"I know exactly what they said and I absolutely respect that," Mayfield told reporters Thursday, per The Plain Dealer, after Browns coach Hue Jackson and general manager John Dorsey made it clear that Taylor would open the year as the starter. "That's a veteran that's been in the league. He's a guy that I could sit behind and learn from."
Mayfield generated headlines at the combine when he told scribes he wouldn't "settle for a backup" role, but the former Oklahoma star pushed no ultimatums after landing with the Browns.
"For me, when I say those type of things, it's because I'm competitive," Mayfield said. "If I came in with the mindset of just being happy I got drafted and just to settle for a backup job, that wouldn't be myself. I'm going to come in with the mindset to compete but also with the hunger to learn from a guy that's been in the league, that's seen things that I haven't seen. I've said multiple times that the best thing to happen to me throughout this process at Oklahoma was sitting for the year after I transferred."
Jackson praised Mayfield as a player who "wants to compete," saying: "We have been playing young quarterbacks here in Cleveland for the past two years and putting them in some tough situations. It's really important that he understands: When he is ready to play, he will be ready to play."
These are pretty words from Jackson in April. Undoubtedly the Browns would like to see Taylor author a successful, drama-free season in 2018 before handing over the reins to Mayfield.
In the real world, though, you have the top pick in the draft sitting on the sideline. Watching and waiting as fans wonder what magic he might spin on the field.
Taylor is a provocative and creative talent, but if he stumbles, Mayfield will be tugged into action. These rookies always are -- every time.
At some stage, all of us watching football must wise up and acknowledge that the vast majority of April promises from coaches will be torched and burned in the fire of September. Mayfield won't wait long to see the field.