NFL Combine Notes: Joe Burrow on Baker Mayfield and the Browns

Browns-related sights and sounds from Day 1 in Indianapolis

Daryl Ruiter
February 25, 2020 - 7:29 pm

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (92.3 The Fan) – Another year, another new coach and general manager to take the stage, err podium in the media center for the Browns.

While many of the same questions flowed from their evaluation of the current roster to needs, roster building philosophies and the offseason business at hand, the Browns weren't the center of attention Tuesday, but they still got plenty of run.

Here’s a look at the Browns related nuggets from the first day of media availability.

Burrow a Baker and bandwagon Browns fan – There is no chance that Joe Burrow will be a Brown, but the team and current quarterback – Baker Mayfield – came up during his media availability at the Combine Tuesday morning.

The LSU quarterback and presumed No. 1 overall pick come April talked about the three teams he liked growing up.

“I followed a lot of different teams,” Burrow said. “I lived in North Dakota in first and second grade. I was a Vikings fan. I then moved to Ohio and became a Saints fan, actually. Reggie Bush had just got drafted and I was a big Drew Brees fan. I liked the Saints for a while and then I became kind of a Browns fan eventually for a couple years. I was a bandwagon fan.”

Burrow is probably headed to the Bengals and he said all the right things to dispel the notion he could pull an Eli Manning and avoid landing in Cincinnati.

Because of his confidence, some compare him to Mayfield.

“The thing about the confidence, I think it starts in preparation and I’m really confident in my preparation,” Burrow said. “I feel I prepare better than anybody else. That’s why I’m so confident. Because I feel I know what’s going to be happening on Saturdays before it happens. Hopefully I can carry it over to Sundays with the help of the coaches and the veterans. That’s where it starts.

“I really admire Baker’s mentality. Coming in if you’re the No. 1 pick, the team that’s picking No. 1 is there for a reason so there are going to be ups and downs and you have to stay steady through the process.”

Burrow confirmed that he will not work out Thursday evening when the quarterbacks take the field at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Role model – The Browns boast two of the best receivers in the game in Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, so it wasn’t a surprise when their names came up during player interviews Tuesday morning.

“I definitely model my game after Jarvis Landry,” Ohio State’s K.J. Hill said. “I love Jarvis Landry. I feel like me and him got similar-type games. He’s just got that dog in him. He’s not always perfect, but he always comes down with the ball, so I definitely model my game after Jarvis.”

Beckham caused quite the controversy for LSU’s Justin Jefferies when he gave him a wad of cash with cameras rolling following their win over Clemson in the national championship game.

“A lot of people made a big deal but it was really just the heat of the moment,” Jefferies said. “We talked about it after the fact and we both had some words about it. He shouldn’t have done it but it was really just the heat of the moment.”

Jefferies confirmed he had to talk to LSU’s compliance office. He also didn’t keep the cash.

“I just gave that money back to my church,” Jefferies said. “I just donated my money to them. It just shows that the money didn’t mean that much to me.”

Phenomenal reference – Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman gave new Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski a glowing review Tuesday morning.

“Kevin is a very smart person. For his age, very experienced because he’s coached multiple positions with us,” Spielman said. He’s been with our organization since I’ve been there. I think his experience with the different coordinators he’s worked for, even last year I think he went another step with the tutelage of Gary Kubiak, but it was Kevin Stefanski down there calling plays. What you’ve seen is from the last three games when he took over as the offensive coordinator the year before, and how much our offense improved this year, I think Kevin is going to be a phenomenal head coach in this league.”

Tough loss – While Stefanski takes his time to decide if Alex Van Pelt will call plays as offensive coordinator, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor is feeling the loss of his former QBs coach.

“Great coach. Hate to lose him because he was a great resource for us,” Taylor said. “It was an opportunity we had to allow him to take because he's earned it and you don't want to stunt someone's growth in that way. Unfortunately, he's in our division. That's the part you don't love, but he's a great man. He's earned this right to be the offensive coordinator for the Browns. Unfortunately, they are going to be in great hands with him.”

Forget about it – Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert didn’t have much to say about Browns defensive end Myles Garrett’s accusation that Mason Rudolph’s use of a racial slur prompted his violent reaction that saw him hit Rudolph in the head with his helmet after ripping it off the quarterback’s head.

“That matter is in the past,” Colbert said.

Don’t forget Freddie – New York Giants coach Joe Judge explained why he added former Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens to his staff as tight ends coach.

“Well, I’ve known Freddie for some time,” Judge said. “Freddie is a tremendous coach. Freddie has a very good personality that touched a lot of guys in different ways. Freddie is a very tough-minded man, and he’s a tough coach. You watch the team’s he’s been a part of, alright, they play with a toughness. They run the ball. They get after you, alright.

“So, what I’m looking for Freddie to bring is work within our systems, our schemes within our offense, to contribute in the kicking game and bring an element of toughness as well as some schematic expertise  he’s experienced other places that may fit  what we’re doing as a system or game plan specifically.”