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.