By Tony Grossi | ESPNCleveland.com
Updated at 2:38 p.m.
Extra Points …
Decisions, decisions: Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said a change at quarterback would be discussed in regular meetings Monday afternoon. But it was appearing unlikely that he was ready to make a move away from Brandon Weeden.
“We’ll talk as a staff later on this afternoon,” the coach said. “We’ll basically put the guys at all positions who give us the best opportunity to win.”
Shortly after Chudzinski’s unsually short 11-minute post-mortem, Jason LaCanfora of CBSSports.com tweeted: “Browns sticking with Weeden at starter this week, after considering change. But wouldn’t be surprised to see J. Campbell get a look soon.”
A Browns spokesman later said, “The truth of the matter is Chud has not made a decision.”
Chudzinski typically informs his quarterbacks of any changes on Tuesday.
Pressed if a change at quarterback would be considered, Chudzinski answered, “Yeah, at all positions, we’re considering … looking at that. Typically, that’s what we do every week.”
Weeden’s record this year as starting quarterback dropped to 0-4 after Sunday’s 31-13 loss in Green Bay. Weeden compiled a passer rating of 48.6 on 17 of 42 passing for 149 yards. He was intercepted once and threw one touchdown to Jordan Cameron.
For the year, Weeden’s completion percentage is down to 52.8 and his passer rating is 66.5.
Campbell, the veteran quarterback acquired in the offseason to provide “competition” for Weeden, has played only one series in mop-up duty in Game 2 in Baltimore.
Campbell inherited the ball at the Browns’ 1-yard line and ended his three plays with an under-handed toss to avoid a tackle. Little did anyone realize it would spawn a veritable epidemic of bad deliveries. Weeden’s back-handed flip interception in the Detroit game was derided for a full week as one of the worst pass attempts in recent memory. Weeden also had an under-handed throwaway in Green Bay.
Campbell was passed over for Brian Hoyer when Chudzinski looked for “a spark” in the wake of Weeden’s sprained thumb injury in the Baltimore game. And then he was passed over again and made inactive when Hoyer suffered a season-ending knee injury in Game 5 against Buffalo.
Asked if he thought Campbell could provide a spark now like Hoyer did, Chudzinski said, “It’s difficult to say. Again, I’m just looking for the guy that gives us the best chance to win – at all positions.”
The locker room: Players remain loyal to Weeden and pledge their faith in whatever Chudzinski decides to do at quarterback. It should not surprise anyone that nobody is calling for a change. Teams don't operate that way.
Tight end Jordan Cameron said of a possible change: “That’s out of my control. That’s not my decision to make. I have confidence in Brandon, 100 percent confidence. He’s a tough guy. He’ll hang in there. I know whoever they pick will be ready to play. I’m backing whatever their decision is.”
Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson said: “We’ve got too many problems on the defensive side of the ball right now. I’ll let Chud deal with whatever decisions need to be made on that side of the ball. We’re all in. Whoever’s the guy, we’re behind him 110 percent. As far as I know, Brandon is the guy.”
A wise old running back: Sometimes, a new player without any personal relationship with Weeden can provide a more objective take. Willis McGahee, who joined the team on Sept. 20, offered some interesting observations.
McGahee said: “We have a quarterback we need to help. That’s everybody – O-line, receivers, running backs. We can’t put all the pressure on him. And we’re not helping him right now.
“I played a couple games with (Weeden). From what I’ve seen, he might have made a couple plays that maybe weren’t supposed to be thrown. But who says everything’s going to be perfect? I had some runs in the game that I could’ve taken backside, and I didn’t take it.
“It’s hard. It’s hard for a quarterback to come out and be perfect. Especially with the history he’s had here, it’s even harder with everybody on him. At the end of the day, man, I take my hat off to him. He still walks around with a smile on his face, still competitive. That right there shows what kind of character he has.”
McGahee echoed the prevailing sentiment in the locker room that if and when a quarterback change happens, so be it.
“Whoever the team goes with, at the end of the day, that’s what you roll with it. That’s something the coaches have to do. It’s not us. This locker room is together. We’re not separated,” he said.
|Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and www.espncleveland.com. |
He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 46 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Email your “Hey Tony” questions to firstname.lastname@example.orgFollow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi
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