Brandon Weeden is in an odd little conundrum right about now. Truthfully, I really just wanted to use the word “conundrum”.
Weeden is stuck in the middle between what the old coaches wanted, and what the new coaches want. Now, of course, the old guys don’t matter.
Every time the new guys — led by head coach Rob Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner — speak publicly in any format regarding Weeden, their words will be scrutinized by guys like me. Hi.
So, what say you now about Weeden, Chud?
During the draft there was a thought that at some point, the new coaching staff in Cleveland would at the very least select a developmental quarterback. Hell, before his whirling spiral some mocks even had Geno Smith heading to the Browns with their sixth overall pick. Hindsight never hurt so bad.
But seven rounds came and went, with no new quarterback added. Short on picks due to trades and taking Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft, the Browns used four of their five picks on the defensive side of the ball. They could have went with, say, Zac Dysert late in the final round, but instead the current lineup at the top of their depth chart with Weeden followed by the recently-signed Jason Campbell was just fine.
That means Weeden is your starter for sure then, right Chud?
“I feel good about where we’re at right now. He’s been working with the first group and we’ll just see as we go forward. We’re [working] on air right now so it’s very early but I do like what I’ve see so far and we’ll see how it goes.
“Right now it’s too early to say anything one way or another.”
We get that this is what Chudzinski has to say, and on some level it’s what every head coach has to say, especially a new head coach, and especially in early May. But the reality is that if Weeden isn’t the starter this year, we could be left still discussing a franchise that’s, at best, sputtering in neutral.
Campbell is a fine backup, and he may even be the league’s best backup. That also makes him quality competition for Weeden, but at this point in his career, he’s certainly not a long-term answer for any team wishing to move forward with a young core. Benching or cutting Weeden is difficult because the previous management in Cleveland committed to him with a first-round pick, and in doing so the Browns also strapped themselves into developing a 28-year-old (at the time) who therefore has a brief window because of that age.
Competition is great and all, and it’s needed everywhere on the practice field. But starting Campbell is starting over, and I’m just not sure that the fine city of Cleveland can take much more of that.