The Browns chose Caleb Hanie to serve as their No. 2 quarterback at 1 p.m. today against the New England Patriots behind starter Jason Campbell.
Alex Tanney was the other option, but the Browns made him inactive for the game and went with the more experienced Hanie. The team signed Hanie, 28, off the street Tuesday and plucked Tanney, 26, off the practice squad of the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 26.
“I feel ready,” Hanie said Friday. “It's a good four and a half days of preparation now, and I feel pretty confident about it.”
The Browns signed both Hanie and Tanney as contingency plans because Campbell and Brandon Weeden were dealing with the concussions they suffered Nov. 24 and Dec. 1, respectively. As previously announced Friday, Weeden is out today.
Although Tanney had a week head start over Hanie to learn the Browns’ playbook, Hanie is in his sixth NFL season and has four regular-season starts on his resume, all of which were losses for the Chicago Bears in 2011. Tanney, who’s best known for his trick-shot YouTube video that went viral two years ago, has never appeared in an NFL regular-season game.
“I feel pretty comfortable with [the plays] we’ve put in,” said Hanie, who has thrown three touchdown passes and 10 interceptions, posting a passer rating of 41.6 in his career. “And the stuff we've run in practice, I feel really comfortable with.”
Hanie conceded he was eager for a chance to start. He would have if Campbell had not been medically cleared to return from his concussion and play today. The Browns didn’t know Campbell’s status for today until Friday.
“I don't know if I'd say disappointed, but I'm always wanting another opportunity,” Hanie said. “They don't come along too often, so when you get them, you've got to take advantage of them. They may still come along, but up to this point, I was hoping to get in there and get a chance to play, and I'll just look at it in an optimistic way. I'll get another chance to prepare.”
There’s still a chance Hanie could be thrown into the fire against the Patriots if Campbell suffers another injury. In addition to coming back from a concussion, Campbell injured his ribs Nov. 3 against the Baltimore Ravens and aggravated them two weeks ago against the Steelers.