Thu, 24 Jan 2019

Taylor, Mayfield shine for Browns

Sports Xchange
11 Aug 2018, 01:16 GMT+10

Tyrod Taylor showed why the Cleveland Browns expect him to open the regular season as their starting quarterback.

Rookie Baker Mayfield showed why the Browns took him with the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NFL Draft.

Sure, it was only an exhibition game, but as far as preseason openers go, the Browns couldn't be more ecstatic with their quarterback play following Thursday's 20-10 road win over the New York Giants.

Taylor, acquired in an offseason trade with the Buffalo Bills, started against the Giants and completed all five passes for 99 yards, including a 36-yard touchdown strike to tight end David Njoku.

"(I like) the way he comes into the locker room, the way he gets his teammates ready to play and rallying our guys as we go out there on the field," Cleveland head coach Hue Jackson told reporters, per "That's what you want your quarterback to be. The thing I love about him is he's the same guy all the time -- very calm, understands what the situation is and knows how to go play.

"It just feels like a big-time NFL quarterback. That's what he is."

The quarterback position has been the bane of the Browns' existence since the franchise returned to Cleveland in 1999. The Browns have used 28 different starters at QB during that span and had rookie DeShone Kizer under center for the bulk of the 2017 season, when they became the second team to endure a winless 16-game campaign.

The one positive of the disastrous season was getting the No. 1 draft pick, which Cleveland used to take Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield out of Oklahoma

While Jackson has repeatedly said that Taylor will be his start, Baker gave Browns fans plenty of reason to feel optimistic about the present and future in his first NFL action.

Mayfield finished 11 of 20 for 212 yards and a pair of touchdowns -- a 10-yard scoring pass to Njoku and a 54-yard connection to rookie wideout Antonio Callaway.

"I'm not surprised by anything Baker does because I see him do it on the practice field,' said Jackson. "Obviously, the throws he makes, the poise he has, he demonstrated all of that in college so I'm not surprised by it. Again, this is his first opportunity and he will grow from it. There are things he will learn from and continue to get better at, but it was a good start for him."

Mayfield went three-and-out on his first possession but he led a 72-yard, 14-play march on the ensuing drive that was capped by the TD pass to Njoku. He also ran for two first downs on that drive.

"I was just seeing it better,'' said Mayfield. "We had a little play-action on the first drive. I think just getting back there and just getting the ball out quick and just going through the reads, being comfortable, just settling in with my feet too.

"Did some things well, but there's definitely room for improvement,'' added Mayfield.

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