Cleveland Browns: Hello Tyrod Taylor, here’s the door
By Randy Gurzi
The Cleveland Browns have wanted a quarterback for decades, and now that they have one in Tyrod Taylor, they want to push him out the door
This is why we can’t have nice things. Since returning to the NFL in 1999, the Cleveland Browns have been in a never-ending pursuit of a franchise quarterback. They’ve had to deal with the likes of Robert Griffin III, Brady Quinn, Johnny Manziel and Derek Anderson during that span and no matter what the expectations were, they all ended the same — in disappointment.
Then general manager John Dorsey delivers a starting quarterback in exchange for just a third-round pick, and no one is satisfied. In fact, Tyrod Taylor hasn’t even taken a snap for Cleveland and many are already showing him the door.
Perhaps the reason for that is this incessant talk that he’s a mere bridge-quarterback. Why that’s a foregone conclusion is baffling because Taylor is no bridge quarterback, but he’s in fact the real deal.
According to Pro Football Focus, Taylor was graded a healthy 83.0, which was good enough for No. 14 overall at the position in 2017. It wasn’t a one-year deal with him either as the highly-consistent Taylor had graded of 83.2 and 86 in the previous two seasons as a starter for the Bills.
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During that span, Taylor had a record of 22-20 while completing 62.6 percent of his passes with 8,857 yards. He also had an incredible touchdown to interception ratio as he had only 16 picks with 51 touchdown passes. Add in his 1,575 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground and you have a certifiable playmaker who led his team to the playoffs in 2017.
What’s most impressive about that is Taylor guided his team to the post season without any real weapons outside of running back LeSean McCoy and a coach in Sean McDermott that badly wanted anyone else to succeed.
Now, before anyone rips Taylor for McDermott’s lack of faith, remember that the rookie coach benched Taylor for another rookie in Nathan Peterman. That replacement threw more interceptions (five) in one start than Taylor did all season (four).
Fast forward to 2018 and the Browns fans are playing the part of McDermott. Rather than being satisfied with a guy that’s done it in the NFL, they’re debating about what quarterback will take his job in 2019.
So what happens if Taylor succeeds? Because there’s a high probability he will. Cleveland has an improving defense and the offensive weapons are already far superior to what he had in Buffalo.
Look at the main passing targets. In Orchard Park he had McCoy as well as tight end Charles Cook and wide receivers Jordan Matthews, Zay Jones and Kelvin Benjamin — albeit Benjamin was only there for the last part of the year once they realized Matthews wasn’t the player they hoped for.
In Cleveland, Taylor will have Jarvis Landry, Josh Gordon and Corey Coleman at receiver with David Njoku, Darren Fells and Seth DeValve at tight end. As for the running game, Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde are no slouches and the team can afford to add another huge playmaker in the 2018 NFL Draft at the position.
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This begs the question of why everyone is so quick to want to see Taylor leave? Why don’t we all just enjoy having a quarterback who can run an NFL offense before showing him the exit sign?