• Brian L. Barefield

Former Teammates Tyrod Taylor and Baker Mayfield Have Mutual Respect For Each Other

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In 2018, the Cleveland Browns had no choice but to take Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield out of Oklahoma with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. They had gone 0-16 the previous season and was a franchise in turmoil with upper management and locker room issues.

Before the season started, Cleveland decided that the best course of action was to sit Mayfield and let him learn behind quarterback Tyrod Taylor who had signed with the Browns in the off-season after leading the Buffalo Bills to the playoffs. Former head coach Hue Jackson thought it made perfect sense at the time, since Taylor had the experience, and it would give Mayfield some time to adjust to the game speed of the NFL.

Those plans changed when Taylor suffered a concussion in Week 3 against the New York Jets and Mayfield came in to lead the Browns to their first win in 18 games. Mayfield remained the starter throughout the season even when Taylor recovered from his injury. After the 2018 season, Taylor signed with the Los Angeles Chargers where he played two seasons before signing with the Houston Texans this past off-season.

This Sunday the two will face off against each other as the Texans take on the Browns in a noon kickoff in Cleveland. Mayfield was asked about the head-to-head matchup with his former teammate and had nothing but positive praises.

"I think people took Tyrod for granted,” said Mayfield about his former teammate. “He's an extremely good leader. Obviously, great athlete. He's a great QB. I'm very thankful to have stepped into the QB room with Drew Stanton and Tyrod. I was able to learn from those guys. It’s something I’m obviously very grateful for.”

During his own weekly press conference, Taylor also had great things to say about the time he spent with the Cleveland organization and says that he has watched the maturity of Mayfield during the 2018 season.

“His growth over the year,” said Taylor when asked about Mayfield. “I mean, obviously, he was thrown into that position in Week 3 after the Jets game, or during the Jets game. Just to see his growth throughout that year was definitely impressive and to see him endure some of the stuff that came up throughout that year, with coach changes and different schemes.”

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