Reporting Daryl Ruiter
BEREA (92.3 The Fan) - The Cleveland Browns expect that rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden will be “the guy” this fall.
Before that happens, the quarterback charade – or “competition” – has to play itself out.
The Browns along with coach Pat Shurmur refuse to publicly give Weeden the keys to the car – or in this case offense – despite already showing that he has the better arm.
Weeden has also been getting the bulk of the first team reps this offseason but he still doesn’t feel like he’s “the guy.”
“Not yet, just because nothing is formal,” Weeden said. “We’re still two months out until we play our first pre-season game. I’m still working my tail off just to get better and keep learning.
“I’m getting more comfortable with what we are doing, but I still have a long ways to go.”
The question remains, what else does he have to do?
“I want to see a good body of work here through the offseason,” Shurmur said after the team wrapped up minicamp last week. “I’ll decide at some point who our starter is. Unfortunately, you don’t always get real game situation, or as much as you might like to make those decisions, but we’ll see.”
After reviewing film of Weeden from his time at Oklahoma State, Shurmur was impressed with his improvement from his junior to senior year.
“I think that’s important to see,” Shurmur said. “I think when we’re drafting players you don’t want a guy that’s only done it once. You like to see a guy that’s had consistent success throughout his career and of course that means they improve. Yeah, that helped us make our decision.”
He’s looking for the same from Weeden at the pro level – but in a much shorter time frame.
“I’m light years farther along right now than I was obviously day one, day two,” Weeden said. “I think even through rookie minicamp, where I’m at right now is that I look like two totally different quarterbacks in my footwork. You can tell I’m processing stuff a little bit faster and I’m not thinking quite as much.
“I’m getting a lot more comfortable as we go along.”
Through a rookie minicamp, two weeks of OTA’s and the regular veteran minicamp it’s clear that Weeden is ahead of Colt McCoy.
That said, Weeden remains focused on himself and where he is at today compared to when he walked into the facility for the first time and was handed his playbook.
As for McCoy and the progress he has been making in an effort to keep his job, Shurmur doesn’t have much to say.
“He is doing fine,” Shurmur said. “Colt’s doing fine, competing and he’s making progress like the rest of the guys.”
But Weeden understands not being named the starter yet – especially because they’ve yet to have any type of live contact or pads at practice.
“Being a rookie, I think you like this time to get comfortable with what you are doing,” Weeden said. “As a competitor and as a football player, you want to throw the pads on. Even though not so much for me because I don’t hit or I’m not getting hit in minicamp, I think anytime you see flying bullets from our position with pads on and all of the chaos is going on around you, you get more comfortable.
“I think that’s what gets you ready to play games.”
While not setting a timetable to name a starter, Shurmur says that hopes to do it “sooner rather than later.”
“If you know that he’s going to be your guy, then make it happen so everybody gets comfortable working with that guy all the time,” Shurmur said. “Ideally, we would have a starter now.”
The Browns could have a starter now if Shurmur really wanted to have one.
He just needs to give the keys to Weeden.
Any time he chooses.