This is the first breaking news of the Big Head Sports era. This is going to be huge. According to common sense, Baker Mayfield will be the starting quarterback of the Cleveland Browns during their week 1 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers if he proves to be the better option over Tyrod Taylor. There, I said it. Huge news, I know.
I may have exhibited a tad bit of sarcasm in that first paragraph, but for good reason. If I read another Hue Jackson response pertaining to Mayfield being the starting quarterback of the Browns week 1, I might throw up my dinner. It is such a waste of everyone’s time in that press room. Today’s latest quote came from a conversation with the MMQB’s Albert Breer regarding his past experiences with young quarterbacks in Cleveland.
Jackson told Breer:
“I’ve had two players here in the past who’d never played in the National Football League, and we put them out there. That didn’t do anybody any good. So why take a guy who we know is going to be our future and put him in that situation? We understand how hard it is to play in this league, how much you need to know, what your supporting cast has to be for you to have success.”
Now, this quote is just dumb in so many ways. First off, the two players that he was referring to were former 3rd round pick from USC, Cody Kessler, and former 2nd round pick from Notre Dame, DeShone Kizer. Kessler was not even the best quarterback on his own team, and Kizer led the Fighting Irish to an impressive 4-8 record in his last season in South Bend, the school’s worst record since 2007.
Baker Mayfield is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, who torched an elite Georgia Bulldog defense in the Rose Bowl last season, has been the top graded quarterback in college football the last two seasons (according to Pro Football Focus), and has elite accuracy and big time throw potential, which translates well to the NFL. Mayfield was adored by his teammates and coaches at Oklahoma, and my guess is that will translate well to the league too.
To answer Jackson’s question as to why they should put Baker in the situation to become the starter of their football team without any experience, I will make it quick: he could be your best option, and your ass is out the door if you start off poorly, especially if you start off poorly with Taylor over Mayfield.
But Andrew, Baker is too short, he needs to adjust to a big offensive line in front of him!
Oklahoma’s average offensive lineman size last season was 6’ 5” and 323 pounds, including the behemoth, Orlando Brown, who stands at 6’ 8” being his left tackle.
But the playbook!! How is he going to learn the playbook!?!?
If John Dorsey, regarded as one of the brightest general managers in the NFL, drafted him number one overall in the 2018 NFL Draft over Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and Josh Allen for a reason. He is going to be capable of picking up the offense. The Browns have built a solid foundation around Mayfield, including an above average offensive line and a more talented group of skill position players than Baker’s predecessors were afforded.
I know I am really harping on the Browns and Hue Jackson for feeding all this bullshit to the media about Baker’s chances of starting week one, but every organization that drafts a quarterback in the top 20 of the NFL Draft does the same thing every year.
The list of teams that said the same thing about their first-round quarterback is ridiculous… Mitch Trubisky, Deshawn Watson, Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, and the list goes on and on.
The only draft in the past five years that had no rookie quarterback controversy was the 2015 NFL draft with Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. Other than this instance, there is a lot of nonsense given to the media from coaches and GM’s about quarterbacks, and unfortunately, us fans have only that to choose from in the dog days of summer.
Although this is an annoying trend, it is never going to end. If a coach is honest, the media will roast them. If the media does not ask the question, they are, “not doing their job.” It is a monotonous process that we are not going to ever get away from, but I do hope that fans have caught on to the fact that this is all scripted, and the final decision on who takes the first snap under center will be the one that gives the team the best chance to win football games. There are too many jobs in each NFL franchise on the line for a team not to bring their best man forward. If Baker does not start the season, it is because Tyrod is tearing it up at training camp, and Baker might need a few games to take in the league.
I hear this same sentiment from numerous teams each offseason, and the same feeling holds true for 2018. I have a hard time believing any of it….