The DeShone Kizer answer for why Tyrod Taylor should start for the Browns: Doug Lesmerises

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Whatever Hue Jackson does with Baker Mayfield in 2018, he can’t bench him. Given Jackson’s history, that means he shouldn’t start him.The wall the Browns are currently building around their No. 1 draft pick is built from the shattered remnants of DeShone Kizer’s career. The drastic difference in Jackson forcing Kizer into a Week 1 start as the No. 52 pick in 2017 and promising he won’t start Mayfield as the No. 1 pick in 2018 makes no sense. Except it makes complete sense.It’s an attempt at a hard and fast rule in place of judgment. It’s what you do when you don’t trust yourself. If you can’t stop eating ice cream, you don’t buy ice cream. If you can’t stop benching rookie quarterbacks, you don’t start rookie quarterbacks.”I’m not going to back off of this,” Jackson said at rookie minicamp. “Tyrod Taylor’s the starting quarterback of this football team, and that won’t change.”This, of course, is nonsensical. Jackson’s claim is that whatever information he gleans from preseason camp about Taylor and Mayfield, two quarterbacks he has never coached before, it will be irrelevant to the most important decision he’ll make about the Browns this year.Backing himself into this corner is either wearing voluntary blinders, or setting himself up for a lie if he changes his mind.Yet Jackson has said that repeatedly. Taylor is the starter.To be fair, the presence of Taylor is the biggest difference from a year ago. The options instead of Kizer were Brock Osweiler, Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan. None of them was as established as Taylor, who has a 22-20 record in three years as an NFL starter.Still, the decision on the starting quarterback was Jackson’s to make. He could have started Osweiler or Kessler and let Kizer learn. The front office would have supported that for sure. The quarterback room overall, which was completely wiped clean by John Dorsey, was a failure of everyone’s making. The mishandling of Kizer was a failure of Jackson.Jackson benched Kizer at halftime of the fifth game against the Jets. He then started Kevin Hogan in Week 6, started Kizer again in Week 7, then benched Kizer at halftime for Kessler.Would you let a person with that decision-making process bring ice cream in the house? Would you let that person install Mayfield, the Browns’ first real shot at a franchise QB in a generation, as a Week 1 starter?No one had ever handled a rookie quarterback like that. No one had ever started a rookie to begin the season and then so desperately yo-yoed him in and out of the lineup.So Jackson’s solution is to do … something else almost no one has done in recent years.Here’s the thing about quarterbacks drafted No. 1 overall: They almost always play, and often right away.Dating back to Tim Couch with the Browns in 1999, Mayfield is the 14th quarterback to be taken No. 1 in the last 20 years. Of the previous 13, six started the opener. Two made their first start by Week 5. Eleven others by Week 10. Jamarcus Russell made his first start in Week 16.Only one didn’t start at all. That was Carson Palmer with Cincinnati in 2003, coached by Jackson’s friend, Marvin Lewis. The QB coach for the Bengals that year was Ken Zampese, who was hired by Jackson this offseason as the Browns quarterbacks coach. He’s an NFL expert in coaching rookies who don’t play. Jackson wasn’t in Cincinnati in 2003, but he arrived in 2004 as the receivers coach as Palmer played for the first time.So any questions about Mayfield starting Week 1 are completely valid. It’s the norm.#Browns researched Baker 100x more than Tyrod. They trumpet Baker’s football IQ and leadership. If they trust their scouting process, why wouldn’t Hue declare Baker the starter right now?A rookie quarterback drafted No. 1 emerging as the starter makes total sense.Before Jared Goff sat to open the 2016 season, the previous five QBs drafted No. 1 had started Week 1. Carson Wentz, the QB drafted No. 2 behind Goff, started all 16 games as a rookie.But a rookie quarterback starting in Cleveland doesn’t make sense. Not now. The Browns traded a third-round pick for Taylor. He’ll provide far more competence at the position than any QB in Jackson’s two years. But Taylor isn’t the reason to keep Mayfield on the bench.It’s what happened to Kizer. Jackson was fixated on winning at all costs every Sunday a year ago. All coaches are, but for a rebuilding team, the future needs some consideration. At 1-31, and with added talent across the roster, Jackson will be even more singularly focused on Sunday wins this season.He’d take that as a compliment. I say it as a reason for caution with Mayfield.Those last five No. 1 quarterbacks who started from Week 1 — Jameis Winston, Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, Sam Bradford and Matthew Stafford — went 6-10, 11-5, 6-10, 7-9 and 2-8 (Stafford was injured for six games) as rookies.Only Luck won, and he stepped into a team ready to win.All those records are far better than 0-16. But they may not be enough for Jackson. And what the Browns can’t risk is a coach damaging a rookie’s future while coaching only for now.If Jackson is trying to save himself in 2018, he’s not the guy to nurture a young quarterback. So Mayfield should sit. If he watches for a whole season like Palmer, fine. If Jackson is ready to put him in by Week 5 or 8 or 10, so be it, as long as Jackson sticks with him through thick and thin.

Blogs

Listen to The Mudbugs Game LIVE HERE

Listen to The Mudbugs Game LIVE HERE

Look no further for exclusive in-depth analysis of Shreveport Mudbugs Hockey with Mudbugs Insider every Wednesday from 6-7pm CST. Due to conflicting schedules at the moment with Airline High School Football and Louisiana Tech Athletics, some Mudbugs’ games may only be available via our live stream. To listen live¬†CLICK HERE!

Ben Mintz Interviews Dak Prescott

Ben Mintz Interviews Dak Prescott

Ben Mintz the host of “Mixin’ It Up With Mintz” recently interviewed Haughton legend and former Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott as he was training for the NFL combine. Check out what Dak has to say to his local fans and how he is handling the transition from a college spread offense to the pro…

Don and Roma: A Brief History

  DON and ROMA were recently recognized as one of The 60 most Powerful and Influential People in Chicago (#29). The award noted: “This is a duo that gets increasingly more interesting no matter your politics… you must tune-in to hear the verbal fisticuffs that at times make the listener cringe. The biggest names in…