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Jackson on Taylor over Mayfield: 'I'm not going to change'

By MARY KAY CABOT • Jul 31, 2018 at 4:33 PM

BEREA — Just because Baker Mayfield has exceeded expectations in camp doesn't mean Hue Jackson is budging on his commitment to Tyrod Taylor as the starting quarterback.

In fact, he got annoyed when a reporter broached the subject again today, starting his question about Mayfield's status with, "I know you've told us 50 times...''

Jackson interrupted and said, "Do I have to tell you 51 times?''

Despite Mayfield's excellent start to camp, Jackson isn't wavering on his decision to give Taylor all the first team reps and keep Mayfield with the twos.

"No, I do not have temptation that way,'' he said. "Baker Mayfield is doing great. Tyrod Taylor is doing great. This thing is going to play out just like I told you it would. I'm not going to change. You guys are judging every day what happens and 'this might happen, that might happen.' I'm not like that. We're going to grow our football team. We're going to grow our quarterbacks.

"Tyrod Taylor is our quarterback. Baker Mayfield is competing and getting better each and every day, still learning the National Football League. He's done a really nice job of learning our system and improving every day. Tyrod Taylor has too, and so has Drew Stanton. We have a really good room. I'm excited about our room."

Mayfield has impressed observers in camp — including 1999 No. 1 overall pick Tim Couch — with his laser-sharp accuracy, strong arm and lack of picks. He's also playing well under center, getting the ball out quickly and making good decisions.

"He's refined some things (since minicamp),'' said Jackson. "He's worked really hard in the offseason to improve on the mechanical things that we wanted him to. I do see that. He's growing. I'm impressed with that because he's going that way. That's important. Like all the young guys, you will hit a wall at some point, and we will bring him through it.

"He's done some nice things, but Tyrod Taylor has done some nice things and Drew Stanton has done some nice things. It is a fun situation to have with the guys that we have."

Mayfield stressed that his goal isn't closing the gap on Taylor.

"We're trying to get everybody else better on this team right now,'' he said. "We're trying to make the whole offense in tune. It's not about that right now. It's about the Cleveland Browns and the 2018 season. We're trying to push to be whole lot better than it's been here in the past, and that's our goal.

He was pleased to hear that Jackson believes he's exceeded expectations but "that doesn't mean I'm satisfied. I always say that I set my own expectations, set my own standard, and I have to live up to that. If I can get a little bit better each day, then I'm doing something right.''

His mentor Stanton has urged him to "'focus on a couple things each day, and try and take care of that so you're really working on getting better at all of the details.' That's what I'm trying to do,''' he said.

One of his everyday goals is taking care of the call, and he's been remarkably interception-free.

"That's kind of the No. 1 rule of playing quarterback,'' he said. "You take care of the ball and you put your team in a good position to win. The main emphasis for us is winning, and when you take care of the ball, that's just one thing that happens.''

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