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Tyrod Taylor, taking risks and throwing the ball down the field

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Dawgs By Nature’s second question for Football Outsiders centered around Tyrod Taylor’s propensity to throw the ball down the field and taking risks.

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a slightly common misconception that quarterback Tyrod Taylor is a “safe” player who makes smart decisions and doesn’t take many risks down the field.

While that may have been somewhat true in the past, Taylor’s “avoidance” of throwing the ball downfield is “overstated,” according to Football Outsiders’ Aaron Schatz.

“Last year, Taylor threw 16 percent of passes over 15 yards downfield,” Schatz wrote in response to the Dawgs By Nature Staff’s questionnaire sent to Football Outsiders. “That ranked 24th among 35 quarterbacks with at least 200 attempts. Below average, but not last.

“You know who was last? Aaron Rodgers.”

Tell me that’s not at least a little bit surprising. When you think of Rodgers, you marvel in your mind about his big arm and ability to make the big plays down the field.

And there is another common misconception that throwing the football down the field is the only way to successfully execute a passing game. But that’s not entirely true, and it’s not an automatic precursor for success.

Schatz highlighted a player we’re all familiar with who finished third in the NFL on such “deep” attempts last season.

DeShone Kizer constantly threw the ball down the field under Hue Jackson’s play-calling last season, and we all know how that turned out. It blew up in flames, leaving tons of question marks about Jackson’s judgment in managing his rookie signal-caller.

While Taylor’s probably not going to go deep as often, hopefully because Todd Haley doesn’t put his quarterback in that position, the Browns are loaded with potential playmakers who can stretch a football field.

Throwing the ball deep is essential to maintaining balance and keeping defenses honest. That much we do know, which means the long ball is more a tool than it is the entire toolbox.

“Trust me, Taylor will make enough deep attempts to keep the offense on schedule and keep opponents from constantly playing both safeties in the box,” Schatz concluded.

The best we can hope for this season is the Browns field a balanced offense that takes measured and calculated risks. Taylor seems to be a guy who is capable of playing within his system and taking those shots when he has to.

After seeing glimpses of the passing game in Week 1, then the rushing attack in Week 2, we’ll hopefully learn more about how the Browns offense will operate as their starters are likely going to play the entire first half against the Eagles this week.