Joe Thomas has seen previous Cleveland Browns rookie quarterbacks fail, time and again, to simply assume things will work out just fine for Baker Mayfield.
The biggest problem the former standout offensive tackle has seen, time and again, is those previous rookie quarterbacks taking the field before they’re ready to play.
‘I think, when he gets his opportunity, he’s going to do great‘
Thomas doesn’t want to see that happen to Mayfield. That could also be one of the reasons Browns coach Hue Jackson keeps insisting publicly that Tyrod Taylor, the veteran quarterback the team acquired in a March 9 trade with the Buffalo Bills, is his starter.
“I think Baker’s going to transition really well,” Thomas told Bob Papa and David Diel on The Opening Drive. “I think, when he gets his opportunity, he’s going to do great. But I just don’t want to see a lot of the problems that happened with the guys that I played with in the past as rookies where they just are thrown in there before they’re ready or before they’re needed. Because I think the best thing for any rookie, no matter what your name is, is to sit that first year and watch and soak it all in.”
‘He’s a guy that wants to go in and put the team on his back right away‘
When Thomas talks with Mayfield, he does his best to keep it casual. For now.
“I’m not trying to get too fatherly just yet, but I think when I do get a chance to get a little more serious with him, I think the No. 1 message is just going to be it’s OK if you don’t play in your first year, especially a guy like Baker,” Thomas said. “He’s ultra-competitive. He’s a guy that wants to go in and put the team on his back right away. … He’s a guy that’s exciting, he’s a guy that brings a lot of leadership, moxie, confidence, swagger, whatever you want to talk about.
‘The Browns are hoping that that will be able to transition to the pro game’
“But he’s also a play-maker. There’s a reason he’s the No. 1 pick. It’s not just because people liked him, but he made a lot of plays and he was probably the best quarterback in college football last year. So the Browns are hoping that that will be able to transition to the pro game, in spite of him being a little bit of a shorter guy. And, really, that was the only knock on him coming out of college.”
Music, Sports, News and more
All in one place on the SiriusXM app