After Baker Mayfield single-handedly snapped the Browns’ losing streak, there’s no way he doesn’t get the start next week, right?
It sounds crazy, right?
Rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield — the Cleveland Browns’ No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft — replaced the injured Tyrod Taylor against the New York Jets on Thursday, brought the Browns back from a 14-point deficit to pick up their first win in almost two years, and most importantly, singlehandedly made the Browns look like a good football team.
Despite all of this, Browns head coach Hue Jackson has yet to officially name Mayfield as the starting quarterback for their Week 4 game against the Oakland Raiders.
For the average person, it’s an easy decision. But Jackson certainly isn’t getting any overwhelming support for the Coach of the Year award. After all, he’s in his third season as head coach of the Browns and he just picked up his second win. Nobody really considers him to be a football genius or anything like that.
So, would Jackson actually consider not starting Mayfield next week?
“I wanted to really watch tape and talk to the staff and talk to [general manager] John [Dorsey] and then make a decision from there,” Jackson said during a conference call on Friday, via NFL.com. “I think you guys all feel good where things are headed. Let’s just wait and see and go from there.”
Jackson is trying not to disrespect Taylor, whom the Browns acquired during the offseason from the Buffalo Bills with the intention to have him start in 2018 while the rookie Mayfield was groomed on the sideline. Jackson obviously has plenty of respect for Taylor and the things he accomplished in Buffalo, and he doesn’t want to say anything about Taylor that could come off as negative in anyway.
But with that being said, there is no way Jackson can even consider going back to Taylor next week after the game Mayfield just turned in. It made sense to have Taylor start the season. Mayfield is young and has plenty of expectations heaped on his shoulders, and rushing him into action right away may have done more harm than good.
But Mayfield showed on Thursday night that he’s ready. He’s incredibly competitive and has an unmatchable enthusiasm. He wants to play and he wants to win, and he proved that he can handle any pressure that is put on his shoulders.
While Taylor has always been a competent quarterback, Mayfield gives them a better chance to win football games, and Jackson can’t consider going in any other direction with this.
It’s only a matter of time before he announces that Mayfield will be starting in Oakland next Sunday.