A confident Brandon Weeden on Monday said he expects that, when the 2013 season begins, he will remain the Cleveland Browns‘ starting quarterback.
New Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III made it clear in the week before the Super Bowl that the Browns will hold a competition to determine the team’s starter now that new coach Rob Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner have replaced the previous regime.
Weeden, however, making his first comments since the Browns replaced coach Pat Shurmur with Chudzinski, said he isn’t worried he will lose his job.
“I completely expect to be the starter. That’s my mindset going in. I’m confident in my ability to be the guy, to lead this football team. I expect completely to be better this year than I was last year,” he told The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer.
The 29-year-old Weeden passed for 3,385 yards with 14 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in his rookie season but completed only 57 percent of his throws.
He said that he understands why the team’s new brain trust hasn’t made a commitment to him.
“We’ve got a new regime, you’ve got different guys, so they’re going to have to re-evaluate all the players in the building,” he told the newspaper. “Also, we only won five games last year. If we had won more games and had a lot more success offensively, we might not be in this situation. But that’s not the case. Again, I’m not discouraged by it, and you can probably tell by the tone my voice, I’m excited about the future.”
Colt McCoy is the only other experienced option at quarterback on the Browns roster, making it likely the team will bring in another quarterback through free agency or a trade, although Browns CEO Joe Banner said Saturday that the team likely won’t trade draft picks to acquire a quarterback.
Weeden said Monday that Chudzinski and Turner’s vertical passing attack and use of the shotgun is more suited to his abilities than Shurmur’s West Coast offense, which emphasizes shorter routes for receivers. He said the Browns’ new offense is similar to the scheme he used at Oklahoma State.
“Just playing against [San Diego Chargers quarterback] Philip Rivers last year, they were in the shotgun a lot. They do five-step drops under center. They do a lot of stuff to fit the skill sets of the guys they have around them, and I think my skill set is throwing the football down the field, throwing the ball and giving our receivers a chance to make plays vertically. So I’m excited about that. It’s going to be a lot of fun,” he told the newspaper.