BEREA,Ohio--There's been a change in the script.
As the Browns prepare to take on the Buccaneers Friday night in Tampa Bay in the dress rehearsal for the regular season, there will be a new starter at cornerback. Jamar Taylor has replaced Tramon Williams on the right side and according to Hue Jackson, who was asked what does it mean that Taylor was taking reps with the first team Sunday at practice.
“It means he is one of starting corners,” Jackson said.
Taylor came to the Browns on the third day of the draft for a seventh-round draft choice, after failing to living up to his being a second-round (54th overall) draft choice from Boise State of the Dolphins in 2013.
Taylor will likely start opposite of Joe Haden on Friday night in Tampa Bay, supplanting Tramon Williams, who will move to the slot in nickel coverage.
Jackson said he believes moving Tramon Williams to the slot will be seamless.
“There is no question," Jackson said. "He has done it, like you said. He has done it here and done a good job of that. Tramon is fine and will do a good job for us, too.”
Jackson was asked why the move is being made.
“He plays the game we want him to play it," Jackson said. "He made some plays the other night on the ball. I expect our corners to get their hands on balls and defend the other teams’ receivers. We are going to keep mixing and matching until we get this right. That is just how I am. That is how our defensive staff is. This is how our offensive staff is. Our job is to put the best players out there and give them a chance to play and put people in position to be successful. That’s what we are going to do.”
Taylor will be taking on the Buccaneers big receivers in Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson starting today as the Browns and Bucs practice Tuesday and Wednesday before playing Friday night.
Taylor had his best season in 2015 with 48 tackles in six starts, including four passes broken up and a fumble recovery. Taylor has 78 career tackles in nine career starts, but has no interceptions.
Jackson was asked if it has been the fresh start that has seemed to jump start Taylor's career.
“I can’t speak to what happened (in Miami)," Jackson said. "Here, he has been outstanding. He has done everything that we have asked him to do, he has done it the right way and he is a good football player.”
Taylor was in a battle in training camp with K'Waun Williams and started against Green Bay in the first preseason game. Conflicting reports have said that K'Waun Williams was upset that he wasn't starting, but reports have also said that he has an ankle injury that kept him out. Regardless, the Browns suspended him for two weeks for violating team rules and it is uncertain if K'Waun Williams will return this season to the Browns.
Jackson said Taylor has the chance to claim the starting cornerback position and it starts this week against Tampa Bay.
“Absolutely. There is no question," Jackson said. "Anybody that we put out there first, they have a chance to claim what is there’s and what they want.
"That is all everybody wants is just an opportunity to show that they belong or that they should be one of the 53, one of the guys and one of the starters," he said. "He is going to get that opportunity, and he has to make the most of it.
Ready to Rumble: The Browns will have joint practice with the Bucs Tuesday morning from 10am-noon in full pads and then again on Wednesday from 10am-noon in non-contact practice. The two teams will play Friday night at 8 pm at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay.