BEREA — Even if the Browns win Sunday and end their season on a 5-1 hot streak, Freddie Kitchens can't be sure he hasn't worked his last game with the team.

He can be certain he has built quite a fan club, appreciative of him pointing Baker Mayfield toward some glory days.

On Thursday, after the last big practice for a battle at the Baltimore Ravens, the offensive coordinator gave a detailed state of the franchise report (the franchise being the rookie No. 1 overall pick).

"Baker's understanding the game plan," said Kitchens, who was a Bruce Arians confidant with the Arizona Cardinals for five years before joining the Browns in January. "He has input on what he likes and dislikes. We have an open dialogue. I'm starting to get a better feel for what he likes and some of what he doesn't so it doesn't end up in the game plan.

"Baker's unique. He's smart. He knows what he wants. He knows what he's got around him. He knows his reads. The speed with which he's picked things up has been tremendous. He gets better every week."

Mayfield has been lighting up stats sheets. He has passer ratings of 151.2, 143.9, 126.9 and 121.9 within the past six games. Anything above 100 is good for a veteran, much less a rookie.

"It's never a finished product," Kitchens said. "Dan Marino at the end of his career wasn't. Ten or 15 years from now, we'll be talking about what Baker can do better."

Mayfield is headstrong, self-confident, perhaps brash. Is there a danger he might start thinking he's further along than he really is?

"No," Kitchens said. "It's never enough for Baker. That's what separates him. He's worked for everything he's ever gotten. Nobody's ever given him anything.

"That's why I like him. I like those guys who fight and claw for everything they get. That's what he is. And I don't think he's ever going to be settled.

"It's not something you have to pound into him, that, 'Hey, you're not there yet.' Hell, he knows that. He's going to get there, and when he gets to that level, he's going to get to the next level.

"That's what you want in your quarterback. It's what you want in your team, but especially your quarterback, because it flows into the rest of the locker room."

Mayfield's brand of zest started a few conversations after last Sunday's win over the Cincinnati Bengals. At one point, the rookie celebrated a play call by Kitchens by going over to him on the sideline and making a locker-room gesture.

"I mean, I don't know what he did wrong," Kitchens said. "I don't understand what he did wrong. I don't understand what the big deal is. He's in the middle of an NFL game. There's great emotion in the game of football. And whatever he does on the football field is on the football field.

"I like guys that have a relentless pursuit of competition and rally around it. Sometimes when you're in competition you do ... you just do. You don't even know why the hell you do it.

"I don't have a problem with Baker. If I did, I'd talk to him about it."

Kitchens has become a popular figure who numerous Browns fans would like to see return.

Gregg Williams, who became interim coach the same day that Kitchens was promoted from running backs coach to offensive coordinator, has a chance to be 6-2 since replacing Hue Jackson.

Kitchens will talk about almost anything, but he isn't talking about that.

"Next week," he said.

The Browns are a six-point underdog in Baltimore. The Ravens will win the AFC North if they beat the Browns.

"Our first taste at that type of environment was in Houston," Kitchens said. "We didn't do very well. The next time was in Denver. Same type of atmosphere, and we handled it a little better.

"Hopefully, we handle this well and get a taste of what the playoffs are about."

It is not lost on Kitchens that the season finale is the last game for former Alabama and Browns star Ozzie Newsome as Ravens general manager. Kitchens is a former Alabama quarterback.

"We went to the same school," Kitchens said. "Ozzie's a legend. I can't ever go back to Alabama."

He was kidding. Will Kitchens be back in Cleveland? Now there's a serious question.