As you’re aware by now through the use of that handy category tag above, we’re tracking any and all fantasy-relevant position battles throughout the offseason. It’s hard work which requires much clicking, but thankfully, you have me for that heavy lifting.
This will be our last update on the Browns’ quarterback kerfuffle, mostly because — just as we widely expected — there isn’t much to update. Brandon Weeden is your 2013 Cleveland Browns quarterback.
Shocking stuff, I know. But there’s still a sort of finality to Cleveland’s quarterback depth chart that was constructed in a way intended to push Weeden, with Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer brought aboard, and earlier this offseason there was talk of a competition. There was also the threat of a new regime both on the sidelines and in the front office, and they may have been a group of important men who didn’t want their professional futures tied to a quarterback who looked much more like a rookie in his first year, and nothing like Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson et al.
But that’s over now. Tony Grossi from ESPN 850 has observed that Weeden and only Weeden is receiving first-team snaps in practice, leaving Hoyer and Campbell to fight for the No. 2 job. In the shorts and T-shirt phase of the NFL calendar on sunny practice fields in May and June, Weeden has done exactly what a quarterback who’s facing no pass rush should do: sling footballs, and complete a lot of passes.
Weeden has looked exceptional now in the last three team practices open to media. Any strong-armed passer with some playing experience should excel in the touch football phase of an NFL offseason, and Weeden has done that. Absent a rush and absent contact by defenders to disrupt the timing of pass routes and force a quarterback to adjust, a pretty passer can do what he does best – stand back and fire away.
I continue to drink every drop of Browns offense Kool-Aid, and it’s been delicious. With the likes of Jordan Cameron and Josh Gordon set to ascend in a vertical offense led by Rob Chudzinski and Norv Turner, Weeden could provide great value for those who seek a late-round quarterback after addressing other needs, with supply thin and demand high elsewhere earlier in drafts.
In fact, I’ll plant this prediction now: Weeden will be the best quarterback to fit that description, and the best late-round or early-season wavier flier.
So there. Boom?