Baker Mayfield isn’t talking this offseason, but silently putting in work
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has taken a different approach to this offseason heading into his third year as a professional. The first thing he changed up from this time last year was his visibility to the public eye. After fulfilling his media obligations during Super Bowl week, Mayfield all but disappeared from the spotlight.
The hiatus was a welcome sight for Browns fans, who needed time to heal after the disappointment that was the 2019 season. Amazingly, all the goodwill Mayfield had built up during his stellar rookie campaign had been depleted. Aside from a few twitter posts at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, to raise money and support the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and Meals on Wheels in Oklahoma, the polarizing quarterback went radio silent.
Mayfield’s first media of the offseason came during a zoom conference call on May 27th. Gone was the brashness and cocky demeanor he carried himself with during the 2019 season. It was instead replaced with a humble and hungry Mayfield, who sounded like his eye was on the prize. However, it’s not uncommon to hear a player say the appropriate things after having the opportunity to lick his wounds.
Mayfield is very self-aware, and he knows that saying the right things is not going to earn back all the goodwill that 2019 destroyed. In the conference call, Mayfield stated:
"“It is time to do our thing, instead of talking about it. This is the first media thing I have done because there is no need to be talking about it. It is just time to go do it.”"
The words were music to the ear of every Browns fan. But they were still just words, it was time for Mayfield to show us with his actions.
Aside from a few home quarantine workout videos posted by his wife, Emily Mayfield, there have not been any deviations in Mayfield’s moving in silence proclamation. Only in recent days, with training camp right around the corner, has any media surfaced of Mayfield’s offseason transformation. Although it does not guarantee on-field success, it is evident that Mayfield has taken his preparation for the 2020 season immensely seriously.
Mayfield has spent his offseason putting in work at the Onnit Gym in Austin, Texas under the watchful eye of head strength and conditioning coach CJ McFarland. McFarland has previously spent time with the Cincinnati Bengals and, most recently, the Carolina Panthers as the strength and conditioning coach. The sessions at the Onnit Gym have been paying dividends for Mayfield, who is noticeably trimmed away body fat and added muscle.
The changes in his physique aside, it is equally as impressive that Mayfield has stayed true to his moving in silence motto this offseason. His approach to preparation displays a maturity that was not present last season. While it does not guarantee success, it does demonstrate how important the game of football is to him and that he is capable of leading by example.
In a possible make or break season for Mayfield, it is evident he is doing everything he possibly can to ensure success. If the success follows, expect this offseason to be his benchmark going forward.