"Tyrod's just hitting his stride,'' Zampese said Thursday on the final day of minicamp. "This is his fourth year starting in the NFL. He's just coming into his own and this is just the tip of the iceberg. We haven't seen the best from him.''
Zampese has watched Taylor, 28, step in take control of Todd Haley's new offense. In practice, he's consistently throwing TD passes — albeit with no contact — but the timing and efficiency look good. On Wednesday, he rolled left and fired a TD pass to Jarvis Landry in the back corner of the end zone, where the receiver made one of his vintage acrobatic catches.
"I'm so excited to have him,'' Zampese said. "I just can't tell you how excited I am to have him. The standard that he sets and the consistency every day, from the time he's in until the time he's out, I haven't seen a guy keep those hours in the spring time. It just brings some comfort level. You know you can trust him, and every day he backs that up.''
When Taylor isn't throwing for TDs, he's running for them. He's got as much zip in his feet as in his arm, and he's not afraid to use either.
"I'm a kid in a candy store,'' said Zampese. "There's no limitations with him. He can throw it down the field, he can run the zone read stuff, he can run a conventional offense. Anything you want him to do, he can do those things and like I said, he's just coming into his own so we're still finding out all of the areas that we can get him into. As we get going back here in training camp, we'll explore those things as we gear the offense towards individual strengths.''
Taylor's dual-threat ability, powered by his 4.47 speed in the 40, makes him a coach's dream.
"The one thing you love to have is a guy that's a pocket passer that can also run and extend plays and when you get the combination of both you have a chance to really not only fit it into tight holes and the timing and anticipation, but then fix a play when it doesn't happen right with your legs, so I'm really excited about having that opportunity to have a dual-threat guy that way,'' Zampese said.
Taylor, who went 22-20 with the Bills, has displayed both accuracy and touch in practices. He's started to develop good chemistry with Josh Gordon, who caught a slant over Denzel Ward in team on Wednesday, and has it down with Landry.
"It's just so easy for him,'' Zampese said. "He doesn't strain to get distance and that's the best thing. It's easy for him. He's got plenty of power and distance, so it never looks like he's grunting to throw. It's just a natural smooth stroke. He's very strong.''
The knock on Taylor in Buffalo was that he wasn't willing to throw over the middle, and struggled to connect on the deep ball. He threw 51 touchdowns against only 18 interceptions there, but took some heat for his shot selection. Will it be reminiscent of 2016, when Cody Kessler didn't turn the ball over but frustrated Hue Jackson with his reluctance to go deep?
"Well, Tyrod's a starting NFL quarterback so that's the difference to me,'' said Zampese, who worked with Jackson in Cincinnati.
What's more, Taylor has an abundance of talent here with Gordon, Landry, Corey Coleman, Duke Johnson, Carlos Hyde, Nick Chubb and others.
"Yeah, I'm hoping he's happy about all of that,'' said Zampese. "I don't know what he's had in the past compared to what we have here, but what we have here is what we've got and we're going.''
Like offensive coordinator Todd Haley and Jackson, Zampese is of the mind that Taylor has a comfortable lead over No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield and that it's not a competition heading into camp.
"We're just interested in getting Baker the best he can be,'' said Zampese. "Where all of that goes down the road is where all it goes and that's up to coach Jackson. But just getting Baker the best version of himself every day and we have so much room to go in that area, we'll just keep it to that and let it go.''
The best part about Mayfield, Zampese is that he's humble and hungry.
"His mind's not closed off to anything,'' said Zampese. "He knows he needs to know a lot. He knows that the game's different at this level and there's a lot of things that he needs to get up to speed on, so that part's fun about him.''
The fact that Mayfield is unhappy with his progress is "the thing I like the best about him,'' said Zampese. "He's not satisfied with where he's at. There's always another level for him. He's trying to find it each day.''
Mayfield came in with a reputation as a football savant, with an almost photographic memory.
"He's not Albert Einstein, but he's not on the other side either,'' said Zampese. "He's right where he's supposed to be, he's Baker Mayfield and that's plenty enough to handle an NFL playbook and handle his progression here with the Cleveland Browns.''
As for a seamless transition between to the two dual-threat passers, Zampese was loathe to compare them.
"Baker is Baker and Ty is Ty,'' he said. "They have their strengths and we'll play within those.''
As for Taylor's potential, Zampese's imagination has run wild.
"Ty is Ty and his ceiling is, we haven't even seen it,'' he said. "We're going to take it run with it and I'm really glad he's here. I'm glad that I get a chance to be a part of his progession as an NFL player.''
Browns' Stephenson suspended first two games
CLEVELAND — Browns offensive lineman Donald Stephenson's absence from OTAs and mandatory minicamp is no longer a mystery.
Stephenson, signed as a has been suspended for the first two games of the 2018 season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, the league announced Friday.
Stephenson will be eligible to return to the Browns' active roster on Monday, September 17 following the team's September 16 game against the New Orleans Saints.
He's eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games, but will miss the opener against the Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sept. 9 and the Saints game.
Stephenson, signed to a one-year free agent contract in March worth $2.5 million, including $1 million guaranteed, was a surprise no-show at all the voluntary OTAs and the minicamp this week.