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Browns Make Big Decision About Baker Mayfield

baker mayfield speaks at browns press conference

The Cleveland Browns have named Tyrod Taylor as their starting quarterback heading into the NFL season. They are sticking with that plan, even as Baker Mayfield has impressed.

Cleveland is dedicated to bringing the Heisman winner along slowly. That means that he isn't even going to get first-team reps this preseason.


Let's start with coach Hue Jackson telling me Monday he doesn't plan to give No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield any first-team reps during the preseason, even after witnessing Mayfield's buzzy debut last Thursday.

"I have not changed. I'm not going to change," Jackson said. "Tyrod Taylor's the starting quarterback here, and Baker's the future of our organization."

Speaking as practice began the same day, Browns general manager John Dorsey flatly gave the same one-word answer -- "Nope" -- to a series of questions about whether he could envision a scenario in Week 1, or Week 9, or any other point this season in which Mayfield would overtake Taylor (who, by the way, had an impressive preseason start himself).

"Because Tyrod Taylor has demonstrated, one, that he's a good football player. He's taken the [Bills] to the playoffs," Dorsey told me. "I think he demonstrated it in the first series against the New York Giants that he's more than capable of leading this bunch. 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. Because, as we've said, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

It is unclear when Baker Mayfield will get the nod, but it doesn't sound like its in the cards, barring something unforeseen with Tyrod Taylor.

Mayfield continues to prepare as if he can start at any moment. His time might not come until 2019 though.

Hue Jackson says that he wants to ensure that the Browns are a good situation that can allow Mayfield to succeed, whenever he takes over.

"I think we owe Baker the right opportunity, when he walks in, to hit the ground running with a team around him that he can go win with," Jackson said. "That's what we're trying to do. We've got Tyrod Taylor, who's going to start this thing and lead the group and play great football, and I think we feel very comfortable with that."

Mayfield was 11-for-20 for 202 yards and two touchdowns against the Giants in the Browns' preseason opening victory. Taylor was 5-for-5 for 99 yards and a score.