Countdown to The Draft
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By: Will Burge
Each new coach of the Cleveland Browns must bear the burden of those who came before them. For new head coach Rob Chudzinski, the question “who will call the offensive plays?” may seem odd. For Browns fans coming off a Pat Shurmur and Brad Childress regime, this is important.
Wednesday morning the Browns and Chudzinski officially introduced their new offensive coordinator Norv Turner and answered that burning question on the mind of all the orange and brown faithful.
Chudzinski said that Turner will call the offensive plays and coach quarterbacks.
Phew. Now we can all relax.
Turner’s resume speaks for itself. Before last season, where the wheels fell off in San Diego, his offenses were in the top five in the league for five straight seasons.
The Browns have ranked better than 19th on offense only once since returning to the league in 1999.
Chudzinski talked about the comfort level he has with Turner and how this was his goal from the moment he received the Browns’ offer.
“When we were getting ready to play Cleveland (last season), I saw potential...there were guys that got my attention,” said Turner.
He specifically referenced the offensive line and wide receivers during his answer which are certainly two strengths on the offensive side of the football. The one glaring question mark, however, is the quarterback.
Turner was asked about Brandon Weeden multiple times and never once got too specific. The closest he came to complimenting Weeden was when he was asked if he fits into Turner’s offensive system.
“(Weeden) has a lot of the skill sets we are looking for. Certainly has a big arm,” said Turner.
Rob Chudzinski also added that it is premature to pencil Weeden in as the starting quarterback in 2013.
So while Chudzinski and the Browns answered one burning question in the minds of their fans another remains. Will it be Weeden starting in 2013 or someone else?
Mock drafts have already been published and some have the Browns selecting a quarterback sixth overall. No matter what the Browns do in the draft or free agency, however, they should give Weeden another shot.
Let him compete for the starting job in training camp. If he is truly “the guy” then he will win. I know fans are scared to death of quarterback competitions but this one will be different. It won’t be Colt McCoy set up for failure and the predetermined outcome as Weeden winning the job. It also won’t be Derek Anderson versus Brady Quinn when neither of those two were starting caliber players.
This time Weeden should and will be challenged. No matter whom they put up against him, whether it is Alex Smith, Mike Vick, or Tyler Wilson from Arkansas, I expect Weeden will win the job out of camp.
To chalk up a 3,300 yard passer after one season would be a mistake. Especially since only two people (Anderson 07', Couch 01') had thrown for over 3,000 yards since Bernie Kosar was the full-time starting quarterback.
He fits Chud too well, he fits Norv too well, and with the right coaching he could easily be the best quarterback the Browns have had since their rebirth in 1999.
|Will Burge covers the Browns for ESPNCleveland.com and hosts 3 Deep, Monday - Friday from 7pm-9pm.|
Follow Will on Twitter @WillBurge
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