Browns enjoying 'big brother, little brother' bond between Baker Mayfield, Drew Stanton

Baker Mayfield and Drew Stanton are like two siblings separated by a decade in age. 

That's how Browns coach Hue Jackson described the relationship between the pair of quarterbacks. 

"I think that it's been like big brother, little brother," Jackson said Wednesday. 

On one end is Mayfield, the 23-year-old rookie and No. 1 pick who's preparing to make his first career start in Oakland this weekend. On the other is Stanton, the 34-year-old journeyman who's been a mentor and wealth of information for his younger counterparts. 

That relationship will be on display in the Bay Area on Sunday and every week from here on out after the Browns named Mayfield their starting quarterback over Tyrod Taylor. 

The former Oklahoma star and Heisman Trophy winner was brilliant in last week's win over the Jets, rallying the team to their first win since 2016 in the process. The Browns believe the support system surrounding Mayfield — notably, a bond with Stanton that began this past spring — played a pivotal role the youngster's rise up the depth chart.

Stanton, who signed with Cleveland in free agency following four seasons with the Cardinals, has taken Mayfield under his wing and said "'Hey, I'm going to try to impart to you all that I have seen, all that I know from a preparation standpoint," Jackson said.

"It takes two people that have a relationship. I think everybody has been very open and embraced Baker in that room, including Tyrod. It's also been the other way."

Jackson said Mayfield has been more than receptive to advice — on and off the field — from his older teammates. He's been able to lean on them since coming to Cleveland and will continue to do so.

"I think that Baker has embraced his role when it first started that, 'Hey, I am going to try to be a sponge and learn everything from you guys,'" Jackson said. "'Whatever you guys tell me, I'll take the good that I feel helps me, and the other part, I will move on from.' I think that's how you build relationships."

Stanton, who has worked with three other No. 1 overall picks in Matthew Stafford, Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer, has been a steady force on an offense full of younger players. He's been an invaluable resource, offensive coordinator Todd Haley said, to both Mayfield and Taylor. 

"I think that he's been tremendous. He's a unique, unique quarterback," Haley said. "He's a unique player. He has insight that I've not seen from very many guys and not so much that because there have been some really smart guys that I have been around, he has a unique feel for how to deal with Tyrod and how he deals with the young guys, whether it was (former Browns QB) Brogan (Roback) or it was Baker. 

"I think it's, as I've said before, a great situation for a young, developing guy to be in. That is a big part Drew, big part Tyrod and obviously, (quarterbacks) coach (Ken) Zampese."

Stanton said his advice to Mayfield from Day 1 was to be himself. 

That won't change this week. 

"That was my message to him when he first got in the league," he said. 

"You've got to be yourself. You are the first overall pick. You've had a tremendous amount of success, so when the time comes and you're the starting quarterback, you have to go in there and be yourself."

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