As if anyone should need evidence as to how mediocre the Browns quarterback situation is, Rob Chudzinski made it painfully clear in his press conference. While the official diagnosis on Brandon Weeden is still up in the air, it looks unlikely he will be playing against Minnesota. When asked about who would play in the event Weeden cannot, Chud mentioned that both Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer could be up for the job. The fact the answer is not clear already is not an indication that both guys are so good that picking between them is difficult. Rather, it is an indication that both guys are so mediocre that it is more akin to picking between what forms of cancer a person would prefer.
The difference between Campbell and Hoyer comes down to which brand of mediocrity a team would want. Campbell has a big arm and can move around the pocket, but has no decision making skills when it comes to the position whatsoever. In the last drive of the game, Campbell showed what his career has been in a nutshell. His first pass was just chucking the ball down the field into double coverage. The ball went right to the safety who dropped it and the Browns were bailed out by a pass interference call. Later in the drive, on fourth-and-ten, Campbell checked it down to a back that had no chance whatsoever of getting the first down.
Hoyer’s game is somewhat similar to that of Thaddeus Lewis, minus whatever athletic ability Lewis brought to the table. Hoyer will make quick decisions and get rid of the ball quickly, but will miss opportunities, check it down really early and there will be a lot of activity that does not gain much in yardage. There will be some plays where Hoyer has predetermined where he is going to throw the ball before the ball is even snapped and might throw it right to a defender because he misread what the defense was doing.
The offense under Weeden set an impressively low bar for whichever quarterback is under center. Getting Josh Gordon back and potentially Shawn Lauvao will make a difference. But even if the offense is the slightest bit better, it will likely be dragged down by mediocrity under center which drags what could be a reasonably talented team down and make it look far worse than it really is. Should one of them have a surprisingly great game, there will be people trying to talk them up as a potential solution to the problem. Neither will be and the Browns might as well put Chud’s 5 year old son in the game in the grand scheme of things when it comes to finding a solution to the quarterback position going forward. It is not on the roster. The Browns know it. They prepared for it. They may or may not have even hoped for this scenario to be in position to get their quarterback next year. They now have an excuse to be God awful and getting the first pick in the draft and as many jokes as someone like Pat McManaman or Zac Jackson will make about the team’s ineptitude, it could be the team’s salvation in the long run. They have to compete with teams like Oakland and Jacksonville to do it, which will be a tall order, but would be worth it.