News & a view
News: Browns coach Hue Jackson names Baker Mayfield his backup quarterback Sunday.
View: To the surprise of mostly no one.
As recently as a couple of weeks ago, Jackson said he hadn’t made up his mind as to whom would back up Tyrod Taylor and be there if/when the veteran quarterback goes down.
Now did anyone actually buy that? Really?
He cited Mayfield’s performance when Taylor did, indeed, go down with hand and finger injuries in the exhibition victory over Philadelphia Thursday night as the reason he all but made it official.
“It’s Baker,” he told reporters Sunday, removing all the mystery. “Baker is there. . . . I feel good about the things Baker went in and did in the game.” In the two series the kid played with the starters, that is.
For the record, the overall No. 1 selection in the college draft piloted two series (10 plays) with the ones. The first ended on downs at the Eagles’ 39. The second resulted in Zane Gonzalez’ 54-yard field goal after one of the Browns’ seven takeaways gave the offense the ball at the Eagles’ 35.
The two possessions produced 27 net yards. Mayfield completed two of five passes for 19 yards, was strip-sacked on a sixth attempt and was fortunate when tackle Chris Hubbard recovered the fumble, setting up Gonzalez’ field goal.
Not exactly a dazzling performance. And for that, he was rewarded the role of backup quarterback, dropping Drew Stanton to No. 3. Makes perfect sense in Jackson’s world.
Stanton had as much of a chance beating out Mayfield for No. 2 as he did at beating Taylor out for the starting job. The only way he sees the field this season is if he is the only healthy quarterback on the roster. And considering how often Cleveland quarterbacks have fallen the last two decades, that is a distinct possibility.
“There’s value in seeing Mayfield play,” said Jackson in explaining the reasoning behind his decision. Not sure what that means. Just the head coach seemingly stringing together a bunch of words that have no meaning without a reference.
“I don’t know about most of the game,” he added. “I’ve seen quite a bit of him. I like what I’ve seen. He’s done a good job.” Again, words randomly strung together with no reference.
Mayfield ,however, is not on the same page as his coach, pronouncing himself “disappointed with myself” with his job against the Philadelphia starters.
If Jackson meant the two series with the starters, he was watching an entirely different part of the game than I saw. With the exception of those two possessions with the starters, Jackson has seen Mayfield with only the second- and third stringers.
Now if you take how well Mayfield has performed minus his disappointing two possessions with the starters against the Eagles, then yes, he should be Taylor’s backup.
Stanton was brought to Cleveland to shepherd Mayfield as he learns the National Football League, Impart the knowledge he has gleaned over eight seasons as a backup with three different teams.
So for those who believed Jackson and are breathing a sigh of relief with Sunday’s news, relax. There was no way the future face of the franchise was going to be relegated to No. 3 on the depth chart.
And for those who knew all along this would happen, don’t worry. Mayfield will get his shot at starting sooner rather than later. Much sooner.-->