New Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt will help Baker Mayfield get Baker Mayfield his best foot forward this season.
"I have a belief and a philosophy of footwork, and that's extremely important to me – [head coach] Kevin [Stefanski] also, ”said Van Pelt about the Beacon Journal. “I want the feet to be like Mozart and not like Metallica. With the footwork it is only a smooth movement. You are really back and dancing through your pocket as you progress. "
As a rookie, Mayfield completed 63.8 percent of his passes for 3,725 yards, 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He fought in 2019 and was second to last in the league in percent (59.4) and interceptions (21).
"He's obviously an experienced player, a talented player. I love the fire and passion in his game. It is our job as offensive staff to help him and make him successful," said Van Pelt. "The increase in interceptions will be a focus – making the right decisions, protecting the team and protecting the ball. "
Van Pelt was quarterback coach for the Bills, Buccaneers, Packers and most recently for the Bengals. The former quarterback was drafted into the eighth round of the NFL draft in 1993 by the Steelers and played in the league for 11 years.
After reviewing Mayfield's band, Van Pelt believes that proper footwork will be an integral part of the success of head coach Stefanski's new system. The former Viking offensive coordinator prefers his quarterbacks to play under the middle, and likes to perform game-action fakes and short-term throws. The 24-year-old has to learn again to put his left foot forward, as opposed to his right foot from the shotgun.
“It helps in the three-stage game, the fast game. There is more rhythm. It's not that robotic. It's more fluid, ”said Van Pelt. “Everything starts with your feet. The feet never lie. They take you through your progress. Just a few of the ways we drop it both from the bottom and in the middle [shot]The weapon will change slightly to help him. "
Van Pelt believes the change is feasible, but understands the difficulties in retraining the mind, especially under pressure.
"They work on it and feel more comfortable with it, and then it becomes a habit like everything else," said Van Pelt. "Hopefully the muscle memory won't allow over time [regression to bad habits] happen. We shoot for that. But yes, it can happen. Yes, it does. It does it early. "