It’s been a long time since I’ve gotten to write about the Cleveland Browns as a team that cannot possibly win a game. We know the scoop by now: the Browns beat the New York Jets on Thursday night to secure their first victory in 635 days, unleashing a plague of inferior beer upon their fans.
And of course it was rookie first-overall draft pick, quarterback Baker Mayfield, who led them to victory after he replaced Tyrod Taylor after the started suffered a concussion, inheriting a two-possession deficit from which he returned.
The offense clearly looked more explosive and capable in the half-game or so in which Mayfield was on the field than in the two and a half fielded by Taylor. Everybody in football knows that it’s only a matter of time before the first-overall pick is going to take over the starting job. After Thursday’s game, it’s assumed that it will be by next week. So why wait to announce it?
This has been the topic being kicked around for the past two days, including by Mike Florio, who seems oddly pleased about the whole situation for a person who always seems to be so in favor of the players, yet appears to be paying no due respect for a veteran quarterback losing his job.
The reason for the delay is obvious. They brought Taylor in to start until they were able to find somebody else. They found somebody else. Now they’re giving him the opportunity to transition to a backup role with some grace and dignity. There’s also the fact that he’s currently dealing with a concussion.
Let’s see if he even clears the concussion protocol first before we worry about anything in Cleveland. Who wants to be told that they’re losing their job while they have a concussion? That’s why I fully support Head Coach Hue Jackson’s decision to wait until the players report again on Monday to make his decision about the quarterback position public, since the team is off following a midweek game.
Taylor also suffered a concussion in the Buffalo Bills’ playoff loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in January, so this is his second in the last four games that he’s played. I would be more concerned about that than worrying about how a rookie is feeling about whether or not he has a starting job.
Especially since everybody already knows how this is going to play out. I mean, look how long the Bills managed to keep Josh Allen on the bench, and he has far more work to do before he can be called a legitimate starting quarterback.
This is entirely about showing some respect to a player they brought in for a specific purpose who has done everything he could for the team. Even if everybody knows it’s a decision that’s already been made, there’s no harm with letting it play out as though it were a difficult decision that he mulled over for the weekend while the players aren’t even around.