Texans’ QB Taylor back to face Mayfield, Browns in Week 2
|Toronto Star 16 Sep 2021 at 16:29|
CLEVELAND (AP) — Brash and even a little belligerent, Baker Mayfield waltzed into the NFL thinking he had things figured out. He quickly learned he had a lot to learn.
Tyrod Taylor taught him.
When Cleveland fans fill FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday for the first time in nearly two years, they’ll see several familiar faces on Houston’s roster, one of them Taylor, who was briefly the Browns’ starter when Mayfield was a rookie in 2018.
Taylor only started three games, but Mayfield said the 32-year-old veteran had a major impact on his career.
“I think people took Tyrod for granted,” said Mayfield. “He’s an extremely good leader. His work ethic alone, just his routine and being the same guy every day for every single person in the building is a tremendous way of showing his leadership.
“Obviously great athlete and he’s a great quarterback.”
Taylor is coming off a strong debut in a win over Jacksonville for the Texans (1-0), who elevated him into the starting job this summer in the midst of Deshaun Watson’s legal entanglements and his trade request.
Desperate to solve their quarterback issue three years ago, the Browns (0-1), who are coming off a Week 1 loss in Kansas City, traded a third-round pick to Buffalo for Taylor. The previous season he had helped the Bills end their long playoff drought.
Cleveland then chose Mayfield with the No. 1 overall pick, but he was not given a chance to beat out Taylor in training camp.
Things changed, though, in Week 3 when Mayfield replaced a concussed Taylor during a nationally televised Thursday night game against the New York Jets and rallied the Browns to their first win in 20 games.
Taylor’s era in Cleveland may have been brief, but he helped shape Mayfield into the QB he is today.
“Everything that he taught me, leading by example and doing different things, not that we lead the same way, but there’s always different ways to learn,” Mayfield said. “I’m very thankful to have stepped in a QB room with Drew Stanton and Tyrod, that I was able to learn from those guys. It’s something I’m obviously very grateful for.”
Taylor said he hasn’t closely followed Mayfield’s career, but he was impressed by the young QB’s quick rise in their one season together.
“Just to see his growth throughout that year was definitely impressive and to see him endure some of the stuff that came up throughout that year, with coach changes and different schemes,“ Taylor said. ”But he’d done a great job of handling it, and he’s done a great job for the team since then.