THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Baker Mayfield is starting to get a sense of what his new Los Angeles Rams teammates and coaches are like on and off the field.
The Rams hope their late-season addition at quarterback can use that understanding to help produce a better outcome against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
“There is such a unique element to it relative to the amount of moving parts around him and then just with how recently he’s gotten here,” coach Sean McVay said.
Mayfield completed 12 of 21 passes for 111 yards, one touchdown and one interception in a 24-12 loss at Green Bay on Monday night, unable to duplicate the heroics he managed in his Los Angeles debut 12 days earlier.
The top overall pick in the 2018 draft struggled to get through some route progressions or find his check-down options, something Mayfield took the blame for. He cited a lack of patience against the Cover 2 defense the Packers used.
“It’s not about timing with guys and not having reps, it’s just seeing what the defense is gonna give you and accepting that,” he said.
McVay disagreed, saying there were parts of the offense he might have assumed Mayfield already had a handle on in guiding the comeback win against Las Vegas on Dec. 8, two days after the Rams (4-10) claimed him off waivers.
“It’s why what he did was so unique against the Raiders, but I also think it creates a false sense of expectations just based on the nuances that that position entails week in and week out with the plethora of different things that you can kind of activate, and that’s kind of where we’re at,” McVay said.
While he works on refining his understanding of the schematic and philosophical aspects of the offense, Mayfield is getting comfortable in the locker room.
He is already picking up the personalities of his makeshift wide receiving corps, a group that includes Brandon Powell, Tutu Atwell and Ben Skowronek.
“I think Brandon, he’s like a pit bull. He’s in there, he’s ready to go, he’s ready to hit somebody. Might not be the biggest guy, but he’s gonna bring the punch to the party,” Mayfield said.
“Tutu’s always got a smile on his face and a toothpick in his mouth. Benny Sko, hilarious, like a bull in a china shop.”
Mayfield is still getting to know the offensive line, but he has center Brian Allen’s dry wit down.
“It’s a great group, and it’s been fun for the first couple of weeks,” Mayfield said.
When it comes to McVay, Mayfield has quickly come to appreciate the meticulous nature of his new coach.
“I mean, it’s pretty special to watch how detailed he is and just getting to know him and how he wants to put guys in good positions, not to ask anybody to do something they’re not capable of and just making sure he’s putting guys in a great spot,” Mayfield said.
Building camaraderie has always come naturally to Mayfield. He spent five months with Carolina this season but fit in so well that saying goodbye to his Panthers teammates was the most difficult part of asking to be released.
“We built such a strong bond in a short amount of time,” Mayfield said. “Anytime you go through coaching changes like that midseason, it brings everybody closer together than you already were. I’m really thankful for those guys. ... It’s tough, but everything happens for a reason.”
NOTES: The Rams held a walkthrough Wednesday. CB David Long Jr. (groin) was estimated to have been a limited participant, while DT Aaron Donald (ankle), DT Marquise Copeland (ankle) and LB Travin Howard (hip) would have been held out.
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