Browns QB coach: Baker Mayfield 'has a long way to go' after strong debut

Cleveland Browns No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield may have impressed in his preseason debut, but his quarterbacks coach isn’t ready to anoint him as the next coming just yet. Ken Zampese said Mayfield “has a long way to go” following his strong performance in his first NFL game.

Browns quarterbacks coach says Baker Mayfield ‘has a long way to go’

That line from Zampese shouldn’t necessarily be read as a criticism. Mayfield is a rookie who just made his first NFL appearance. While he put up excellent numbers — going 11-for-20 with 212 yards and two touchdowns — it would be foolish to think Mayfield is already a finished product.

The full quote from Zampese also highlights that the team is satisfied with the way Mayfield played, according to Cleveland.com.

“He’s had 22 preseason NFL snaps,” said Zampese. “He has a long way to go and we’re encouraged with where he’s at right now.”

Zampese added that Mayfield “did a great job,” and that he was “excited to see what’s next.” While the “long way to go” quote appears critical, it’s not as if the Browns are upset with Mayfield’s play.

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Baker Mayfield with the Cleveland Browns
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 30: Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) walks off of the field at the conclusion of the game during preseason game action between the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions on August 30, 2018 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 30: Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) calls out signals during preseason game action between the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions on August 30, 2018 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 30: Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) looks for a receiver during preseason game action between the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions on August 30, 2018 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 09: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns follows the action against the New York Giants during their preseason game on August 9,2018 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 09: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns in action against the New York Giants during their preseason game on August 9,2018 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 09: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns in action against the New York Giants during their preseason game on August 9,2018 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 09: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns in action against the New York Giants during their preseason game on August 9,2018 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
BEREA, OH - AUGUST 12: Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) participates in drills during during the Cleveland Browns Training Camp on August 12, 2018, at the at the Cleveland Browns Training Facility in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
BEREA, OH - JUNE 13: Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) participates in drills during the Cleveland Browns Minicamp on June 13, 2018, at the Cleveland Browns Training Facility in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
BEREA, OH - JUNE 13: Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) participates in drills during the Cleveland Browns Minicamp on June 13, 2018, at the Cleveland Browns Training Facility in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
BEREA, OH - JUNE 13, 2018: Quarterback Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns throws a pass during a mandatory mini camp on June 13, 2018 at the Cleveland Browns training facility in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by: 2018 Diamond Images/Getty Images)
BEREA, OH - JUNE 13: Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) participates in drills during the Cleveland Browns Minicamp on June 13, 2018, at the Cleveland Browns Training Facility in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
BEREA, OH - JUNE 13: Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) participates in drills during the Cleveland Browns Minicamp on June 13, 2018, at the Cleveland Browns Training Facility in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
BEREA, OH - MAY 30, 2018: Quarterback Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns throws a pass during an OTA practice on May 30, 2018 at the Cleveland Browns training facility in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by: 2018 Diamond Images/Getty Images)
BEREA, OH - MAY 23, 2018: Quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese of the Cleveland Browns watches quarterback Baker Mayfield #6 take part in a drill during an OTA practice at the Cleveland Browns training facility in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by: 2018 Diamond Images/Getty Images)
BEREA, OH - MAY 23: Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) participates in drills during the Cleveland Browns OTA at the Cleveland Browns Training Facility in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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Tyrod Taylor is still the Browns starter over Baker Mayfield

Despite the strong game, Mayfield is still the backup behind Tyrod Taylor. Head coach Hue Jackson has been adamant about that ever since the team drafted Mayfield No. 1 overall, and he hasn’t shied away from those words. Zampese echoed a similar sentiment, saying Taylor is “our guy.”

Taylor also turned in a strong performance, going 5-for-5 with 99 yards and a touchdown.

Taylor vs. Mayfield will continue to be a question for Browns

Zampese expressed a desire for reporters to stop asking him about Taylor vs. Mayfield, though that won’t happen any time soon. The Browns have said Taylor will start all season, but Mayfield could make it tough for them. If Mayfield can continue to produce during preseason, he could make it harder for the coaching staff to stick with Taylor after the veteran has a rough game. And if losses pile up, fans will call for Mayfield to get a shot.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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