Hue Jackson: Baker Mayfield is the future but Tyrod Taylor is the present

Taylor says his mindset doesn't change with Mayfield lurking

Daryl Ruiter
May 21, 2018 - 12:15 pm

Rocky River, OH (92.3 The Fan) – No matter how many times Hue Jackson is asked, his answer remains the same.

Tyrod Taylor is the starting quarterback for the 2018 season.

Neither Baker Mayfield nor HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ is going to change that.

“The narrative for me, which I think you guys can see is not going to change, and it’s not going to change because the show’s there,” Jackson said Monday morning at the 19th annual Cleveland Browns Foundation golf outing at Westwood Country Club. “I don’t think that’s going to be our focus as a football team. Our focus will be to have a great training camp and get better and be the best football team we can be. It won’t be about the cameras. Like you said, I’ve been a part of it, and it wasn’t about that then, so I don’t think it will be about that now.”

Jackson called Taylor, who was at the movies at the time of the phone call, to let him know Mayfield was the pick.

“As I said when we brought him here, he’s our starting quarterback. Our quarterback should know exactly what we’re trying to accomplish and do, and he’s still the starter,” Jackson said. “I wanted him to know we’re going to bring Baker aboard, that Baker will compete, but at the same time, I wanted to make sure he knew he had my support just as Baker has my support, just as every quarterback on our team has my support.”

Taylor maintains that he wasn’t bothered by the selection of Mayfield and he isn’t bothered by his looming presence.

“Whoever was taken, that doesn’t necessarily bother me,” Taylor said. “I welcome him to the team, but my mindset when I first came into the league is prepare each and every day as the starter and continue to keep pushing yourself. I’m down here to help turn this organization around and help win games and I’m looking forward to doing that.”

The No. 1 question everyone has, and it was expected no matter which QB they took No. 1 on April 26, when is Baker Mayfield going to play?

Jackson believes that Taylor is equipped to handle the constant scrutiny and questions about a rookie that is already lurking over his shoulder.

“I think he’s well-equipped and everybody else is creating all of the buzz,” Jackson said. “I think Baker Mayfield is the future of this organization and a tremendous football player. But at the same time, he’s never played a game and never won a game in the National Football League.

“Tyrod has, so that’s the road we’re going to travel right now and keep going from there.”

Taylor is ready for those questions.

"It's part of the job. It's part of being a leader, being able to take on questions, even on days that you don't want to take them on,” Taylor said. “I'm here to help turn this organization around."

The Browns invested their 65th overall pick in this year’s draft in Taylor by acquiring him in March from Buffalo.

“I think he’s been an underdog himself all of his life,” Jackson said. “I think people have always counted him out and people have always chased better, and he’s always proven otherwise so I think he’ll get an opportunity to do that.”