During Hue Jackson and John Dorsey's press conference Wednesday, which marked the beginning of Browns training camp, both the coach and general manager stood firm on the quarterback situation.
"Tyrod Taylor is our starting quarterback," Jackson said.
He then turned to Dorsey, and they both nodded.
Since the Browns traded for Taylor, who led the Bills to their first playoff appearance in 17 years last season, Dorsey and Jackson have both repeated the sentiment that Taylor, not 2018 No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield, will be the starting quarterback when the Browns open the regular season Sept. 9 against the Steelers.
The Browns arrive in Berea the day before their first open training camp practice.
Taylor, who is entering his eighth season with his third team, is a proven quarterback with a winning record; he's 22-20 in his career, including an 8-6 record as the starter a year ago before the trade.
It's not that Dorsey and Jackson don't want a competition; they both believe Mayfield needs time the Browns are able to afford to learn the complexities of the position at the NFL level. Taylor, on the other hand, has years of experience in the NFL.
"You have a guy that's played seven seasons in the National Football League and has seen the defenses, how defenses work and how they come at quarterbacks," Jackson said. "All of the different situations that happen in the football game, Tyrod Taylor's dealt with, where Baker hasn't."
Yes, Mayfield hasn't been on an NFL field yet, but he's working toward it. Jackson cited Mayfield's work ethic as an encouraging sign since he arrived in Berea but also noted Mayfield has plenty of work to do. The veterans in the quarterback room, which also includes Drew Stanton, will help with that.
"Dorsey's group did a great job of us acquiring Tyrod Taylor for a reason, for him to be the starting quarterback," Jackson said. "And then we just took a young player who we think is going to be a tremendous player. But he needs time. He's not ready to walk out there right now and play, and that's OK."
For those reasons, Mayfield won't take any snaps with the first-team offense unless Taylor is unavailable for a particular practice or injured. If that were to happen, the Browns know Mayfield's presence in the first-team huddle will create a buzz, but it was made clear again Wednesday that Cleveland is Taylor's team.
While all of the talk surrounding the quarterback room has centered on Taylor and Mayfield, Stanton is in the background, molding Mayfield and helping Taylor.
Stanton has played with three previous quarterbacks who were selected No. 1 overall in his career: Carson Palmer (2003), Matthew Stafford (2009) and Andrew Luck (2012). He's been a backup to quarterbacks who were in the spotlight. It's nothing new to him.
Jackson and Dorsey wouldn't specify if Mayfield or Stanton will be with the second-team offense when camp opens. Jackson also said he doesn't think it matters at this point in the preseason.
"I do not even want to get into whether he is two or three, or any of that," Jackson said. "He is going to get reps. One of my jobs, and the staff's job, is to make sure that we are developing him and making sure that he starts to understand the National Football League. I do not think that it matters about number, or what this is – two, three – any of that. Baker Mayfield will get reps and get better as a football player for the Cleveland Browns."