Browns’ QB situation is a mess — once again
CLEVELAND – A change could be on the way at quarterback for the struggling Browns.
Where have you read that before?
Since the moment Tim Couch replaced Ty Detmer in the second game of the expansion season of 1999, the Browns have had a revolving door at quarterback. The door might take another turn Sunday if coach Rob Chudzinski’s meeting with team officials Monday revealed what most fans know – Brandon Weeden needs some time off.
Chudzinski didn’t give Weeden an endorsement for continuing as the starter Monday in the aftermath of the 31-13 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Weeden was 17-of-42 for 149 yards and two interceptions. He did throw a touchdown pass to tight end Jordan Cameron.
“I’ll stick with our process we’ve had throughout,” Chudzinski said. “Basically right now and up to this point it’s about evaluating the last game. We’ll talk as a staff later on and basically put the guys at all positions that give us the best opportunity to win.”
At this time that isn’t Weeden, which would mean a starting assignment for Jason Campbell on Sunday against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. Campbell has shown in eight previous seasons that he’s no more than a journeyman, but that might be an upgrade over Weeden.
Weeden looked lost and void of confidence against the Packers. It was especially ugly in the first quarter, when he seemed overwhelmed by the moment.
Weeden’s shaky play has filtered throughout the rest of the team. The offense, of course, has suffered, but the defense, which played to an elite level early in the season, has shown signs of strain.
It’s added up to two consecutive defeats after a 3-2 start to the season. It obviously won’t get any easier with a road game in Kansas City, where the Chiefs are the surprise of the NFL.
Weeden’s teammates had his back when discussing a possible move at quarterback. Then again, what else can they say if they want to be viewed as team players.
“We have too many problems on the defensive side of the ball right now,” linebacker D’Qwell Jackson said. “I’ll let Chud deal with decisions that need to be made on that side of the ball. Whoever the guy, we’re behind him 110 percent. As far as I know, Brandon is the guy.”
Chudzinski said last week that the decision to stick with Weeden is his and his alone. That would indicate that the result of all high-level meetings in the future will be a final call by the coach.
There’s no other way to go other than Campbell, who played in six games with one start as the backup to Jay Cutler in Chicago last year. For his career Campbell has 77 appearances (71 starts) with the Redskins, Raiders and Bears.
Campbell’s best season was in 2009 with the Redskins, the team that drafted him in the first round of the 2005 draft. He completed 64.5 percent of his passes that season for 3,618 yards, 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
Campbell’s appearance alone won’t be enough to spark the offense. Without improvement in the running game, any quarterback that starts will struggle.
“We have a quarterback that we need to help,” running back Willis McGahee said. “That’s everybody. The O-line, receivers and running backs. We can’t put all the pressure on him. We’re not helping right now.”
In other words, it’s a mess.