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Browns QB Baker Mayfield claims Hard Knocks ‘can be good if you handle it right’

Baker Mayfield, Browns

The decision has been made. The Cleveland Browns, who are coming off a winless season and recently drafted an outspoken and controversial quarterback, will be the team featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks.

Throughout the entire decision process, the Browns seemed to be the favorite to be on the this year’s show. Cleveland is the ideal candidate with dysfunction within the organization in years past, a new quarterback with superstar potential, and two fiery wide receivers in Josh Gordon and newcomer Jarvis Landry.

For obvious reasons, the Browns wasn’t happy about the idea of the team potentially being forced to do the show. However, the front office has now embraced it along with their rookie quarterback, via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.

“For me looking at it, and us as a team, I’d say it can be good if you handle it right,” he told Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan of Sirius XM NFL radio from the NFLPA Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles. “If you think about it as a way to get on camera and try to show off and do certain things and handle it the wrong way then that can be very negative, it can be a distraction. But if you use it as a sense of, ‘OK, I got to block out everything else and just focus on playing ball,’ then that can be a great thing for us.”

Regardless of the added attention brought on by 24/7 camera coverage during his first NFL training camp, Mayfield is going with the optimistic approach as he believes it could ultimately be good for Cleveland. Leadership qualities were one of Mayfield’s strongest attributes during his time at Oklahoma and also when teams around the NFL were evaluating him ahead of the draft last month.

Clearly, he’s already showing that kind of leadership and mentality early in his time with the Browns, and it could become a major draw for HBO’s annual docuseries. Historically, Hard Knocks hasn’t resulted in a favorable outcome for the team feature regarding success in the season that follows, but Cleveland can’t only improve at this point as the 0-16 record continues to haunt them moving forward.