The Cleveland Browns will likely address the quarterback position at some time in 2013. Ryan Mallett, Tom Brady’s understudy in New England, is not expected to be the direction the team goes, according to Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer.
Speculation started to swirl about Cleveland’s interest in the strong-armed backup QB after new team president Joe Banner hired Michael Lombardi to act as the team’s player-personnel chief.
Lombardi acted as Bill Belichick’s director of player personnel in Cleveland from 1992 to 1995. Thus, the situation became what we like to call the “Belichick connection.”
But that wasn’t the only reason for the speculation.
Cabot believes a change is coming, although Mallett will not be the guy.
In his rookie season, Weeden was incredibly unpolished and very inconsistent while operating in Pat Shurmur’s West Coast offense.
The Browns' coaching staff’s inability to execute a game plan that played to its players’ strengths led to its expulsion from Berea. Will the new staff be able to be flexible and shape the offense around a player rather than try to fit someone into its system, regardless if he fits or not?
Chances are they will be, as new head coach Rob Chudzinski has evolved and has been successful in multiple situations with varying personnel as an offensive coordinator.
The biggest remaining question is whether or not Cleveland sees Weeden fitting into any system that its new boss and new offensive coordinator Norv Turner will employ.
Weeden, a 29-year-old rookie, will turn 30 years old midway through the 2013 season.
If he was expecting a learning curve and time to “develop,” he was greatly mistaken. The regime that took a chance on him by picking him No. 21 overall is gone, and he is left to fend for himself with whatever the guard throws his way.
Turner and Chudzinksi will likely be implementing a downfield attack that stretches and tests opposing secondaries, as they have both done in the past. Weeden certainly fits the prototype, but he didn’t have much success in those situations in his rookie season.
The QB only completed 21 percent of his passes that were thrown 21 or more yards down the field. Although, he did turn the ball over less, proportionately, posting an 8-6 touchdown-to-interception ratio on those throws.
I tend to disagree with Cabot in that Weeden should and will be replaced immediately. His long-ball efficiency certainly leaves much to be desired, but he wasn’t put in a favorable situation in Shurmur’s offense.
At the very least, the Browns should bring in someone to compete in training camp while giving Weeden a shot at earning the starting job.