Thursday, March 15, 2018

Taylor doesn’t play bridge

Remember the game Browns coach Hue Jackson played during training camp last season? It involved the merry-go-round situation at quarterback.

If you recall, the Browns’ roster listed four quarterbacks: Brock Osweiler, Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan and rookie DeShone Kizer. It became a daily exercise with the media to find out which one of the four would start the season opener against Pittsburgh.

Jackson seemed to have fun with the media during the competition as he waffled depending, in some cases, on how they performed in practice. After Osweiler was traded to Denver, Kizer’s ascendancy to the starting job became apparent.

That guessing game will not be played this season. Jackson made that quite clear Thursday when the Browns introduced quarterback Tyrod Taylor, wide receiver Jarvis Landry and safety Damarious Randall to the media.

“Tyrod Taylor is the starting quarterback,” Jackson declared. “There is no competition.” Really, coach? Now tell us something we don’t know.

Jackson assures fans Taylor will become the Browns’ 29th starting quarterback since 1999. And it won’t be for just a couple of seasons as he becomes the bridge to the quarterback the club selects in the first round of this year’s draft. Not if he can help it.

“I don’t necessarily view myself as a bridge quarterback,” Taylor said. “As far as a bridge, hopefully I’m helping bridge this team to a Super Bowl. That’s the plan.”

Lofty goals for sure. But what else did you expect him to say? Sure, I can do two years here and then go somewhere else? Of course he is going to throw some red meat at a fan base that loves hearing the words “Super” and “Bowl” in the same sentence from their quarterback.

But deep down, Taylor has to know his stay with the Browns has an expiration date unless he has no problem becoming a backup and mentor to the new quarterback.
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The Browns are still trying to convince Terrelle Pryor to return, but the former Browns wide receiver has reportedly attracted interest from the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams.

The thought of Pryor, Josh Gordon and Jarvis Landry in the same huddle is intriguing and something that would provide new offensive coordinator Todd Haley all kinds of weaponry as he constructs the new Cleveland offense.

Offering Pryor the same contract (four years, $32 million) they did last season before he turned it down and bolted to the Washington Redskins might get the job done this time for the Browns, who could make the awful Cleveland offense the last two seasons seem like nothing more than a bad memory.

Throw in tight end David Njoku and running back Duke Johnson Jr. and the possibilities abound. Add a strong running game and a slightly revamped line and the Cleveland offense could turn out to be one of the feel-good stories of the 2018 season.

Pryor would be a key ingredient in that offense. The big question is whether General Manager John Dorsey sees it the same way and opens up Jimmy Haslam III’s vault one more time during what thus far has been a bountiful free-agent/trading season.
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The McCourty brothers of the NFL have tried for years to play for the same team. Dorsey finally made the dream come true for the twin brothers on Wednesday.

McCourty, easily the Browns’ best defensive back last season, was traded to the New England and will join brother Devin, a free safety, in the Patriots’ secondary this season. He also joins ex-Brown nose tackle Danny Shelton, recently swapped to the Pats, as he moves from the outhouse to the penthouse.

McCourty was easily the best corner for the Browns last season, but his numbers suffered in the second half of the season when defensive coordinator Gregg Williams played more zone to offset a disappointing pass rush.

Apparently, Dorsey liked what he saw last season of youngsters Briean Boddy-Calhoun and Mike Jordan down the stretch and decided to move the 30-year-old McCourty.

Originally, the Browns announced they had terminated McCourty’s contract, then pulled back and shipped him and this year’s seventh-round pick for the Patriots’ sixth-round choice in April’s college draft.

According to my calculations, the Browns own nine picks in the lottery, including five in the first two rounds. They also have selections in the fourth (114), fifth (150) and now two in the sixth round (175 and 205).
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In addition to McCourty, the Browns also terminated the contract of defensive back B. W. Webb and waived eight others, including wide receiver Sammie Coates and offensive tackle Zach Banner, none of whom would have made the team next season. There are currently 76 men on the active roster.


  1. As Far As I'm Concerned, Coach Jackson Ruined The 2017 Season With His Handling Of The Quarterbacks. He Is Not The Quarterback Whisperer. Dorsey Knows This.

  2. Don't worry, Harry. Todd Haley will work autonomously this season. Jackson will be strictly the head coach. The offense will be all Haley.