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Browns coach Rob Chudzinski sticking with QB Brandon Weeden as starter despite 2nd-half meltdown

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 14, 2013

Coach Rob Chudzinski is sticking with Brandon Weeden as his starting quarterback despite the second-year pro’s baffling, shovel-pass interception in the fourth quarter of the Browns’ 31-17 loss to the Detroit Lions Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Chudzinski said the organization is not contemplating a change at quarterback and has not even discussed replacing Weeden with backup Jason Campbell. So Weeden will receive a shot to rebound when the Browns (3-3) visit the Green Bay Packers (3-2) Sunday.

“This was one game,” Chudzinski said today. “I thought Brandon played well in spurts and at times. And obviously he made a couple of critical mistakes.”

On first-and-10 at the Lions’ 44-yard line with the Browns trailing 24-17, Weeden flipped the ball toward fullback Chris Ogbonnaya a split-second before defensive tackle C.J. Mosley grabbed Weeden’s left ankle and dragged him down. Weeden insisted he attempted to fling the ball over Ogbonnaya and out of bounds. But linebacker DeAndre Levy jumped in front of Ogbonnaya and intercepted the pass in front of the Lions bench at the Browns’ 49 with 4:36 remaining.

Weeden called it a “boneheaded play.” Seven plays later, the Lions scored a touchdown to ensure they would snap the Browns’ three-game winning streak.

“Brandon’s doing some good things,” Chudzinski. It’s really just a matter of cutting out the critical mistakes."

Weeden completed 26-of-43 passes (60.5 percent) for 292 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions, posting a passer rating of 76.9. His final interception was the backbreaker, and he fell to 0-3 as a starter this season.

“It really just boils down to those critical decisions and mistakes that he made yesterday, and I know he wants them back and would like to have them back,” Chudzinski said. “But there’s also mistakes from other guys there, too. At times, we didn’t have anybody open, and he’s trying to find somebody. At times, we made some mental mistakes whether it was in the run game or protections or whatever they are. Obviously the guy is the quarterback is the guy that everybody sees, and that’s part of the job. But we all have to get better and play more consistently overall.”

The Browns led 17-7 at halftime but were outscored 24-0 in the second half. Chudzinski, though, refused to solely place the blame on Weeden.

“It’s not just one guy,” Chudzinski said. “There’s some things we need to fix obviously. I talked a lot yesterday about us coming out in the second half and playing better. I think the energy’s there, the emotion’s there. We just have to come out and execute better in the early parts of the third quarter.”

Browns inside linebacker Craig Robertson said he agrees with the organization's decision regarding Weeden.

“He’s our quarterback,” Robertson said. “You can’t toss and turn quarterbacks every week. You’ve got to stick with one, and we’ve got to rally behind him. He’s our quarterback.”

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