Browns Head Coach Rob Chudzinski finally named his starting quarterback on Tuesday. To the surprise of no one, Brandon Weeden was named the starter. Weeden has taken all of the reps with the first team, none with the back ups. Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer did not get reps with the top units. It never looked like a competition, but the Browns brass claimed it still was, and that Weeden had to earn it.
Coach Chudzinski's Tuesday press conference:
"Good morning. We are excited about getting a chance to play Indianapolis this week, a playoff team from last year that went 11-5 in the regular season. It will give us a chance, also, to play a road game, which we haven't done yet this preseason and go through that process of doing that, as well as playing in a dome, which also brings some unique challenges. Our approach this week, we are going to approach it as a normal week. We are calling it a mock week with our players. That will give us a chance for our coaches and our players to go through the normal process, the normal schedule of what they would do during the regular season. We will look at Indy a little more than we have at the previous two opponents, but it won't be an all-out gameplan where everything is on the table. As part of this week, with the exception of right guard, corner and the kicker and punter positions, we will start the group that we are expecting and planning on starting at the beginning of the season. That also includes the quarterback position, where Brandon Weeden will be our starting quarterback for this team. A couple of points about my decision in terms of the quarterback: number one, all three quarterbacks have shown very well. I have seen improvement, significant improvement, out of all of them and have become very comfortable with them all. (Browns offensive coordinator) Norv (Turner) has done a great job with them. There is great chemistry in that room, and I expect that to continue. It was important for me and for us to go through the process and this process that we follow, the plan that we followed throughout the offseason and started in April in the meetings, carried out into OTAs on the field, the multiple minicamps that we had, the number of weeks in training camp that we had, as well as the first two preseason games so that we could get these guys and see them react to a lot of different situations that would come up and how they would handle them and so forth. Based on this process, Brandon has earned this job. That's extremely important to me that he did. He has gained my complete trust. He has gained his teammates complete trust and this organization's trust. We are all behind him and we will all be there to support him. As far as the timing, I felt like the timing was right in this process as we are shifting and just completed our training camp and broke camp the other day. Now, we are looking forward and really getting more into preparation for the season and again, preparation this week in the mock week. But our focus is shifting in that way."
On what he told QB Brandon Weeden:
"I told him that he is going to be the starting quarterback."
On when he told Weeden he would be the starter:
"I told him yesterday."
On wanting to see Weeden's reaction by not naming a starting QB until today and his comments that the QB competition was close:
"Everything about this process is wanting to see how he reacted and how all of the quarterbacks reacted. I firmly believe that that separates the great quarterbacks from the average quarterbacks in how they react to different situations, whether it's the game, whether its adversity during the season, whatever it may be. There were no specifics about that. What I meant about that statement more than anything was that I was very pleased with how all three quarterbacks have progressed. Sometimes in situations that I have been in before, in terms of those kinds of competitions, you don't always see that. They all have progressed and I am very comfortable with all of them."
On if Weeden has exceeded expectations:
"I don't think exceeded is the right word. I have been very pleased with how he has gone out. He has taken the opportunity, seized the opportunity and produced. So I have been pleased from that stand point and I think that he has garnered a lot of respect from, not only me, not only the coaching staff and the organization but from his teammates, as well."
On starting the season with only two quarterbacks:
"I doubt that. I am very pleased with all three of them."
On key points to Weeden getting the starting job:
"I think that overall, all of the questions that you have when a system is new and you are new as a coach coming in and not really being around and having been around, he has really gained a good grasp of what we are trying to do. He has been able to manage the games and go out and make good decisions, lead his teammates and obviously, succeed. He has made the personal-technique improvements that he has needed to make to improve himself. I just see him on a constant basis. There are going to be ups and downs along the way, but overall, the general trend has been upward."
On the backup quarterback:
"It will be Jason (Campbell)."
On discussing Weeden as the starter with owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner:
"I have had discussions with people all along the way. Obviously, Norv (Turner) would be the one I would be talking to the most and communicating the most with, but I have with them as well. They are 100 percent behind it. It was completely my decision. They are supportive of that and excited about getting going with that."
On Weeden appreciating the process before being named the starting QB:
"I can't speak for him necessarily, but it was important for me. I have always believed in guys earning things. He has gone out, he has earned it and he showed it. Putting him in those situations as much as we could to make things competitive to make him have to react the different situations, we have tried all through training camp, whether it was practice or whatever it was, to see how he was going to respond. He has responded very well."
On Weeden maturing as a leader:
"I have really seen him take hold of the group he is with, whether that be with receivers at different times, the offensive line or the group and the team. You can't just keep it to one side of the ball. I think the defensive guys have really responded. That's part of the maturation process of the quarterback, going from a rookie season, when you're not really sure how everything works and what goes, when and where, to a second-year guy who has a better feel for things and understands better what it takes."
On Weeden adapting to and competing in a quarterback-strong division:
"I expect him to. This is a quarterback-driven league. You need good play out of that position. I expect that from Brandon."
On Weeden responding to adversity:
"Responding to the challenges is an accurate way to say how he has been all along. He has taken every day as an opportunity to show what he can do and to improve his trade. That is what he has done and I have been pleased with that part of it very much so. He has shown up and has produced in the games in the preseason so far."
On Weeden improving at avoiding pressure:
"He has really improved at moving around in the pocket. This last game, there were a number of times where – Detroit has an outstanding defensive line – they were applying some pressure, and he was able to negotiate that and make plays. He took a hit in the game, a late hit, and bounced back from that and was very productive. I have been pleased with a lot of things that he has progressed and gotten better at. Norv (Turner) has done a great job and deserves a lot of credit for all of these guys improving the way they have."
On RB Dion Lewis' status:
"The surgery went well. He will probably go to IR, but we don't have to make any of those decisions right away. We have until next week to completely do that."
On OL John Moffitt:
"He will be in the mix at the guard position. That's one thing right now, the right guard position, that's still unsettled. He has good size, is a tough guy and a real competitive guy and has played and has experience. We are looking for him to bring those characteristics to us."
On if Lewis would be placed on IR or be designated to return:
"He will likely go on season-ending IR, but we have not made that determination yet. We are still waiting. There is no urgency to do that right now at this point. We will just consider everything as we are looking at all the situations and injury situations we have."
On rookie LB Barkevious Mingo's status and his medical evaluation:
"It is sort of an ongoing thing. Basically, the bottom line with KeKe is nobody really knows. It is just how his body is going to heal."
On when Mingo sustained the injury:
"It is really irrelevant at this point of when it happened. There is still uncertainty on that. We are just waiting. Everybody's body heals differently and at a different rate. It is just what we are waiting on to see."
On if it is possible Mingo sustained the injury prior to the game vs. Detroit:
"I don't know, but I doubt it."
On if Mingo will play at Indianapolis:
"He won't play this week."
On DL Desmond Bryant and DB Trevin Wade injuries
"Dez has some back spasms that he is working through and we are looking into. I don't expect it to be anything serious at all. So we will just work through that situation. Trevin has an AC sprain. I'll get a little more information on where he is at on the projection standpoint with that."
On if Moffitt is competing or will start at right guard:
"He will be competing."
On if rookie OL Garrett Gilkey is in the mix at right guard:
"Gilkey still has a chance. We have the possibility of Oniel Cousins playing there as well. We have some options."
On when Moffitt will practice:
"He just came in. He is getting his physical, I believe, as we speak right now. I am not sure if he will be able to get out there and practice in time today. We will just see how quickly we can incorporate him into things and how quickly he can pick it up."
On if Moffitt has been affected by a past knee injury:
"I don't know that he has. I don't know if there are any lingering effects of that."
On Jamoris Slaughter getting back on the field:
"Jamoris has been working back into practice. He has been getting some team reps. He is full-go today so we will get a chance to see him a little bit more today on the field. I am obviously looking at the safety position to see what he can do there, as well as special teams."
On crediting Norv Turner with much of Brandon Weeden's development:
"Norv is a great teacher. He understand quarterbacks, he has done it before. He can tailor his teaching to how guys best respond. As much of the process was Brandon getting to know the offense, as I have mentioned before, is that we got to know Brandon, as well as the other quarterbacks, and how we can best coach and teach them. Norv has done a great job of that."