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Weeden opens Browns' offseason with first team

The SportsXchange

New Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski didn't hand Brandon Weeden the starting quarterback job when he was hired, and the team signed veteran Jason Campbell to provide competition. Weeden did take all of the first-team reps during the first day of the Browns' offseason program Tuesday, but Chudzinski cautioned it's extremely early in the process.

He called this week a "learning camp" rather than an assessment camp.

"Just seeing what guys are taking from the meeting room out to the field," said Chudzinski. "We will work through that process. Campbell will get some reps with the ones as well along the way. But this is a long, long process that we are going to have and there is a long time between now and our opener. We've got plenty of time and this is just the first step."

With more than five months until the season opener, Chudzinski isn't putting a timetable on making a decision. He liked the energy and focus his team displayed Tuesday, but admitted execution has "a lot of work to do."

The offense is still being installed, and the Browns have seven picks in next week's draft that could bring more competition to the quarterback position, among others. Cleveland met with West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, the top-rated quarterback in this year's class by NFLDraftScout.com.

"We've had the chance to work out a number of guys and all have gone well. I'm not going to get too much into detail on those. I know that we're going to talk later on this week about some of the draft things."

Chudzinski declined to get into specifics of how Weeden fits in the offensive scheme the team will run under Norv Turner, but said there are certainly tools to work with.

"He has a good arm and has the ability to get the ball down the field," Chudzinski said of Weeden. "We look and project that into the things we are going to try to do and obviously teach him. You are looking for progress from a guy who was a rookie and showed progress during his rookie season. You want to see him take the next step to his second year. Hopefully, he will do that and we have to teach him a new offense in the meantime."

Chudzinski also said running back Trent Richardson looks healthy and appears faster on the field than he does on tape.

"If you look at both my history and Norv's history, featuring a running back and I think Trent has all those qualities that you'd want in someone who is going to be able to carry the load and be a big part of our running game," said Chudzinski.

--Offensive guard Jason Pinkston, who finished last season on injured reserve with a blood clot, has been medically cleared although he is not taking part in on-field work yet.

--Wide receiver David Nelson is continuing to rehab his surgically-repaired knee and Chudzinski expects him to be ready for training camp.
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