Tyrod Taylor hopes the Bills make the playoffs and would love the Browns to beat them
The Bills made the postseason last year for the first time since 1999; the Browns last made an appearance in 2002 season
Tyrod Taylor said all the right things during the 2017 season but it became unequivocally clear his days were numbered the moment he was benched for Nathan Peterman, the rookie quarterback who needed just 30 minutes to chuck five interceptions in a midseason game and was so ineffective that Taylor was reinserted into the lineup at halftime.
This offseason, Taylor was traded to the Browns and the 28-year-old has already been named the starting quarterback for 2018. How long that holds is up for debate -- injuries and No. 1 overall picks behind you on the depth chart are always concerns -- but for now, Taylor is The Guy in Cleveland.
If this is finally the Browns' season -- the team is 1-31 in the Hue Jackson era but has one of the league's best young rosters -- not only is an 8-8 record a reasonable possibility, there's even talk of the playoffs. In related news: Cleveland's last postseason appearance came in January 2003.
This brings us back to Taylor, who was asked recently about his final season in Buffalo and a possible rematch with the team that gave up on him.
"Things didn't end the way I would have liked it to in Buffalo," Taylor told NFL Network. "We could possibly see those guys in the playoffs or we could knock those guys out of the playoffs. I would love that. That's motivation I take to work with me every day."
And now Taylor is atop the depth chart in Cleveland, which certainly takes the pressure off Baker Mayfield, the top pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. A year ago, Hue Jackson named then-rookie DeShone Kizer the starter and he stumbled his way through a forgettable season that had as much to do with the players around him as it did with his inexperience. Now Jackson has turned the offense over to Taylor but the decision wasn't rubber-stamped.
"Tyrod walked in here, I made a commitment to him and he's held up his end of the bargain with not just the way he works but the way he plays and the way he leads," the coach said this week, via Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot. "He's earned the right to be the starting quarterback here. I know it was given in the beginning, but he still had to do the things that were going to let him be the starting quarterback here, and he's done that."
And if all goes according to plan, Taylor will remain the Browns' quarterback throughout the season. Whether that ends in a playoff rematch against his former team is another matter but hey, it's June -- hope springs eternal and all that.
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