Backup quarterback Jason Campbell will be given a legitimate shot to beat out Brandon Weeden for the starting job, and the competition between the two is more than just lip service, league sources said.
That’s one of the main reasons the Browns have been reluctant all off-season to tout Weeden as their guy for 2013.
On the final day of the draft, when asked if not drafting a quarterback meant the Browns were committed to Weeden, coach Rob Chudzinski said, “I feel good about the group. How all that plays out, we’ll see and know in time. I’m excited about Brandon and the progress he’s made thus far, learning the system to the point we are right now, which is still very early.
“I’ve also been pleased with Jason and the role he’s taken in being there. We want to give these guys every opportunity to succeed and give Brandon, since you are asking about him specifically, every opportunity to succeed.”
Pressed on if they’re moving forward with Weeden as the starter, Chudzinski said, “We’re going to proceed as we’re proceeding right now. Brandon is getting the reps with the first team and working with the first group. A lot of this will remain to be seen when get into pads and we get into real football instead of the football where you run around in shorts on air.”
Chudzinski’s remarks were consistent with what he said during the voluntary minicamp April 16-18, in which Weeden took the first-team reps.
“It’s early in the process,” Chudzinski said. “Campbell will get some reps with the ones as well along the way. But this is a long, long process and there’s a long time between now and our opener. We’ve got plenty of time and this is just the first step.”
Chudzinski echoed those sentiments in an interview on 92.3 The Fan Thursday to kick off the start of the radio partnership.
“I expect both of these guys to compete,” Chudzinski said. “I don’t know any other way. Anybody that’s on a team is competing from my standpoint. We want to put these guys in a situation, give them every chance to succeed and we’ll see how that all plays out. I’m hoping that the best man wins the job and that he gives us a chance to win.”