When the Cleveland Browns made
As Weeden went through rookie minicamp and began to learn the team’s version of the West Coast offense, he worked with the wide receivers and developed both a rhythm and timing. When the full team began organized team activities and minicamp practices, Weeden got the opportunity to compete with and learn from the veterans in the quarterback room.
While the competition continues, coaches will decide who the best fit is to start when the team kicks off the regular season Sunday, Sept. 9, against the Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
“Right now, it’s a healthy competition,” Holmgren said. “It’s going to be Pat (Shurmur’s) decision and at some point moving forward, you’ve got to name one. I do know you can’t get too close to the first game and have it still going on.”
Holmgren added that “right now, the plan is not to” trade the quarterback who does not start for the Browns.
“In the first two years, we’ve had to go to the third quarterback because of injury,” Holmgren said of his tenure as Browns president. “Right now, they’re all practicing very hard. Our quarterback position is a strong position, in my opinion. Something might happen as we approach training camp or in the training season, but that’s how we’re looking at it right now.”
Weeden came to the Browns from Oklahoma State University, where they utilized a Shotgun formation for most of the offensive snaps. Holmgren has paid close attention to Weeden’s development with taking snaps under center and noticed that the 28-year old rookie has “absorbed the playbook very, very well.”
“His skill level is excellent,” Holmgren said. “He passes the ball very well, does it easily and with good velocity. He has the things necessary to play the position, which is the most important thing, being able to pass the ball and pass it accurately. The second thing is -- you can’t discount this -- he has a maturity about him because of what he’s been through and then, his age and the fact that after baseball, he came back to play football. If you’ve talked to him, you just sense that. He is as prepared to come in and start as a rookie as any quarterback I’ve seen in a long time. He’s already been through a whole bunch of competitive situations.”
Holmgren said that when a team invests a first-round pick in any player, they are drafting him to play.
“You’re telling everybody something,” Holmgren said. “Having said that, nothing gets handed to anybody and that’s essentially what I told him. If he’s the player we think he is and can be, I think he has a chance to have a fine career in this league. He’s going to have to show us. We believe that that can happen, but he’s got to come in and play.”