Some mixed signals have emerged from Berea regarding whether the Browns will install quarterback Brandon Weeden as the starter in his rookie season. On Monday night, G.M. Tom Heckert provided perhaps the clearest description yet of where things stand.
“I think when we say open competition, the best guy is gonna play,” Heckert told reporters at the 33rd annual Akron Browns Backers banquet, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal. “That’s the way it is, but we drafted Brandon Weeden to be that guy You draft a guy 22nd in the draft, you think he’s gonna be that guy. You can write it and talk about it however you want. The best guy’s gonna play, but we fully expect Brandon to be that guy. Now if he’s not, and Colt [McCoy] plays better or Seneca [Wallace], whoever, but right now that’s our goal is to have [Weeden] be the guy.”
Heckert also said he can envision both McCoy and Wallace being on the final 53-man roster, even though speculation has persisted that McCoy will be traded.
Given the team’s experience in 2007, when Derek Anderson played before then-rookie Brady Quinn and played well enough to keep Quinn on the bench into 2008, when neither guy was able to succeed, it makes much more sense to install Weeden as the starter and see what happens.
It also makes sense to move McCoy, who could quickly become more popular than ever before if Weeden struggles early in his career.