Rams say Baker Mayfield doesn’t need to know whole playbook

Baker Mayfield had 48 hours to prepare for a historical performance.

After leading the Rams to a last-minute win over the Las Vegas Raiders last week, the quarterback took about 72 hours to come down.

“Probably my adrenaline and everything calmed down a bit by Sunday afternoon,” Mayfield said Thursday. “I slept for probably a day and a half.”

Mayfield was wide awake and ready for what came next as the Rams began preparations for a Monday night game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

Three days of training will probably seem like an eternity to Mayfield.

After the Rams recalled him from the waivers on Dec. 6, Mayfield essentially had a practice session to prepare to come off the bench against the Raiders.

The top pick in the 2018 NFL draft played more than three quarters and led two scoring drives in the fourth quarter. Mayfield’s touchdown pass to Van Jefferson with 10 seconds left gave the Rams a 17-16 lead. He completed 22 of 35 passes for 230 yards in a win that ended a six-game losing streak.

“It was really special, but one of those things that you can’t really take care of, I think never,” he said when asked if he’d been able to process the significance of his performance.

Mayfield was happy to have a few days before beginning the next phase. The Rams still have games against the Packers, Denver Broncos, Chargers and Seattle Seahawks.

“It’s definitely nice to be able to take a little deep breath,” he said, adding, “It’s going to be nice, you know, for me, since I’m just a really seasoned guy, it’s going to be good, next thing on.” to go into the game with a whole week of practice and preparation.”

Coach Sean McVay doesn’t want Mayfield to learn the Rams’ entire playbook. Rather “bite-sized steps,” McVay said Thursday.

“It’s our responsibility to keep it tight,” he said.

McVay cited conversations with Boston Celtics manager Brad Stevens about getting the best out of players.

“Give them just enough to try and play great,” McVay said.

So McVay won’t overload Mayfield.

“You only have a certain number of games that you can complete in a given week,” McVay said, “and I think it just keeps building incrementally.

“But really, you’re not too limited, just based on his skills and understanding.”

Mayfield has already proven he’s a quick learner — and a quarterback who can learn on the fly regardless of distractions.

Two plays before his game-winning touchdown pass to Jefferson, Mayfield completed a pass to Ben Skowronek and then rushed to snap and poke the ball to stop the clock.

“[Center] Brian Allen yells in my face what the cadence is, and Sean yells the same thing in my ear,” Mayfield said, “Well, it’s the little things like that that you remember and it’s pretty funny to look back on .”

Now Mayfield is looking ahead.

He has four more games to prove to the Rams and 31 other NFL teams that he can be a viable starter or backup.

“I’m trying to get better every week,” he said. “Reach a certain point where I’m just being the best version of myself and adding value to this team in every way I can and just being myself.

“Circumstances happened and now I’m here so I’ll try to make the best of it.”

Etc.

The Rams fired outside linebacker Terrell Lewis. Lewis, a 2020 third-round draft pick from Alabama, has played in 11 games this season and made 13 tackles, including a sack. He also intercepted a pass. Lewis and Justin Hollins were set to replace Von Miller, who signed a free agent contract with the Buffalo Bills after last season’s Super Bowl LVI win. The Rams fired Hollins last month. … Allen (knee) defensemen Aaron Donald (ankle) and Marquise Copeland (ankle) linebacker Travin Howard (hip) cornerback David Long (groin) and quarterback John Wolford (neck) weren’t training. Linebacker Ernest Jones (wrist) and cornerback Robert Rochell (wrist) were restricted.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/rams/story/2022-12-15/rams-baker-mayfield-not-learn-playbook-packers Rams say Baker Mayfield doesn’t need to know whole playbook

Emma Bowman

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