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Video: Browns GM Tom Heckert: 'We fully expect' Brandon Weeden to be starting QB

By Nate Ulrich Published: May 21, 2012

Browns General Manager Tom Heckert spoke to reporters tonight before the 33rd annual Akron Browns Backers banquet at Tangier restaurant. Here are some of the highlights from the interview:

Is there a difference between saying the quarterbacks will compete for the starting job and holding an open competition in which the snaps are divided?: “I think when we say open competition, the best guy is gonna play. That’s the way it is, but we drafted Brandon Weeden to be that guy. You draft a guy 22nd in the draft, you think he’s gonna be that guy. You can write it and talk about it however you want. The best guy’s gonna play, but we fully expect Brandon to be that guy. Now if he’s not, and Colt [McCoy] plays better or Seneca [Wallace], whoever, but right now that’s our goal is to have [Weeden] be the guy.”

Could you see McCoy and Wallace remaining on the roster?: “Yeah, I really could. This is another question you have to ask those guys, but when it happened I don’t know if they were shocked when we drafted Brandon, but they’ve been great, even Thad Lewis. Those guys, they’re professionals. They know the situation. There’s always gonna be guys coming in and out, so they’re OK with that. There’s not gonna be one guy [who’s] gonna say, ‘Well, I can’t do this.’ It’s not gonna be a big deal.”

Do you expect defensive tackle Phil Taylor to be back this season after having surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle last Wednesday?: “Oh, 100 percent, yeah. I don't think there's any question about that. We think he'll probably be [back by the] end of October, early November. But he'll definitely be back, no doubt, no question about it.”

Was something discovered during Taylor’s surgery that makes you confident?
: “No, it's a normal recovery, you know six months at the most. That's being very, very cautious. He could [be] back earlier than that. But he'll be back at some point.”

Do you need to add a veteran defensive tackle in the meantime?: “No, we’re really happy with the guys we have, especially the two guys we drafted.”

Do you have a sense of relief to know you’ll get Taylor back this year?: “We know injuries are part of the game. We feel a lot better about the position this year than we did last year. If it happened last year, it would have been a different story. When we came into this thing we said we were going to build through the draft. We said depth was going to take care of itself. Now we’re at a position we have depth at some positions where we can get away with some things we couldn’t the last couple years.”

Will you bring back left guard Eric Steinbach?: “We haven’t discussed it, so I can’t answer it. But we haven’t completely said no. We haven’t really talked about it, to be honest with you.”

Any update on contract talks with Weeden and rookie running back Trent Richardson?: “No, really haven’t talked a whole lot about it. I think just because of, especially Trent, where we’re at, I think he wants to wait for some other [top picks to sign]. … They’ll all get done. It’s not a concern at all.”

Will middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, who missed the banquet tonight because his back stiffened, practice Tuesday when organized team activities begin?: “I don’t know. He’s going to try. He’s getting treatment right now. He’ll be back soon. If he’s not tomorrow, he’ll be back soon.”

Will Sheldon Brown stay at cornerback or move to free safety?: “Sheldon Brown is never going to play safety, unless some disaster happens. So you can put that to bed right now. He’s not a safety, he’s a corner. If disaster struck in a game and he had to play, maybe. He’s not a safety.”

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