- Brandon Weeden
- the Browns
By The Sports Xchange August 6, 2012 4:50 PM
Browns coach Pat Shurmur put an end to the quarterback competition after practice, naming rookie Brandon Weeden Cleveland's No. 1 quarterback entering the 2012 season. Weeden will become the 11th quarterback in 14 years to start a season opener for the Browns on Sept. 9. Put another way, the last quarterback to start back-to-back openers for the Browns was Charlie Frye in 2006 and '07, and he played so poorly against the Steelers in the 2007 opener he was benched in the second quarter and traded to Seattle two days later. Not all of the drama at the position is over. Shurmur said Monday that the pecking order behind Weeden would be determined in the preseason, meaning veteran Seneca Wallace could beat out incumbent start Colt McCoy to be the No. 2 quarterback entering the season. It is a major step, and a major decision, for the Browns. The mission of the 2012 offseason was to make the quarterback carousel -- and the losing -- stop. Not surprisingly with all the quarterback changes, they have had only two winning seasons in 13 years. General Manager Tom Heckert made a strong pitch to the Rams for the second draft pick with the idea of using it on Robert Griffin III. He offered picks 4 and 22 this year plus the Browns' first-round pick in 2013. When the Rams rejected the Browns offer and dealt with the Redskins instead, Heckert decided to go in a different direction. He bundled three late picks and the fourth pick to move up one slot in a trade with the Vikings so he could draft running back Trent Richardson from Alabama. He held onto the 22nd pick and used it on Weeden, the 28-year-old quarterback from Oklahoma State. Critics said Heckert could have waited to the 37th pick for Weeden, but he did not want to take that chance. Missing on Weeden would have meant another year of McCoy or possibly Wallace as the starter -- something the Browns did not want. Weeden and Richardson now present the future of the Browns under owner-in-waiting Jimmy Haslam, whose first question to team president Mike Holmgren on Friday was whether Weeden could play or not. The Browns need not look far to find rookie success at the position. Andy Dalton started for the Bengals last year and became the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to win at least eight games and throw 20 touchdown passes and Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco also took the Ravens to the postseason as a rookie starter. The Browns did not stop at Richardson and Weeden. Heckert used the 37th overall pick on right tackle Mitchell Schwartz, who'll be the first-team right tackle entering the preseason.