Regardless of what anyone says, the Cleveland Browns’ starting quarterback job is Brandon Weeden’s to lose.
The plan, of course, is for Weeden to earn his starting job in camp, though he doesn’t face much competition. The Browns were allegedly in the mix for a number of quarterbacks this offseason, but were only able to land veteran Jason Campbell, who doesn’t figure to win anything but the backup role, and Brian Hoyer, who was released by the Arizona Cardinals before being signed by Cleveland.
This doesn’t mean there isn’t a scenario in which Weeden can’t win the job. There have been many former quarterbacks who have shown promise in one season only to go down in flames the next. With a quarterback-friendly head coach and offensive coordinator, along with improved pieces at a number of a positions (without downplaying the importance of all the younger players simply being a year older), Weeden certainly has the tools he needs to succeed.
While his first year in the NFL was rocky at times, Weeden wasn’t a hopeless lost cause which, in Cleveland, is often a cause for celebration. Kidding aside, the 29-year-old (who turns 30 on Oct. 14), deserves the opportunity to improve on the field. There is plenty of dissension on that notion, though, which cultivates considerable pressure.
Combine that with the lengthy, poor track record of past Browns quarterbacks and Weeden has a lot of people to prove wrong. The odds are finally in his favor, though, and it’s not unrealistic to predict a modest breakout season.
A little pressure never hurt anybody, especially an NFL quarterback, and Weeden is attempting to enter uncharted territory for a Cleveland signal caller.
His confidence and, honestly, his age might just help him pull it off.