Ken Zampese spent a long time with the Cincinnati Bengals as their quarterbacks coach. He was there for the length of Carson Palmer’s tenure in Cincinnati, and through most of Andy Dalton’s career until he was fired two games into the 2017 season. He was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2016 after Hue Jackson left that post for the head coaching position with the Cleveland Browns.
And now Jackson has hired his former quarterbacks coach to the same position, though he will now be working under former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley. And he will be stepping into a quarterback room that is entirely new to the roster as well.
While the Browns made Baker Mayfield the first-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the team has continued to maintain, even straight through to the end of minicamp, that Tyrod Taylor is going to enter this season as their starter, apparently having learned from the mistake of throwing DeShone Kizer into the fire a year ago.
The Browns, having sought to trade for quarterbacks for years now—most notably Jimmy Garoppolo, AJ McCarron, and Nick Foles—finally managed to successfully complete a trade for one after sending a third-round pick to the Buffalo Bills for Taylor, who helped bring the team to a playoff berth for the first time in his millennium.
“Tyrod’s just hitting his stride”, Zampese said of the man currently at the top of his depth chart at the close of minicamp. “This is his fourth year starting in the NFL. He’s just coming into his own and this is just the tip of the iceberg. We haven’t seen the best from him”.
Taylor completed 263 of 420 passes last season, though for just 2799 yards. He only threw 14 touchdown passes, but he also had just four interceptions. He also recorded four touchdowns on the ground in addition to 427 rushing yards.
“I just can’t tell you how excited I am to have him”, Zampese went on about the former Bills and Ravens quarterback. “The standard that he sets and the consistency every day, from the time he’s in until the time he’s out, I haven’t seen a guy keep those hours in the spring time. It just brings some comfort level. You know you can trust him, and every day he backs that up”.
The veteran quarterbacks coach continued his effusive praise of Taylor, saying that there wasn’t anything at the position that he could not do. Zampese described him as a pocket passer that can also run and extend plays.
He continued to emphasize that they haven’t seen Taylor’s ceiling as a player yet to this point in his career. “We’re going to take it run with it and I’m really glad he’s here. I’m glad that I get a chance to be a part of his progression as an NFL player”.