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Baker Mayfield: If John Elway asks you to be on his team, 'you don't say no'

MOBILE, Ala. — For a moment, Baker Mayfield pulled off his crimson Oklahoma helmet, and the swarm of media at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Tuesday lunged forward toward the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback.

But then Mayfield donned the helmet again — his eyes disappearing behind a red, reflective visor — and joined UCLA center Scott Quessenberry for some extra snaps under center.

The media didn't disperse, though. Instead, the dozens of reporters and cameras formed a circle just big enough for Mayfield to take his drop.

As they will be all week at the Senior Bowl and in the months leading up to the draft, all eyes were on Mayfield.

The media members weren't the only ones watching. After the Broncos requested to work with Mayfield, both Head Coach Vance Joseph and President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway watched the young quarterback closely.

When Mayfield finished with his extra snaps and addressed the media, he made it clear he didn't take that sort of request lightly.

"It's an honor," Mayfield said. "If John Elway asks you to be on [his] team, you don't say no."

The Broncos won't finalize any decisions about the quarterback position this week, but they can begin to gain some clarity. In no small part, that will come from working with Mayfield for this week's practices.

"To see what I'm all about and see how I react to certain things," said Mayfield when asked why he thought the Broncos requested to work with him. "Maybe see if I can handle the pressure, stuff like that."

Whether Mayfield will play in Saturday's game remains to be seen. Asked Tuesday whether reports of him taking limited to no reps in Saturday's contest are accurate, Mayfield responded, "We'll see."

Regardless of how many reps he takes Saturday, though, he has plenty to prove during the three days of practice.

"Everybody wants to portray the bad-boy, the Johnny Manziel stuff," Mayfield said. "But no, I love the game of football. There's no doubt about that. [I'm] an emotional player. I'll do anything that it takes to win. I love being around my teammates, and I love leading and having responsibility."

On the field, he said he'll look to improve under center — extra snaps with Quessenberry were just a starting point — and to show the "mental knowledge that you can't test until you're out there with the system."

He'll also aim to show his height isn't an issue. Joseph didn't seem worried about that aspect of Mayfield's game when asked during Tuesday's media session.

"You watch [Saints QB] Drew Brees play," Joseph said. "He's figured it out. He's a very successful quarterback. Guys figure it out. Players play. Good players figure it out. I wouldn't be concerned about that."

Mayfield's height — officially 6-feet, 3/8 inches — may not end up mattering. This week at the Senior Bowl, he'll have a chance to stand a lot taller.

And as he attempts to do so, there will be plenty of people watching.

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