The Cleveland Browns traded for wide receiver Taywan Taylor to help add depth to their wide receiver corps, but he also came with a very specific set of knowledge that will help the team in its opener.
Taylor spent his first two seasons in the league with the Tennessee Titans — the Browns Week 1 opponent. ESPN’s Jake Trotter reported on Monday that Taylor was already having conversations with the Browns’ defensive brain trust on how to stop the Marcus Mariota and Derrick Henry-led Titans attack.
“New Browns WR Taywan Taylor, who was traded from Tennessee, said he’s already been talking to the Cleveland defensive coaches about the Titans, their Week 1 opponent,” Trotter wrote.
Taywan Taylor a Strong Option in the Slot for Browns
Taylor was a third-round draft pick in the 2017 draft out of Western Kentucky. He had 466 yards on 37 catches last season with the Titans, but only found the end zone once. In all, Taylor has 53 career catches for 697 yards in two seasons.
The trade for Taylor was an interesting move for the Browns, who have Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry atop the wide receiver depth chart. Veteran Rashard Higgins has a hold on the No. 3 spot, but there is an opening behind him with second-year pass-catcher Antonio Callaway serving a four-game suspension to open the season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.
There’s a chance that Taylor will be a key contributor against the Titans and head coach Freddie Kitchens said they have given him very “specific” instruction.
“We give him a specific position and let him learn it,” Kitchens said. “That’s our job to coach him and that’s his job to learn. I feel pretty confident with not just him, but the other guys, too.”
Taywan Taylor Calls Trade to Browns ‘a Dream Come True’
Taylor was happy for the fresh start in Cleveland, reacting to the trade following Monday’s practice.
“It’s a dream come true,” Taylor said. “Just knowing I’ve got guys like Odell and Juice and Rashard (Higgins), those guys bring it every day and come to work. It’s going to be an honor just to be behind those guys, just to learn and soak in that knowledge. I’m ready to soak it up and go to work.
“This team is young and hungry and everyone wants to win and everybody’s hungry for wins. I’m looking forward to it.”
He admitted he was a little starstruck when he walked into a receivers room that included Landry and Beckham.
“These guys are open-minded, they’re down to listen to whatever,” Taylor said. “Odell told me today I can come to him for whatever. That just makes me feel a thousand times better that he has the confidence in me. It’s going to be fun.”
Taylor will be catching balls from Baker Mayfield, who is coming off a record-setting rookie season and loves to sling the ball downfield.
In just 13 starts, Mayfield passed for a rookie record 27 touchdowns last season. The former Oklahoma Heisman winner also collected 3,725 passing yards and helped the Browns finish 7-8-1, winning five of their final seven games.