It’s the second day of training camp and the Browns quarterbacks are in the far corner of the practice facility. They’re tucked away from most of the crowd, lining up on the goal line, and attempting to toss footballs into a garbage can in the back corner of the end zone. There weren’t many people watching, but I was, and it did not take long for Baker Mayfield to steal the show.
As I made way over I watched the Baker Mayfield flag being raised. Much like he did after beating Ohio State in The Shoe, Baker was staking his claim. Each quarterback took a turn, one at a time. Baker sinks one, all others-miss. Baker’s turn again-sinks it. The small group of onlookers roar. The other quarterbacks take their turns, all miss, but here comes Baker Mayfield. He drops back, flings the ball into the air and BINGO! Three in a row.
The Baker Mayfield flag was raised even higher into the air when about five minutes later he sank two in a row, twice. You can see the video of one of those throws on my Twitter feed.
Don’t Raise Your Baker Mayfield Flag Just Yet
Now, this is probably where you expect me to start waving my own Baker Mayfield flag, but I’m not. As fun as that was to watch, I hope we can pump the brakes on Baker Mayfield.
It’s not that I don’t believe he’ll be a great quarterback. I do. I wanted either him or Josh Rosen with the first or fourth pick in the draft. But for the first time in a long time, WE DON’T HAVE TO RUSH A QUARTERBACK INTO THE LINEUP.
Mayfield is everything everyone says he is. He’s very accurate (the drill proved that) and not only commands a huddle, the kid can command a room. He’s a natural born leader who’s worked for everything he has. We love that in Cleveland. He’s an underdog who comes out on top. The Baker Mayfield flag has been raised everywhere he goes.
Keep The Baker Mayfield Flag at Half Staff
But Tyrod Taylor is more than capable of holding down the fort. I’ll be honest, I was not thrilled when I heard the Browns settled for Taylor as their bridge quarterback. But when I started looking into him and his career, it settled my nerves.
Bottom line: Tyrod Taylor takes care of the ball. Pro Football Focus believes starting Taylor will add five wins this season. Why? He takes care of the ball. Taylor had only eight turnovers with the Bills last season: four interceptions, four fumbles. Former Browns Quarterback Deshon Kizer had 29: 22 interceptions, seven fumbles.
I also believe Taylor has a better supporting cast in his first year in Cleveland than he ever did in Buffalo. He took the Bills to the playoffs with no wide receivers that I can name off the top of my head. He had one running back-that’s it.
When to Raise The Baker Mayfield Flag?
So, before we raise the Baker Mayfield flag, and we will, I want to give him the chance to learn-slowly. Let’s take our time and give him a chance to learn the pro game. We want Mayfield to be in there, Mayfield wants Mayfield to be in there, but it doesn’t have to be week one.
We will raise the Baker Mayfield flag, and most likely, it will be before the end of this season. But if I had my way, honestly, it won’t be until next year.