Sunday, May 6, 2012

Name Weeden now
Pat Shurmur should end the mystery right now. Take charge and tell the public what is as obvious as the nose on his face.

The Browns’ head coach should come out and announce that his starting quarterback in the season opener against Philadelphia will be Brandon Weeden.

None of this it-will-be-an-open-competition bullroar. None of this may-the-best-man-win nonsense when just about everyone in Browns Nation knows who will stick his paws under center Alex Mack against the Eagles.

Don’t string along Colt McCoy and Seneca Wallace (assuming they are still with the team) at training camp in late July. Let them know their roles. The best way to get ready for the season is to declare your starting quarterback and go from there.

Weeden is the quarterback who should get a majority of the repetitions. He’s the one who should work with the No. 1 wide receivers so when they play games for real, the timing is down pat.

You don’t do that by experimenting in training camp and exhibition games, especially with a rookie quarterback, rookie running back and rookie offensive right tackle.

That’s not the way you prepare a team that has scraped the bottom of the National Football League barrel for the better part of the last dozen seasons. Offense is all about timing. Without timing, offenses sputter.

The Browns, especially following last season’s embarrassingly atrocious offensive showing, need to come out in the season opener and look like a football team on offense, not the ragtag outfit that passed for a team last season.

You do that by eschewing the experimenting in training camp and exhibitions. In theory, all positions on offense have been determined. We all know the offensive line will consist of Joe Thomas, Jason Pinkston, Mack, Shawn Lauvao and Mitchell Schwartz.

And we all know Ben Watson and Evan Moore will be at tight end, Trent Richardson at running back and Greg Little, Mo Massaquoi and Joshua Cribbs will handle most of the wide receiver duties.

By giving them a majority of reps before the games mean something, the Browns’ coaches will get a good idea of just how much progress this group had made when it owns the football.

Weeden needs all the time he can get under center, an unfamiliar position for him since he was strictly a shotgun quarterback at Oklahoma State. It’s a whole different world when the snap hits his hands a split second before the play develops.

The world of the west coast offense is dependent almost entirely on precise timing. Taking reps away from Weeden hinders his ability to at least become acquainted with it, let alone be successful with it.

He might be 28 years old. And he might be mature for as rookie. But he’s wandering into a situation that will feel extremely foreign to him. That’s why he needs to get all the reps Shurmur and offensive coordinator Brad Childress can feed him. He can’t get enough.

And that’s why Shurmur needs to do what coaches Mike Shanahan in Washington and Chuck Pagano in Indianapolis did when they anointed Robert Griffin Triple Eye and Andrew Luck as their starting quarterbacks.

Shurmur needs to declare Weeden is his man. Even if it hurts some feelings. It’s time to drop the charade and false pretenses and do the right thing.

For better of worse, name Brandon Weeden the starting Cleveland quarterback now and be done with it.


  1. Hey Rich, tell us how you really feel,lol
    I agree with you that they should get Weeden going right away. But something tells me that`s not going to be how it all comes down....
    There is no question in my mind that Andy Reed is going be trowing everything but the kitchen sink at Weeden week 1... Who knows they might start McCoy for awhile, at least for as long as his Dad will let them.

  2. You are assuming, of course, that the Browns will be smart and keep McCoy. And his father will not -- and should not -- be a factor in what the team does with him.

    As for Andy Reid and his defensive staff throwing everything at Weeden in the first week, I'd like to think Pat Shurmur and his offensive staff know this and will draw up a game plan designed to offset that. If not, they're dumber than I thought.

  3. Yes I`m assuming they`ll keep Colt but not because I think they`re smart. As far as his father goes that was my lame attempt at humor..

    I never underestimate Andy Reeds defense even though they had a down year last year. The Eagles D came on at the end of the season and improved this off season. On the other hand I have very little faith in Shurmer,Childress (Andy won`t be calling plays for him),The Browns WR`s or a QB who doesn`t take snaps under center and played in a conference that defense was more of an after thought. And that`s just the tip of the iceberg.
    But that`s just me thinking outloud...

  4. Please keep thinking that way. It never hurts to have dialogue.

    And its not Andy Reid's defense. He's strictly an offensive guy, but his defensive coordinator last season was Juan Castillo, who was a rookie coordinator. He was an offensive line coach for many years.

    The Eagles defense you're thinking of was coordinated by Jim Johnson, whose blitz-laden approach to football pretty much defined the Philadelphia defense.

    When Johnson died of cancer shortly before training camp in 2009, he was succeeded by Sean McDermott for two seasons. Castillo took over last season with decidedly mixed reviews. Reid stood his ground and decided to keep him in the same capacity.

    And I share your lack of faith in Shurmur and Childress, for what it's worth.

    1. Believe me I know the history of the Eagles Defense,I`m surrounder by Eagles fans. That said it`s Andy Reed`s team and he wants a D that resembles Jim Johnson`s. Castillo is a good all around coach who many people believe will give Andy what he wants. Whatch their last 4 games they were close and they will improve on that this year. The NFCE will be a tight race this year but I`m convinced that the Eagles will come out on top.
      There is also their high powered Offence to consider...They`re very good in both the passing game and the running game. I just don`t see the Browns scoring the 25+ points(9 field goals)they`ll need to win that game.

  5. I don't think the Browns will win that game, either, Dirt. And I don't doubt the Eagles will give the Giants all kinds of problems this season. You can bet Reid would love to silence his critics by starting off the season with a bang. Unfortunately, the Browns are their first target. It could get nasty, especially if the Browns can't put any pressure on Vick. I don't think they helped themselves in that department.

    1. I don`t think they helped that weak run D either. How in the world did they have a 3rd round grade on Hughs? That one is a real head scratcher. The guy was rated as a low round pick at best.
      Miller has bust written all over him,he`s a beanpole that can`t bend or get leverage in the run game. He`ll never be able to play OG in the NFL... When they tried him at RT in practices (East/West Shrine game) he got totally abused, no make that destroyed by meiocre speed rushers...Maybe they have plans to convert him to TE but he`s a wasted pick as a lineman...
      Emmanuel Acho is a versital LB and a good 6th round pick, but too little too late IMHO to help the D this year...
      Weeden must be happy that they took Brad Smelley in the 7th....If nothing else he`ll have a guy he knows to room with at camp that just might make the 53.

  6. So before the rookie takes a snap from Alex Mack, they annoint him the starter? That's like ordering a pizza and declaring it your favorite before taking a bite. Yes, they expect him to start but it would be premature to say he is the starter ahead of McCoy at this moment.

    1. If it`s a $30.00 pizza instead of the $10.00 Pizza that I`ve had all the time for the past few years? Then hell yeah I`m going to want to taste that thing before it gets cold. Unfortunately we`re not talking pizza here.

  7. That's right. Anoint him the starter. Otherwise, it's nothing more than a charade. It's clearly his job to lose.

    And any pizza, sir, is my favorite. Even before the first bite. My tastes are simple.