that’s the hardest in sports. If I play better, our team’s going to do better. So I put that pressure on myself. So it doesn’t matter what year it is, I have to be way better each year.”