INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Like Mayfield baker stepping off the podium and into the dressing room after the post-match press conference, he paused and turned to a member of the team. The Los Angeles Rams‘ PR staff.
“Where am I going?” Mayfield asked.
Since this is the first time the midfielder has appeared in the dressing room of the SoFi stadium, the question is not surprising. Mayfield, a member of the Rams just two days after being asked for an exemption, just took them to thrilling victory 17-16 via Las Vegas raid after entering the fourth quarter with 13 points.
Mayfield came on ready to play, but didn’t know he was coming until he started midfield. John Wolford was dropped after the first series.
There was a short list of plays Mayfield was working on leading up to the game, but it didn’t take long before the Rams “pulled out of that little list and moved on to something else,” he said.
Victory is back limited to three “emotional” and “busy” days for Mayfield.
“I don’t know if you can write it better than that,” Mayfield said. “Obviously we wanted to be a little less tense, but it’s a pretty good story, I’ll be honest with you.”
AFTER LOOKING On Tuesday night and arriving at the Rams’ facility around 9 p.m., Mayfield had a “sketchy course” on Sean McVay’s offense.
“I feel gratified about his ability to come in and do some of the things we ask because I’ve seen him do it before, but you never know,” McVay said. “…But I think he plays fast. You can see, when he sees things, he can speed up.
“I’m really impressed. I don’t know if I can say surprised, because I’ve always been a fan of the things he can do, but to say I look forward to this, for sure. was beyond our expectations. But it was great fun to watch him go to work tonight.”
Mayfield, who was standing on the podium wearing a hat that read “not my first horse race” on the side, laughed when asked about it.
“It was my first horse race to do it,” Mayfield said. “I’ll say that.”
But really, Mayfield relied on her own experience learning at least part of the Rams manual over the past two days. He notes how many different strike systems he had to learn during his first five NFL seasons: four years in Cleveland and then half a season in Carolina. It all helps, Mayfield said, because it allows him to connect to certain things from McVay’s system.
“Sean’s protection plan is similar to [Browns offensive line coach] Bill Callahan’s, who I had in Cleveland,” Mayfield said. “So the terminology with that, that knocks off a big part of the learning curve.”
Mayfield said his new teammates and coach “did a great job of helping me and communicating when I left the pitch on the sidelines and just talked about the games coming up.” And the center Brian Allen was “screaming at me what the rhythm was because we weren’t covering and Sean was screaming in my ear too.”
Mayfield admitted: “There are certainly still some, which look like rookie fault with the roster in motion. “Obviously we got hurt by being late, but it worked out.”
It was during those last two minutes of driving that McVay realized something. Taking a 16-10 lead with no time left, the fouling team must carefully monitor the ball to make sure they have enough time to go 98 yards down the pitch.
“Those are the parts of Day One or the early parts of the boot camp setup that you go through situationally,” says McVay. “In one short week when he comes, you can only cover so much. So that’s impressive. But football is football. This guy is a rival. He is a player. A lot of players played really well tonight and Baker led the way.”
MAYFIELD’s Efforts Fail went unnoticed, even before the Rams regrouped on Thursday night. Wide receiver Ben Skowronekwho led the team with seven catches from 89 yards, including catches from 32 yards and 22 yards in the last leg, which Mayfield described as an “excellent footballer. “
“No matter what happens from here on out, I have nothing but respect for Baker Mayfield,” Skowronek said. “To have a guy come in like that, work hard for 48 hours on the game plan, learn our names… stuff like that. Hats off to him.”
McVay points to the details he saw Mayfield write in his notebook as one reason he was able to get up to speed so quickly. McVay said Mayfield had a practice session with two periods of 10 plays. A typical Friday activity for the Rams, but held on Wednesdays.
“He comes in and he works right away,” wide receiver Van Jefferson speak. “He’s been out on the training ground and just slipping it.”
Mayfield’s game-winning touchdown pass went to Jefferson, with whom he was really familiar before becoming his teammate. In fact, he had hoped to be his teammate much earlier.
“Van and I are back,” Mayfield said. “I’m not very happy with Van until now. I’ve been trying to get him to [play college football at] Oklahoma. He won’t text or call back. He owes me once. And he caught me right there.”
Mayfield and his new head coach also return. Two people sitting next to each other on a Southwest flight to Indianapolis for the NFL combined in 2018. The Rams didn’t enter the quarterback market that year, because they were about to lose the Super Bowl with Jared Goff as their quarterback, but when McVay saw the future No. 1 pick sitting on the flight, he couldn’t resist joining him.
“I think I finally saw him right there and I said, ‘I’m going to stop you talking to someone,'” McVay said. “…I had about 30 minutes to give him some peace of mind and then said, ‘Okay, let’s talk to some of the players.'”
McVay left a good impression.
“That guy loves football,” Mayfield said. “I mean, he’s always been the ball, the ball, the ball. And you can tell he’s also a very relationship guy. … We’ve only known each other a little bit and it’s just philosophy. and individuals also grant.”
Thankfully, McVay and Mayfield had a little more time to discuss the Rams play.
Between the Thursday night game in Week 14 and the Monday night game in Week 15, Mayfield now has 11 days to continue learning before the Rams head to Green Bay to take on the Packers.
McVay said that period will give the Rams the ability to “give him a whole bunch of different things that we can use with his skill set and the 10 players around him.” . “That would be fun.”
And although it’s been a whirlwind for Mayfield, his Rams teammates are looking forward to seeing what happens next.
Skowronek said: “I am very happy to go to war with him. “I would go to war with him any day. He’s the kind of opponent you want to play with.”