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Weeden 'earned' starting job

Posted Aug 20, 2013

Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden “earned” the starting job in the eyes of head coach Rob Chudzinski.

Cleveland Browns coach Rob Chudzinski named Brandon Weeden the team’s starting quarterback on Tuesday, after what he described as a process of evaluation and competition for Weeden, and veteran signal-callers Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer.

“Based on this process, Brandon has earned this job,” Chudzinski said Tuesday. “That’s extremely important to me that he did. He’s gained my complete trust. He’s gained his teammates’ complete trust, and this organization’s trust. We’re all behind him, and we’ll all be there to support him.

“It was important for me, and for us, to go through the process and follow the plan that we followed throughout the offseason. It started in April during the meetings and carried out into OTAs on the field, the multiple minicamps that we had, the number of weeks of training camp that we had, as well as the two preseason games, so that we could get these guys and see them react to a lot of different situations that would come up.”

Weeden started the Browns’ first 15 games in 2012, and set franchise rookie records with five wins and 3,385 passing yards before missing the regular-season finale, a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field, on Dec. 30, because of an ankle injury.

Weeden was informed of Chudzinski’s “exciting” decision to start him on Monday.

“I feel like I worked my tail off during the offseason, the spring, through OTAs and up until this point,” Weeden said. “It’s rewarding. Everybody in this locker room wants to be on the field and contribute to this team and win games. I’m excited moving forward. Now, my main focus is going out, winning as many games and help this offense do as much as we can throughout the entire year.

“I knew I had to impress the people that were ultimately going to make the decisions. That’s all 90 of us that are out here, but my mindset didn’t change. My mindset was getting better, focus, and just do the things I needed to do to become a better player.”

In naming Weeden the starter, Chudzinski praised the quarterback’s work ethic and ability to respond to all of the challenges he faced since the start of the offseason program and training camp.

“Everything about this process is wanting to see how he reacted and how all the quarterbacks reacted,” Chudzinski said. “I really, firmly believe that that’s what separates the great quarterbacks from the average quarterbacks, how they react to different situations, whether it’s a game, adversity during the season, whatever it may be.

“I’ve always believed in guys earning things, and he’s gone out and he’s earned it. He showed it, and putting him in those situations as much as we could to make things competitive, to make him have to react, we’ve tried. He’s responded very well.”

RETURNING TO THE FIELD

First-year Browns safety Jamoris Slaughter returned to the practice field Tuesday after working his way back from injuries, and by competing in practice, the former Notre Dame defensive back will get a chance to show off his skills to the coaches.

“Jamoris has been working back into practice,” Chudzinski said. “He’s been getting some team reps. He’s full-go today, so we’ll get a chance to see him a little bit more on the field, and I’m looking at the safety position to see what he can do there, as well as on special teams.”

INJURY UPDATES

Chudzinski also discussed injuries to Browns defensive lineman Desmond Bryant and cornerback Trevin Wade during his Tuesday press conference.

“Dez has some back spasms that he is working through and we’re looking at,” Chudzinski said. “We don’t expect it to be anything serious at all. We’ll work through that situation. Trevin has an AC (joint) sprain (in his shoulder). I’ll get a little more information on where he’s at from a projection standpoint.”

Click here for a photo gallery from Tuesday's practice.

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