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What Rob Chudzinski Gains by Starting Brian Hoyer

Aug 8, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer (6) throws against the St. Louis Rams during the fourth quarter at FirstEnergy Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports
Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports
Chris TrapassoAnalyst IJanuary 10, 2017

With Brandon Weeden nursing an injured thumb, the Cleveland Browns have turned to Brian Hoyer to take over the starting quarterback position. 

The former New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals backup will be under center as the 0-2 Browns travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings in Week 3.

The announcement was made by head coach Rob Chudzinski and was made public by the team's official Twitter account on Wednesday morning:

BREAKING: Head Coach Rob Chudzinski has informed Brian Hoyer that he will start at quarterback Sunday at Minnesota.

—Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 18, 2013

While some were surprised that Hoyer leapfrogged No. 2 QB Jason Campbell, Chudzinski's decision makes perfect sense at this juncture.

Campbell has started 71 games in his NFL career to Hoyer's one. Nothing against the more experienced veteran, but he's already reached his ceiling as a professional quarterback. 

Now, that's not saying Campbell this year couldn't have pieced together a few solid outings in a Browns uniform. Rather, it's lending credence to the thought that the soon-to-be 32-year-old, who's played on four other teams, doesn't represent the future of the franchise whatsoever.

Basically, Chudzinski and the Browns at large would have nothing to gain by starting Campbell with Weeden sidelined. 

At least the verdict is still out on Hoyer, despite two lackluster games with the Cardinals in 2012:

What's more, Chudzinski is scoring major points with his general manager, Michael Lombardi. The former NFL Network analyst raved about Hoyer in 2011. NFL.com's Chris Wesseling dug up some of Lombardi's quotes regarding the quarterback:

Browns GM Lombardi in 2011: If I was still in the league and needed a QB, I would chase Hoyer instead of Kolb http://t.co/iNwq9tYpAG

— Chris Wesseling (@ChrisWesseling) September 18, 2013

More Lombardi in 2011: I think Hoyer has all the traits you need, in terms of leadership, toughness, arm strength, ability to move the team

— Chris Wesseling (@ChrisWesseling) September 18, 2013

It's unfair to say Lombardi pressured Chudzinski into starting Hoyer, but Cleveland's head coach certainly isn't angering his immediate superior with the decision.

Weeden has struggled in both games in 2013—he completed 49.1 percent of his passes with three interceptions in the season-opening loss to the Miami Dolphins and did nothing special against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 2. 

Frankly, the injury to the 2012 first-round pick, a guy with no ties to Chudzinski or Lombardi, couldn't have come at a better time. 

With Weeden shelved, the Browns front office and coaching staff are provided a golden opportunity to try "their quarterback" without officially benching the man they named the starter this summer. 

If Hoyer flops, Cleveland doesn't "lose" much. Chudzinski can simply revert back to Weeden and ride him out for the remainder of the season. 

But as it currently stands, there is much more to gain with Brian Hoyer as the Browns quarterback than Jason Campbell as the Browns quarterback, there's no doubting that. 

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