For a long time, Baker Mayfield had a list, filled with names of those who doubted him. When he needed a bit of fuel, he’d take a peak and remember who he had to prove wrong.

But now being hailed as a savior for the Cleveland Browns franchise and a MVP candidate, Mayfield can no longer thrive in the underdog role. He has to find other ways to motivate himself to be great.

He shared how he’s keeping his edge in a sit-down interview with ESPN’s Mina Kimes.

“I used to keep a list and all that stuff, but I realized eventually that’s going to run out,” Mayfield said. “If you look at Michael Jordan, Kobe, or Tom Brady, who’s still playing, they have their inner motivation. They have every reason to be complacent and say, ‘You know what, I don’t have to do this.’ But when you find your routine and what drives you, that’s what is really key.”


Baker Mayfield’s Mighty Rookie Season With Browns

Mayfield was taken with the No. 1 overall pick by the Browns and it didn’t take long for him to prove his worth. After helping the team mount an epic Week 3 comeback victory last season against the New York Jets, he assumed the starting role and never looked back.

In just 13 starts, Mayfield threw for 3,725 yards and 27 touchdowns during his rookie campaign. The Browns finished 7-8-1 as Mayfield set the record for touchdown passes by a rookie, which was previously held by Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson.

Mayfield was especially outstanding down the stretch with now head coach Freddie Kitchens calling the plays. As the Browns reeled off a five wins in their final seven games, Mayfield ranked third in touchdown passes (17), fourth in passer rating (108.4) and first in yards per attempt (8.86) among those with 200-plus passes.


Mayfield Has Grown off and on the Field

Mayfield is putting up big-time numbers, but in just his second year, the former Oklahoma Sooner has already taken on a huge leadership role on the team. Tight end David Njoku noted the growth of the QB while appearing on NFL Total Access, calling it “night and day” nice last offseason.

“He’s definitely known to be a leader and he’s a great leader at that,” Njoku said. “Last year during games at crucial times he stepped up. He was like, ‘OK guys, everybody take a breather, relax and let’s do this one play at a time.’ And we did just that. Everybody feeds off of that.”

New Browns star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. also noted Mayfield’s charisma and leadership qualities are what make him a special player.

“I think it’s the confidence he carries himself with,” Beckham said of why he enjoys having Baker as his QB. “You can’t coach that. You have to love that about him.”

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