Browns coach Rob Chudzinski sees promise in quarterback Brandon Weeden, but he still won’t commit to him as the starter, rule out acquiring someone else to fill that role or rule out listening to trade offers for Weeden or backup Colt McCoy.
The bottom line is Chudzinski wants competition at quarterback.
“The overall point is that we want competition,” Chudzinski said this morning while meeting with Cleveland-area reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. “Competition makes people better, so however that competitions ends up coming about, I’m satisfied that we’ll be pushing and creating an environment for competition and that’s really ultimately what you want. Guys are going to have opportunities and when guys have opportunities, they have to make good on those opportunities and deliver, and that’s ultimately what you want to see as a coach, and that’s what you’re looking for.”
The Browns have Weeden, their incumbent starter, backup Colt McCoy and third-stringer Thaddeus Lewis under contract. Still, the organization will likely add someone to the mix via trade, free agency or the draft.
“We have three guys here that provide competition, and we’ll leave it open to whatever happens in terms of any other possible scenarios,” Chudzinski said. “We’re going to look at everything, every possibility to try to make the team better.”
Chudzinski said he believes Weeden, the 22nd overall pick in last year’s draft, can improve with the guidance of offensive coordinator Norv Turner.
“He's got a skill set that you're excited about, and I have all the confidence in the world that Norv will get Brandon to improve,” Chudzinski said. “And ultimately it's going to be on Brandon or on any player what they put it into and how much they commit to it. That's going to be the difference.
“He has a really good arm, he can throw the ball, he can make all the throws that you need to throw, he has a good, calm poise and demeanor in the pocket. He was up and down a little bit and during the season as any quarterback, especially a young quarterback is. You see some things that are there that get you excited about him.”
But will the Browns have a new starting quarterback next season?
“Some of those things are hard to say,” Chudzinski said. “We need to get out on the practice field. We need to get into the meetings, get into the installs and evaluate him. We’re going to put the best guy on the field that gives us the best chance to win.”
Will they listen to trade offers for Weeden or McCoy?
“We’re not going to get into any specifics on any of our guys and any of those type of things,” Chudzinski said. “We’re looking to improve our team in any areas, by any means of doing that.”
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith is a possible trade target for the Browns. Matt Moore of the Miami Dolphins, Chase Daniel of the New Orleans Saints, Brian Hoyer of the Arizona Cardinals and Derek Anderson of the Carolina Panthers could be in play in free agency.
For more from Chudzinski’s morning chat with reporters, check out my Twitter timeline.