Editor's note: Tony Grossi covers the Cleveland Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR.
Takeaways from Day 3 of minicamp and interviews with assistant coaches …
1. More love for Tyrod: Most everyone on offense has weighed in on the Browns’ quarterback situation except offensive coordinator Todd Haley – until now.
In Haley’s first public comments since the team’s three quarterbacks have been working together, Haley gave a strong endorsement to Tyrod Taylor and indicated there is a wide gap between the projected starter and the future starter, Baker Mayfield.
“He is in a new situation with new coaches around him and a lot of new players, guys that have been here,” Haley said of Taylor. “Not an easy situation to come into, but I thought that Tyrod has done a tremendous, tremendous job of establishing himself as the leader of this offense. His car is there every morning in his spot when I get here in the morning, and it is there when I am leaving. That is what you are looking for in the leader of the offense.”
On the possibility of Mayfield closing an apparent wide gap on Taylor in training camp and preseason, Haley said, “That is yet to be determined. He has a long way to go. I would say it is clear that Tyrod is the leader of this team. That is a big component of that position, also.”
None of that reflects negatively on Mayfield, mind you.
“He has made very good progress, but any time that you are a young player coming into this league, especially a quarterback, it is going to take time,” Haley said. “You have a lot of different things that you are dealing with at that position. For him, a guy that has been in the [shot]gun 99 percent of the time, in this division, I think that you have to be under center some. Whether it is running or play action, those are some of the things that he has really had to work hard at, but I am happy that we have training camp because young quarterbacks need all of the time they can get.”
2. More positivity: Josh Gordon said he believes the Browns have the best receiving corps in the NFL – “already.” Well, Haley made quite a statement, too, about the Browns’ quarterback roster as a whole.
“What I will say is probably in my career, this is one of the best --if not the best --quarterbacks rooms in general that I have had,” Haley said.
This from a man who has coached Hall of Famer Kurt Warner and future Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger.
Haley explained that the full quarterback roster – Taylor, Mayfield and Drew Stanton – is what he was referring to. And he pointed out that what Stanton brings to the group adds to his excitement.
“When I talk about the room, I talk about the makeup of the group,” Haley said. “There are so many variables and things in football where you are together every single day for so many months in a row that the makeup of each room is very, very critical. There is a balance in most rooms of veterans and young guys, and when you have strong leadership in a group, it is usually a good sign for everybody involved.”
As expressed by others, it boiled down to two things: 1. He’s excited about the future of end Emmanuel Ogbah, and 2. He desperately wanted a blue-chip press cornerback.
“Ogbah, I’m so excited to see how well he’s doing this year,” Williams said. “He is night and day more relaxed and doing things more instinctively, not over thinking, not being afraid to make a mistake like last year. He … knock on wood, staying healthy … is going to stand out this year.
“I’d love to have Chubb, but at this point in time I don’t think he covers the deep ball well enough, nor does he press-cover well enough, nor does he intercept the ball well enough. I’ve got an Ogbah and a lot of other guys out there [to rush the passer]. But I think he’s a really good player.”