An injury to Tyrod Taylor may have opened up an opportunity for Baker Mayfield to become the Cleveland Browns’ starting quarterback.
Taylor left Thursday’s preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles in the first quarter after hurting his arm. Taylor was moving towards his left and put his left hand down as he went to the ground, appearing to land on it awkwardly.
Tyrod Taylor banged up…left elbow/forearm pic.twitter.com/Ca3wXdy0sk
— Greg Brandt (@devywarehouse) August 24, 2018
He went into the medical tent and then into the locker room for examination. He was termed questionable to return. He was seen holding his left wrist after landing on his hand.
Tyrod Taylor appears to injure his wrist, heads back to the locker room. Baker Mayfield into the game for the Browns. pic.twitter.com/18x4vwvU87
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) August 24, 2018
The good news is Taylor returned to the Browns’ sideline at the start of the second quarter, with his helmet in hand.
Taylor was entering the season as the Browns’ starter, with the plan being for Mayfield to sit behind him and learn despite being the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. If the injury is serious, that could change things.
- Tyrod Taylor
We have a bonafide name controversy brewing in the NFL surrounding Cleveland Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
Since his days at Virginia Tech, Taylor’s first name has commonly been pronounced as “Ty-rod”, with the “Y” being prominent. However, we’re coming to find out that that pronunciation may not be correct.
Some observers noticed on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” that Taylor’s name was pronounced as “Tuh-rod” rather than “Ty-rod” by some of his teammates. That led “Good Morning Football” to do an investigation which led them to conclude his name should be pronounced “Tuh-rod.”
The Curious Case of Ta-ROD Taylor has been cracked. pic.twitter.com/K9xico42O7
— Kyle Brandt (@KyleBrandt) August 17, 2018
With NFL fans everywhere confused, ESPN’s Dianna Russini attempted to get to the bottom of the mystery, but the answer she received from a Browns official only continued the confusion.
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) August 17, 2018
Then during the telecast of the game, the broadcast crew pronounced Taylor’s first name as we have been accustomed to hearing it over the years.
So which one is it?
If Taylor had a universally accepted nickname, that would be an alternative. I’ve heard Taylor referred to as “T-Mobile” on a few occasions, based on Taylor’s ability to make plays with his feet. What if we all just decide to call him that?
- Tyrod Taylor
Training camp may not be the most exciting time of the NFL season, but it’s home to a lot of storylines and things to watch. There are players looking to prove themselves and others who want to push for opportunities during the regular season, as well as the annual camp battles at several positions for a number of teams.
So who should you be watching as training camp gets underway? Here’s a list of 15 players worth paying attention to.
1) Andrew Luck, QB, Colts
All eyes will be on Luck’s health as training camp gets underway. The hope is that his shoulder problems are finally behind him, though the Colts have made clear that they’re going to watch him closely and not push him too far too soon. He’ll be worth watching in camp not just for his health, but for the quality of his passing. It’s been a long time since Luck pushed himself. How sharp will the former No. 1 pick be?
Tyrod Taylor and Baker Mayfield are both entering their first season with a new team and new offense, but the veteran is apparently showing how important experience is as training camp draws near.
Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Todd Haley made his first public comments about the team’s quarterback situation this week, and he had extremely high praise for Taylor.
“He is in a new situation with new coaches around him and a lot of new players, guys that have been here,” Haley said, via Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland. “Not an easy situation to come into, but I thought that Tyrod has done a tremendous, tremendous job of establishing himself as the leader of this offense. His car is there every morning in his spot when I get here in the morning, and it is there when I am leaving. That is what you are looking for in the leader of the offense.”
While Haley also had good things to say about Mayfield and said the rookie has “made very good progress,” he made it seem as though Taylor is in no danger of losing the Week 1 starting job.
“That is yet to be determined. He has a long way to go,” Haley said of whether or not Mayfield can close the gap. “I would say it is clear that Tyrod is the leader of this team. That is a big component of that position, also.”
The Browns don’t want to rush Mayfield like they have with some of their past rookie QBs, and it would take an injury or a disastrous training camp for Taylor to be bumped down the depth chart. Based on some of the comments Taylor made this week about his motivation heading into 2018, it’s clear he wants to earn the starting job and not look back.
Tyrod Taylor has openly stated that he feels he deserved more support from the Buffalo Bills during the time he was with the team, and the quarterback is clearly carrying that perceived disrespect with him into the 2018 season.
In an appearance on NFL Network Wednesday, Taylor said he is “definitely motivated” by the way the Bills bailed on him and would love an opportunity to prove to them that they made a mistake.
“Definitely motivated. Things didn’t end the way I would’ve liked it to in Buffalo,” Taylor said, per Mark Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “We could possibly see those guys in the playoffs or we could knock those guys out of the playoffs. I would definitely love that. It definitely added motivation and I take it to work with me every day.”
You’d have to be insane to predict a playoff matchup between the Bills and Cleveland Browns, but you have to admire Taylor’s level of confidence. Hue Jackson has said Taylor is going to be the starting quarterback even though the team drafted Baker Mayfield, so Taylor should have plenty of motivation to reward his coach for believing in him.
Taylor said recently that he believes he did plenty to earn a job as Buffalo’s starter in 2018 and beyond, but the Bills chose to go in another direction. The chip Taylor has on his shoulder might lead to a few wins for the Browns this season, but making the playoffs seems like an impossible task.
The Buffalo Bills made the playoffs last season, but that wasn’t enough to keep quarterback Tyrod Taylor with the team.
Now a member of the Cleveland Browns, Taylor didn’t hide how aggrieved he was that the Bills did not see fit to retain his services. It’s quite clear that he feels a bit bitter toward former coach Sean McDermott, jokingly asking a reporter who covered him in Buffalo if the coach knew he was at Cleveland camp.
“Whether I was or whether I wasn’t, I’m not there anymore. That’s his decision moving forward,” Taylor said, via Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News. “I still feel that I’d done more than enough to stay where I was. But at the end of the day, they made a decision to move forward. And that’s their decision.”
Taylor clearly feels he played a major role in helping the Bills evolve into actual playoff contenders after the longest drought in American sports was broken last year.
“It was special to be a part of a team last year that was able to break a 17-year (playoff) drought,” Taylor said. “We didn’t finish the season the way we wanted to, but at the end of the day, we were able to change the culture. That was something that I set as a goal for the team. The main goal, to win a Super Bowl, wasn’t accomplished, but we were able to do some very special things in the three years that I was there and I have nothing to regret or to hang my head (about) in my time there. There’s nothing to be disappointed about.
“We were able to be in the playoff hunt each year. My first year, we knocked the Jets out of the playoffs the last game. We were eliminated the week before, so (the Bills were still alive for the postseason until the) second-to-the-last week of the season. But that was something that wasn’t necessarily the case prior to the time that I was there.”
Taylor and McDermott clearly didn’t quite end up on the same page. After all, Taylor was benched despite leading the team to a 5-4 record, only to take the job back after his backup turned in a disastrous performance. You can see why Taylor would be a bit upset, but it was time to move on for everyone.
While so much of the attention at Cleveland Browns camp will be on Baker Mayfield, he isn’t even going to be the starting quarterback.
That job belongs to Tyrod Taylor, who said it’s his duty to block out the chatter about Mayfield, and he believes he can do it.
“Absolutely,” Taylor said, via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “It’s part of the job. It’s part of being a leader, being able to take on questions, even on days that you don’t want to take them on. I’m here to help turn this organization around. We have a step for us to take tomorrow (at the start of OTAs) and I’m looking forward to it as well as everyone else.”
If anything, Taylor is fueled by the underdog mentality he has.
“I was drafted in 2011,” Taylor said. “(10) quarterbacks were taken ahead of me. Two of them are playing now (Cam Newton and Andy Dalton). And that’s not any disrespect to the guys who aren’t playing, but what drove me every day was remembering my mom and my parents’ faces and the feeling that I had on draft day, not being happy about that. So I’m going to continue to keep pushing, continue to keep working the way I do.
“[I’m] ready to take my game to the next level. I think that I’ve been able to take steps in the right direction each year that I’ve been able to play the game. So I’m excited about the opportunity that I have here. There’s so much talent on this team and guys that are in the right mindset.”
Taylor has been assured of the starting job, but it still feels tenuous as the expectation settles on Mayfield. The veteran quarterback looks to be handling it as well as can be expected.