Despite the entire Cleveland Browns organization shooting down any possibility of a quarterback competition, the starting quarterback debate continues to happen.
The Browns organization has said that Tyrod Taylor will be the team’s starting quarterback in 2018 countless times, even saying it immediately after drafting Mayfield. But the more times someone says there is no competition, the louder the “Mayfield should play this year” crowd gets.
This is a debate that should have already been dead for a while. General manager John Dorsey and head coach Hue Jackson have made it known that Taylor will be the starter for the 2018 season no matter what. There has not even been a hint from the Browns organization that Mayfield will be the starter.
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And yet, here we are, two weeks into the preseason, once again debating about if Mayfield should be the starter. The debate was recently fueled by a reported quote that appeared in NBC Sports’ Peter King’s Football Morning in America. King wrote that Browns offensive coordinator Todd Haley said “It’s not my idea to keep Baker Mayfield on the bench” to a Hard Knocks camera.
King would later retract the blip from his piece after he realized that Haley never made that statement.
It seems that the quote was meant to be a joke after seeing Haley and Jackson have a disagreement during the first episode of Hard Knocks.
But the debate about whether keeping Mayfield on the bench has not stopped with Browns fans. And it seems that it will continue to be a debate until the Browns eventually decide to make Mayfield the starter.
But for right now, it is a fruitless debate. Unless an injury happens to Taylor, Mayfield will be on the bench at the beginning of the regular season, and likely most of the season.
The organization wants to work Mayfield into the league slowly and have him not have to worry about much in his first season in the league. Despite him being the first overall pick, there are still things that he can clean up in his technique. By not having him worry about starting games, it will be easier for Mayfield to clean up his game.
If Browns fans continue to debate the quarterback decision, it will lead to fans scrutinizing every pass that Taylor makes during the season, no matter the result.
The Browns are committed to Taylor as the starter to start the season, and that’s not going to change. Fans continuing to debate this year’s starting quarterback will create a similar situation as the Brian Hoyer–Johnny Manziel situation, forcing fans to pick sides when it is an unnecessary debate.
Taylor will be the starter for the 2018 season, and that will not change unless something drastic happens during the season. Mayfield is an exciting player, but the organization feels that Mayfield needs a year to adjust to the NFL, and that is perfectly fine. But fans arguing with each other about what is best for Mayfield’s development is an argument that needs to end sooner rather than later.