Baker doesn't care he's QB No. 30, welcomes expectations that he will save football in Cleveland

Rashard Higgins thinks the Heisman winner will land on the "LeBron wall"

September 25, 2018

Daryl Ruiter-Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Baker Mayfield saved the Browns from their inglorious march through football Siberia by helping to end their 19-game winless streak last Thursday night.

With the talk of the winless streak now history, Mayfield aims to change football in Cleveland for good.

“I didn’t come here just to win one game, and I didn’t come here just to start the next,” Mayfield said Monday after being named the starter going forward. “We’re building a franchise here and we’re turning it around. It’s about culture, so being that same person every day, which means finding that happy medium. Never listen to the outside noise.”

Once a football powerhouse under legendary coach Paul Brown in the 40s and 50s, the 1999 expansion version of the Browns have resembled a team Charlie Brown would be proud of. The team owns the worst record in the NFL since 1999 and the primary reason for the failure has been the lack of a true franchise quarterback, in addition to the constant coach and front office changes.

Mayfield is now QB No. 30.

“It’s 2018. Don’t really care,” Mayfield said.

And that’s why Mayfield has been successful. Nothing scares him.

He went from a 2-time walk on at Texas Tech and then Oklahoma and turned it into a Heisman Trophy win and No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft despite not having the prototypical size scouts, GMs and coaches typically covet at the position.

“There’s been a lot of highs and a lot of lows,” Mayfield said. “You’ve got to find the happy medium.

“You’ve got to have the same attitude each day. You’ve got to show up to work. What got you here doesn’t need to stop. Even though I had one good game, that’s just a building block.”

The pressure of being counted on to help save the Browns from themselves for the last 2 decades is something the likes of Brady Quinn, Brandon Weeden, Johnny Manziel and 26 other quarterbacks couldn’t survive.

And now those hopes, and dreams fall on Mayfield’s shoulders that he is finally ‘the one.’

“That’s what I signed up for,” Mayfield said. “I’m living my dream and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Without pressure, I don’t think this would be very much fun, without all the people watching and finding joy in this game. I love this game, and without the competitive nature, I wouldn’t enjoy it.”

Receiver Rashard Higgins, who is neighbors with Mayfield – and extended family too, sees what we got a glimpse of last Thursday night: greatness.

“If it pans out how it’s supposed to be, Baker might be the next big thing,” Higgins said. “He might be on the LeBron wall, what I like to call it. I’m excited to see what he can bring to the team. Nothing but good things for him.”

Mayfield, who completed 17 of 23 passes for 201 yards, elevated the entire team in the 21-17 win over the Jets.

“He is very accurate,” tight end David Njoku said. “I think that he is just a great quarterback. Having a great quarterback helps the whole offense. I am really excited for us to keep this going.”

The offense was sputtering having punted on each of their first 6 possessions before Mayfield came in and led them on 4 scoring drives – 2 touchdowns and 2 field goals – to erase a 14-0 deficit.

He was so good that the Browns reversed course from having him watch and learn to now it’s Mayfield’s team to lead.

“There’s obviously going to be a lot of excitement,” Mayfield said. “That was the first win around here for a while, so you could feel the energy. You could feel that within the stadium during the game.”

That excitement and that energy Mayfield aims to maintain not just for the rest of this season but years to come.

“It’s just the beginning,” Mayfield said.