CLEVELAND - This time it didn't take a high-level staff meeting and two days of waiting for an official announcement.
Jason Campbell will start at quarterback for the Browns Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens at First Energy Stadium. The call by coach Rob Chudzinski Monday put an end to more needless attempts to over-analyze a decision that seems self-evident.
Brandon Weeden isn't the quarterback for the Browns now or at any time in the foreseeable future, barring injury. The Browns act differently when Weeden doesn't play. That was never more evident than when Brian Hoyer started in wins over the Minnesota Vikings and Cincinnati Bengals.
Campbell didn't have the same swagger last Sunday in Kansas City that Hoyer carried, nor did he orchestrate a win, but he gave the Browns a fighting chance. With half the season remaining and a chance to finish near the .500 mark, the 3-5 Browns need to know that there's hope.
"We expect and go into every game approaching and expecting that we're going to win," Chudzinski said. "I think that Jason, again, we'll want him to continue to play, and there's some things that he can get better at. Really, we're focused on one game at a time, and we're focused on each guy, each person, coach, player, everybody getting better every week. That's what I want to see is that sort of improvement every single week."
Although there are short-term goals to address, it's not too early to focus on long-term objectives. With Weeden having been passed by for both Hoyer and Campbell, it's obvious that an organizational decision has been made that he's not the answer.
It would be a shock if the Browns don't use one of two first-round draft choices next year on a quarterback. The list of prospects is unusually long, which means it's simply a good year for the position or that the spread offenses in the college game have turned quarterbacks into statistical machines with often questionable upside.
Can anyone - scouts included - be certain that Teddy Bridgewater, Marcus Mariota or Johnny Manziel, among others, will succeed at the next level? From my perspective, there's not another Andrew Luck in the draft.
Yet the Browns will undoubtedly throw a lot of money at one of the prospects. If common sense prevails, the plan then should be to start Hoyer and see what he can do for an extended period of time. The rookie could then sit and learn, which is the way it should work.
Campbell's future isn't clear because of Hoyer's return and the possibility of a rookie being added. He certainly won't want to be the third guy in the mix, which is how it played out this season when Hoyer was promoted ahead of him after Weeden sprained his right thumb.
Chudzinski seemed pleased with Campbell's play in the 23-17 loss to the Chiefs. He was 22 of 36 for 293 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
"I thought Jason played very well," Chudzinski said. "After looking at the tape, he was able to manage the game, was able to escape and get out of trouble, create some plays. He did a good job from a decision-making standpoint, protected the football, and he gave us a lift."
Maybe the most important thing learned by Chudzinski in Kansas City was that it's time to put the Weeden project to bed.
INJURY REPORT: Travis Benjamin tore knee ligaments and will be lost for the remainder of the season. Chudzinski said Davone Bess will replace Benjamin despite his costly fumble against the Chiefs.