Browns General Manager Tom Heckert and coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters Thursday night after the first round of the NFL Draft concluded. Here are some of the highlights:
Heckert: “Obviously we are very excited about the two guys we got today and we look forward to the rest of the draft.”
Q: Can you talk about taking Weeden at No. 22 instead of waiting until No. 37?
Heckert: “That’s obviously something we talked about. We had a lot of conversations about it. When you’re talking about a quarterback, we just didn’t think it was worth taking a risk. Maybe something else you say, ‘Alright, if we get him its no big deal.’ But with a quarterback, we just wanted to make sure we got him. There’s some teams we know that were interested in him behind us, so we decided to go ahead and pick him.”
Q: Do you expect a wide-open quarterback competition heading into camp?
Shurmur: “We have a new quarterback that’s going to be with us. I think tonight is more or less about Brandon Weeden and less about the competition right now. When we went through the process of evaluating him, we became very fond of him. We all did, from (owner) Randy (Lerner) to (president) Mike (Holmgren) to Tom and myself. We kind of came away saying, ‘this is a guy we’d like to have on our team.’ And that’s where it’s at right now.”
Q: Tom, you said in your pre-draft press conference last week that with a guy that age, you can’t have him sit a year. Is that still the thought process behind it?
Heckert: “I think it’s really anybody you take and more so the round. We want these guys to play. Now, how soon? I think I said this - it depends. And I think Pat’s going to make that decision if it takes him longer than we think, than obviously we’re not going to just throw a guy out there to just throw him out there. But eventually, he’s gonna be a starter for us. That’s why we drafted him.”
Q: Will you try to trade Colt McCoy this weekend?
Heckert: “You know what? To be honest with you, we haven’t thought about that. We really haven’t. And I’m not trying to elude (the question), but that’s something we’ll talk about tonight and tomorrow.”
Q: Talk about why you felt you had to trade those other three picks to move up for Trent?
Heckert: “Because I know exactly what was offered to Minnesota and it was more than actually what…so we knew we had to trade up to get him if we wanted him. I know that for a fact.”
Q: Tampa Bay?
Heckert: “I’m not going to tell you who it was.”
Q: Can you expound on the things you loved about Weeden?
Shurmur: “He has the attributes you look for in a quarterback and we felt like he was a winner. He obviously took a non-traditional path to being a college quarterback. But he’s a very mature guy. He’s an outstanding thrower. He’s a good decision-maker. He’s very accurate. And he found a way at Oklahoma State to really compete and win a lot of football games against a lot of the quarterbacks that we’ve been talking about leading up to the draft…I wasn’t concerned about his age. I was impressed with his maturity, the way he handled himself and obviously, as a coach, watching his productivity on tape. He is a quarterback who helped lead his team to a lot of victories.”
Q: By taking a running back and quarterback today, do you feel you’ve transformed the team in one night?
Heckert: “I don’t know if we’ve transformed it, but I think even going back to last year, we’ve made it a point to emphasize we wanted to be tough. We thought we did that last year and the year before with our defense, and obviously, taking Trent helps us on offense being a physical football team. The quarterback, that remains to be seen how that works out. I don’t know if we’ve transformed it, but we’ve gotten better.”