Cleveland head coach Rob Chudzinski told reporters during his Wednesday press conference that Brandon Weeden has been benched in favor of Jason Campbell. Weeden, a second-year quarterback who turned 30-years old earlier this month, lost the starting gig in September after he sprained his thumb and Brian Hoyer subsequently led the Browns to back-to-back victories. Hoyer was lost for the season (torn ACL) in the team's Week 5 contest against the Buffalo Bills, and Weeden returned as Cleveland starter.
The former Oklahoma State star was largely lousy in his last six quarters of play. Weeden finished last Sunday's game at the Green Bay Packers with a 48.6 overall quarterback rating and a 40.5 completion percentage. He threw for just 149 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the loss.
Campbell, who will be 32-years old at the end of 2013, will be more a Band-Aid than a long-term solution for the franchise. He has a career passer rating of 82.4 and a 60.8 career completion percentage.
Chudzinski honestly had no other choice but to sit Weeden. The Browns are 0-4 this season when Weeden has started, and the Cleveland offense showed real life with Hoyer running the show. Wide receiver Josh Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron especially emerged as threats during the team's victories over the Minnesota Vikings and Cincinnati Bengals.
Then there's the fact that Weeden holds onto the football far too long while in the pocket. He has not, despite reportedly working on this aspect of his game during team practices, improved on his release time over the past couple of weeks. Some have even suggested that Weeden actually regressed after returning to the lineup.
The Browns need a QB who can get rid of the ball quickly and also one is able to speedily react while in the pocket against the undefeated Chiefs. Kansas City has the best pass rush in the NFL at the moment. No team has more total sacks than do the Chiefs (35) heading into the halfway point of the 2013 campaign.
Chudzinski's decision to go to Campbell all but closes the door on Weeden's time with the Browns. He may again take the field this season if Campbell either gets injured or has an awful game against KC, but today's news signifies that the Cleveland coaching staff will be going in a different direction come this offseason. Weeden now becomes one of 19 different quarterbacks who couldn't get the job done for the franchise since it returned to the NFL in '99.
Factory of Sadness, indeed.
Zac has been following Cleveland sports since a little before his birth, and thus his heart breaks a little more with every year. He has been covering the Cleveland Browns, New York Giants and the NFL for Yahoo Sports since 2010
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- Brandon Weeden
- Rob Chudzinski
- Jason Campbell
- Kansas City Chiefs
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- Brian Hoyer