BEREA: Those who thought Browns coach Pat Shurmur should formally name the team’s starting quarterback at the beginning of training camp will need to keep waiting, because he didn’t do it Wednesday.
Shurmur indicated he could make an announcement before the Browns’ first preseason game Aug. 10, or he could wait until they’re in the midst of their exhibition schedule. Either way, rookie Brandon Weeden is a virtual lock to officially become the team’s No. 1 quarterback.
“I think it makes sense to name the starter well before the start of the season, and so that’s probably what will happen,” Shurmur said Wednesday after rookies, quarterbacks and select veterans practiced to open camp. … “I’ve had a chance to go over what everybody did in the spring numerous times, and I feel good about what I saw from both Brandon and Colt [McCoy] and Seneca [Wallace]. So I’ll have some form of an announcement soon.”
Shurmur said he doesn’t necessarily feel the need to see a certain amount of action in preseason games before revealing his choice.
“I think it’s fair to say that between now and the first game, anywhere in here we could possibly name the starter,” Shurmur said. “[I] don’t necessarily need to see so many snaps of a preseason game.”
Weeden said it doesn’t matter to him when a starter is named.
“Whenever they feel comfortable doing it, they’ll do it,” Weeden said. “Whether that’s tomorrow, two weeks or before we kick it off against Philly for the opener, whatever they feel best. I’m going to keep competing and doing what I do and see how things shake out.”
At camp on time
Weeden and running back Trent Richardson signed their rookie contracts earlier this week — just in time for the start of camp. Both players seemed relieved.
Weeden, the 22nd overall pick in this year’s draft, received a four-year deal worth about $8.1 million. It was finalized on Tuesday.
“I wanted to be here,” Weeden said. “I told you guys that. I probably shouldn’t have told you guys that, but I did. And I’m not a guy that’s going to sit out and hold out and be that guy. I wanted to be with my teammates. I wanted to be here, compete for this job and help this team win games. The only way you can do that is show up Day One.”
Richardson, the third overall pick, wrapped up his four-year, $20.5 million deal on Monday.
“I didn’t think I was going to miss any time, but I let my agents work it out and let Coach and them work it out,” Richardson said. “They wanted me to be here, and I’m here. And I’m happy to be here, and I wanted to be here as soon as possible. It was a good deal for me, and it was a good deal for them. I’m just happy to be here, and I’m very happy to be getting paid like I’m getting paid, so it’s a blessing.”
Shurmur was obviously glad neither of the Browns’ top two picks were late arrivals.
“I think it’s important for all of the guys to be here when camp starts,” Shurmur said. “Yeah, it’s very important. I think the structure of the way the draft is now and the way guys are signing, it’s going to be very rare for a guy to hold out. I knew all along with some certainty that these contracts would get done, and I think our guys did an excellent job of coming to an agreement with them and their agents.”
Pro Football Talk listed the Browns last out of 32 NFL teams in its preseason power rankings, and Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com predicted the Browns will win only one game this year.
Shurmur acknowledged he’s aware of the doom-and-gloom predictions from national media, but he insists that he doesn’t care about them.
“It’s not my concern,” Shurmur said. “What I’m concerned about is getting our players ready to play, putting them out there and watching them perform well. That’s what I’m concerned about. If they do that, then I think we’ll win games, more than the prognosticators say.”
Veterans are set to report to camp today. The first full-squad practice will be held Friday. Camp opens to the public at 8:45 a.m. Saturday.
Nate Ulrich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Browns blog at https://ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NateUlrichABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/browns.abj.