Diehl: Tyrod "Was Looking For An Excuse" To Exit

Baker Mayfield stole the show Thursday, but Tyrod Taylor seemed more than willing to give him an opportunity, David Diehl says

Taz and the Moose
September 21, 2018 - 10:46 am

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Short week, prime-time game, down 14-0 – not exactly a great time for the No. 1 overall pick to make his NFL debut. But that’s the hand Baker Mayfield was dealt – and boy, did he make the most of it. 

Mayfield went 17-of-23 for 201 yards in just over a half to lead Cleveland to a 21-17 win over the Jets. It was the Browns’ first win in 635 days.

“You talk about somebody coming in cold and immediately striking with that football coming out of his hands, knowing exactly where he’s going to go with it,” CBS Sports and FOX NFL analyst David Diehl said on Taz & The Moose. “It’s something you always here: ‘Make sure that you’re prepared on the sidelines. You never know what’s going to take place.’”

Mayfield, though, seemed to know.

“There he is sitting on the sidelines with the tablet going through everything, looking at his wristband at the plays that are taking place on the field,” Diehl said. “You almost think that there was an anticipation, that they probably told him something before the game: if Tyrod wasn’t playing well, that you’re going to go in. You could tell that he was prepared differently and acting differently on the sideline than he did the first two games, just with his helmet, looking at the wristband – doing all that stuff.”

Taylor, meanwhile, had an unforgettable first half. He went 4-of-14 for 19 yards before exiting with a concussion.

Even before Taylor was concussed, however, Diehl questioned whether he actually wanted to be in the game.

“I would never call anybody out,” Diehl said, “but it was almost like Tyrod Taylor was looking for an excuse to get out of the game when he wasn't playing well. You look at that one where he got hit – believe me, you’re going to sell it a little bit more when Trumaine Johnson hit him in the head and he was selling the personal-foul injury. 

“But all of those other times he got hit, he wasn’t taking big hits and you see him getting up slow off the turf,” Diehl continued. “I’m like, ‘Is he just trying to pull himself out of the game? Does he realize the magnitude of the situation? You have the No. 1 draft pick sitting behind you.’ As a veteran, you can’t let that happen to you.’”

Either way, Cleveland may have found its quarterback. The Browns (1-1-1) will face the Raiders (0-2) in Oakland next Sunday. Kickoff from Oakland Coliseum is slated for 4:05 p.m. ET.