Brandon Weeden was drafted as the starter of the future not too long ago and he’s already being pushed out. At least, that’s the perception around the NFL but according to those in Cleveland, he exact opposite might happen if Weeden can succeed in Rob Cudzinski’s new system and turns in a winning season. ESPN Cleveland suggests that a winning season with the Browns may mean that Weeden will win the starting job for the 2014 season.
If Weeden is at the throttle of a winning season in 2013, he will not be replaced in 2014. That doesn’t mean the Browns won’t draft a quarterback – Weeden will be 30, after all – but Banner is not going to replace him simply out of ego. Also, I believe Lombardi’s influence on the QB position is greatly exaggerated. Banner is calling the shots, not Lombardi.
A lot of attention has been focused on Mike Lombardi and his desire to replace Weeden and bring in his version of a franchise quarterback. That talk hit a peak around the NFL Draft when speculation about Geno Smith going to the Browns was at it’s height. That never happened and the Browns passed on Matt Barkley, Landry Jones and a slew of other quarterbacks in the draft who could have challenged Weeden and Jason Campbell.
Norv Turner and Rob Chudzinski have a pedigree of developing quarterbacks with Turner coaching up Philip Rivers recently and Chudzinski coaching up Cam Newton even more recently. So there is the potential for them to mold Weeden into a solid starter, one that wins himself that starting gig next season as well.
That’s all in the future, and a winning season in Cleveland is far from promised. But the door is clearly open for Weeden to excel and if he does it appears the Browns will be open to supporting him as long as he’s riding high.