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BEREA Willie Young Jersey , Ohio (AP) — Tyrod Taylor remembers winning the starting job, throwing touchdown passes and seeing die-hard fans standing in snow at Buffalo’s airport on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the end of a 17-year playoff drought.
His three years with the Bills were special, filled with long-lasting memories.
His exit wasn’t.
Traded to Cleveland in March for a third-round draft pick (No. 65 overall), Taylor said Tuesday that he holds no bitterness toward the Bills, but that the team’s decision to part ways with him is fueling his desire to deliver for the Browns.
It’s driving him.
“Each year has its own way of motivating itself,” Taylor said. “But definitely how I think it ended there, it’s motivation for this year.”
Coming off a “perfect” performance in his preseason debut for the Browns last week, Taylor, who has quickly established himself as a leader in Cleveland, will face his former teammates for the first time Friday night when the Bills visit in the second exhibition for both teams.
Taylor made it clear that there’s no resentment and that his focus this week, and every week, is on improving the Browns — not paying back the Bills.
“I’m looking forward to Week 2 of the preseason,” Taylor said. “I’m not going to make this about me or Buffalo. It’s an opportunity for us to get better as a team, an opportunity for me to get better as a player.”
While that’s honorable Earnest Byner Jersey , Taylor reiterated that if somewhere down the line the Browns and Bills ever matched up in the postseason, he’d love to show Buffalo what it’s missing.
“I wouldn’t say it was painful,” Taylor said of being dealt by the Bills. “I have nothing to hold (hang) my head about in my time in Buffalo. It was a progression from a players’ standpoint each and every year, but of course why would I not want to beat that team in the playoffs if it comes down to that?
“I’m always excited to compete. But I know those guys, played against those guys, the majority of those guys for the past three years, some new players and I’d love to play against those guys.”
It didn’t take long for the 29-year-old Taylor to ingratiate himself to the Browns. He has set an example on and off the field, whether arriving at 5 a.m. to get in an early morning workout or staying late to break down film.
It’s the only way Taylor knows, and he’s having a strong influence on rookie Baker Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick who will one day supplant him as Cleveland’s starter.
Mayfield said Taylor is showing him how to be a professional.
“Just the work ethic and everything he brings to the table every day,” Mayfield said, when asked about Taylor’s standards. “It’s the same every day. You hear (offensive coordinator) coach (Todd) Haley talk about ‘not being a yo-yo guy. You want to be consistent,’ and Ty really, really is the example of that.
“He’s the same guy every day. You know exactly what you’re going to get out of him http://www.chicagobearsteamonline.com/brian-urlacher-jersey , and that’s important for our guys to see that. They see the standard. They see the expectations, and he lives up to it every day.”
Taylor set a high bar for himself last week by recording a perfect 158.3 rating in two series against the New York Giants. He completed 5 of 5 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown before turning the offense over to Mayfield, who shined in his NFL preseason debut.
Mayfield’s performance prompted a push — locally and nationally — for the Browns to start the Heisman Trophy winner over Taylor.
But while there’s noise outside the Browns, Taylor’s world is tranquil.
“I really don’t hear those comments,” he said. “I’ve always been focused on myself. Like I said from Day One, I’m in competition with myself and how can I make myself better each and every day and I’m going to keep having that mindset and push myself to be the best player I can be.”
NOTES: Tempers flared during practice, which featured three fights, including one involving Pro Bowl WR Jarvis Landry and starting CB Terrence Mitchell. As Landry rolled on the ground following a catch, Mitchell went over the top of him and hit the receiver’s back. Landry popped up and slammed the ball of Mitchell’s helmet before they grabbed each other’s facemasks. Coach Hue Jackson chalked the skirmishes up to the dog days of camp. “This is football. We have been going after it,” Jackson said. “It is not something that we want. We are men. Guys know as long as we do not start swinging with our fists and we let it go, we can move on from it.” … Former Ohio State DT Jonathan Hankins is scheduled to work out for the Browns on Wednesday. He previously played for the Giants and Colts.
The scene was all too familiar for the San Jose Sharks: a postgame handshake line on their home ice with the other team celebrating a series win while the Sharks wonder what might have been.
A team that seemed to have the ingredients necessary for a long playoff run went out instead in the second round with a 3-0 loss Sunday in Game 6 against the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.
”For periods of this series I thought we were a better team, I thought we played the game that we know we’re capable of, we showed we could beat them,” forward Logan Couture said. ”We just didn’t do it long enough.”
That’s what perhaps makes this the most bitter playoff loss in coach Peter DeBoer’s three seasons in San Jose http://www.indianapoliscoltsteamonline.com/christine-michael-sr-jersey , all of which ended with home playoff losses.
In 2016, the Sharks got over a major hump and made it to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history before losing in six games to a more talented Pittsburgh team.
Last year, San Jose sputtered toward the finish of the season and lost in six games to Edmonton in the first round in large part due to injuries that hampered top two centers Couture and Joe Thornton.
But the Sharks were healthier this year despite Thornton’s absence because of a knee injury. Midseason acquisitions Evander Kane and Eric Fehr had San Jose surging following a first-round sweep against Anaheim.
They came out flat in the opener against Vegas and lost 7-0 and then dropped a key overtime contest at home in Game 3, playing much of the series from behind. The biggest difference was the performance of the top lines with Vegas’ trio of William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith combining for eight goals and 17 assists, while Kane, Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi had just three goals and two assists for the Sharks.
”We definitely would’ve liked to have been a little bit more productive,” Pavelski said. ”It’s hard to say. We’ll have to take a look at it, figure it out. We had some looks, we had some chances, we didn’t capitalize when we did. I wish I had an answer. We sure should’ve been a little better.”
Here are some other takeaways from the season and things to watch this summer:
Thornton injured his right knee on Jan. 23 and never was able to make it back into the lineup. He practiced all postseason and even took part in all the pregame skates but never felt quite healthy enough to get back into the lineup. The 38-year-old Thornton is now eligible to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, leaving his future in San Jose in doubt. He still can be productive as evidenced by his 13 goals and 23 assists in 47 games. But after significant knee injuries the past two seasons, there are questions about whether he will be able to keep up in the faster paced game.
The move to acquire Kane from Buffalo at the trade deadline provided a major spark. He had nine goals and five assists in 17 games, providing needed speed and physicality on San Jose’s top line. That carried over to the first round when he had three goals and an assists in a sweep against Anaheim but Kane wasn’t nearly as effective against Vegas as he played through injuries. Now the Sharks have a decision to make whether to keep Kane or let him leave as a free agent. If he signs http://www.indianapoliscoltsteamonline.com/malik-hooker-jersey , they owe Buffalo a first-round pick in 2019. If he leaves, that pick becomes a second-rounder.
”Obviously I enjoy winning and coming here was a great opportunity for me to do that,” Kane said. ”I really, really, really enjoyed my time with this group of guys, and loved going to battle with these guys.”
The best development for the Sharks this season was the development of some younger players. Tomas Hertl looks like he could be a dominant power forward, Chris Tierney and Kevin Labanc are able playmakers, Timo Meier scored 21 goals at age 21, and Joakim Ryan is an ideal defensive partner for Brent Burns. Those players will be counted on to do even more in the future as the Sharks transition from players like Thornton, Pavelski and the departed Patrick Marleau to a new generation.
The Sharks head into the offseason with projected salary cap room of more than $15 million. While some of that could be used up by keeping Thornton or Kane, GM Doug Wilson also could use that money to target a top free agent like John Tavares of the New York Islanders. Wilson has been planning for that flexibility for years and now the question becomes how he will use it.
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