Gregg Williams' advice to Baker Mayfield: "cut it loose"

Williams doesn’t want the rookie QB to worry about making mistakes

Daryl Ruiter
November 08, 2018 - 4:09 pm
Baker Mayfield Cleveland Browns

Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

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Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – The No. 1 priority for interim head coach Gregg Williams – besides trying to win a few games – down the stretch is to ensure that the development of Baker Mayfield continues to move forward in a positive direction.

Although Williams’ background and expertise is coaching defense, his understanding of NFL offenses qualifies him to deliver a poignant message to Mayfield.

“We have his back. Now, let’s go,” Williams said. “You are a smart enough quarterback, instinctive enough quarterback. We understand that mistakes are going to be made. Do not be afraid of making mistakes. Just cut it loose and play and make faster and faster decisions. That is the No. 1 thing that I have tried to convey to him.”

Williams didn’t necessarily think Mayfield needed to hear that the team was confident in him, but he thought it was important to remind him.

“I just wanted to make sure that he felt that,” Williams said. “I am kind of that way as a presence. Making sure that you feel, not hear.”

Since taking over as the starter in Week 4, Mayfield has won once in six games, been sacked 22 times, completed 60 percent of his passes while throwing 10 touchdowns and 7 interceptions between the firings of Hue Jackson and Todd Haley.

“He's handled everything very well. To me, you would never know he's a rookie the way he handles everything,” right tackle Chris Hubbard said. “He does a great job with what coaches ask him and single-handedly going out there and getting the job done no matter what it is. For us as an O-line, we trust him, and I'm pretty sure he trusts us, so we've got to take care of him.”

Mayfield, who lost just six times at Oklahoma, has shown marked improvement the last three games and the numbers back it up.

He’s completed 66.1 percent of his passes for 692 yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions. He’s been sacked twice in each of the last two games after being bagged by Ravens, Chargers and Buccaneers defenders five times each in consecutive weeks.

The key for Mayfield is a short-term memory according to offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens.

“I do not think you can play this position scared, and I do not know that he has every played it scared,” Kitchens said. “I think sometimes you have to say whatever happens, happens. I know the good ones throw four picks or whatever, and the next time they get an opportunity, they are going to try to fit it into a window of a size of a – window, I do not know…They do not care. They do not care what happened the previous play, and they have short memories, the good ones do.”

Despite the improvement by Mayfield the Browns aren’t winning.

They look to end a four-game slide Sunday when the Atlanta Falcons, who have won three straight, swoop into town.

“Not only him, all of them – it is very important [to win],” Williams said. “We do not do this to earn a scholarship. We do not do this to stay eligible in the NCAA. This is our job, and it is about winning. From him and all of the guys, even the experienced guys that have come here to us – some have been on Super Bowl teams, some have won Super Bowls; there are coaches on this staff that are the same way – it is about winning.”