ROCKY RIVER: Brandon Weeden concedes he was surprised when the Browns added Brian Hoyer to their quarterback stable, and he doesn’t really know how to interpret the move.
But Weeden is maintaining a bring-it-on attitude as the new regime continues to add competition for him.
“Why not? I realize I didn’t play as well as I could’ve last year, and I know the work I’ve put in personally,” Weeden said Friday during the 14th annual Cleveland Browns Foundation Golf Tournament at Westwood Country Club. “I know how hard I’ve worked to become a better player off the field and training and whatever may be. I’m not worried about the other stuff. I’m confident in my abilities, and I have a lot of confidence in the guys around me.”
The Browns struck a deal Thursday with Hoyer, a North Olmsted native and St. Ignatius High School graduate, and signed him to a two-year deal Friday. They waived undrafted rookie tight end Garrett Hoskins to make room on their 90-man roster.
“Thanks for all the support,” Hoyer, 27, wrote on Twitter. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to come home and play for the Browns. It really is a dream come true!”
Weeden, meanwhile, was caught off guard.
“I was surprised, but that’s the nature of the beast,” said Weeden, the 22nd overall pick in last year’s draft who threw 14 touchdowns, 17 interceptions and posted a passer rating of 72.6 as a rookie. “It’s part of this business, and if you start worrying about it, that’s too much to worry about. That’s my mentality going forward.”
The Browns will insert Hoyer into the third slot on their depth chart and give him a chance to ascend the ranks. They have Weeden, 29, penciled in as their starter, and Jason Campbell, 31, will continue to push him while taking reps with the second-team offense.
“Nothing is given to you,” Campbell said. “You always have to go out and earn everything that you get. … There are no promises made in this business. There are no guarantees.”
Hoyer’s arrival likely foreshadows the departure of fourth-stringer Thaddeus Lewis, 25.
“Brian brings experience and a solid reputation to our squad,” Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said in a news release. “We are looking forward to getting him out on the field.”
The Arizona Cardinals cut Hoyer on Monday. He signed with the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent from Michigan State University in 2009 and spent three seasons as Tom Brady’s backup. Last season, he landed with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cardinals after being cut. He made his lone NFL start this past season, completing 19-of-34 passes (55.9 percent) for 225 yards and one touchdown with an interception in the Cardinals’ 27-13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 17.
“He’s got a wealth of knowledge being around great coaches and great players,” Weeden said. “It’ll be great for our quarterback room and for the rest of the guys.”
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam vowed to create competition for Weeden during the week leading up to the Super Bowl. The organization signed Campbell in March and then added Hoyer.
“I have no idea [what signing Hoyer means],” Weeden said. “I’m worried about me.”
During an appearance in February at the Cleveland Auto Show, Weeden said, “I completely expect to be the starter.” Weeden believes his confidence has only grown stronger since then, despite Campbell and Hoyer joining the Browns.
“I’d say so,” Weeden said. “You can’t play this position timid or unconfident. You’ve got to be confident all the time. Once I got my head in this playbook and realized how good this system is and how good it fits the guys we have in place, it kind of made me excited and lit a fire under everybody to really want to take that next step, including myself. This system fits me well, and hopefully we’re able to mesh and do some good things offensively.”
Browns special-teams ace Johnson Bademosi said he has been practicing exclusively at free safety lately after spending most of his life playing cornerback. “I’ve heard the more you can do in this league, the longer you’ll play in this league,” he said. “Whether it’s long snapper, corner, safety, Wildcat quarterback, I’m willing to do it. I’m willing to learn.” … University of Florida director of on-campus recruiting Brendan Donovan will join the Browns’ scouting department, CoachingSearch.com reported.
Nate Ulrich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Browns blog at http://www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NateUlrichABJ and on Facebook www.facebook.com/browns.abj.