Baker Mayfield may have had an impressive debut for the Browns last week in their preseason games against the New York Giants.
Mayfield — who went No. 1 overall in the NFL draft earlier this year — went 11-of-20 for 212 yards and had two touchdowns, helping the Browns to the 20-10 win.
His performance, while it many have persuaded some fans, wasn’t enough to convince head coach Hue Jackson to start him at all. Tyrod Taylor has that job locked up.
“I have not changed. I’m not going to change,” Jackson told NFL.com. “Tyrod Taylor‘s the starting quarterback here, and Baker’s the future of our organization.”
Browns general manager John Dorsey had a similar answer, and even said he couldn’t envision a scenario at any point in the season when Mayfield would start over Taylor.
That logic, while frustrating for some to see a No. 1 overall draft pick sitting on the bench, does make sense. Taylor, who was traded from the Buffalo Bills in March, went 5-of-5 for 99 yards and had one touchdown in the win, an impressive first showing for Cleveland.
The 29-year-old, who is entering his eighth season in the NFL, also led the Bills to a playoff appearance last season — the organization’s first in 18 years.
“I think [Taylor] demonstrated it in the first series against the New York Giants that he’s more than capable of leading this bunch,” Dorsey told NFL.com. “He’s had a great offseason, he’s had great OTAs, he’s had a great training camp — there’s nothing that leads me to believe you would vary from that mantra.”
While the Browns have won just four games in the last three years — and are coming off last year’s winless season — Dorsey doesn’t see a need to rush anything. It’s a marathon, he said, not a sprint.
“This is for the betterment not only of the organization long term, but it’s also better for the development of Baker, in terms of when it comes time for him to actually step on the field and play,” Dorsey told NFL.com. “Guess what? He understands the complexities of a very difficult position. I think the adjustment will be that much easier for him to be able to recognize defense, understand the speed of the game. I think it’s just a natural transition into that position. And why vary from the plan we have in motion right now?”
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