Like all of the Browns' officials, coach Pat Shurmur made it clear in a conference call Thursday that rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden has to beat out Colt McCoy and Seneca Wallace to be the team's starter in 2012.
I understand that the Browns want to make Weeden feel like he has to earn the job. But here's the reality of the situation: it's not his job to win. It's his job to lose.
The Browns will have a major problem if a first-round quarterback can't beat out McCoy.
When rookie minicamp begins for the Browns on Friday, Weeden will have to adjust to a new offensive system, more complex looks from the defense, and a different viewpoint when the ball is snapped.
At Oklahoma State, Weeden orchestrated a fast-paced, spread attack from the shotgun. With the Browns, he will be expected to take more snaps from under center.
While this doesn't seem like a challenging transition, Weeden will have to work on his footwork. The advantage is you don't have to take your eyes off the defense under center like you do when you catch the ball in shotgun.
Asked if he was looking forward to seeing Weeden under center, Shurmur said: "Yeah, I am looking forward to him executing as a quarterback, whether we are under center or in the shotgun, all of which happens in the NFL. I am looking forward to watching him operate.”
While Shurmur stuck with the party line that Weeden won't be anointed the starter just yet, most believe the Browns are looking for the 28-year-old rookie to play right away. Weeden would have to struggle in training camp and the preseason not to beat out McCoy.
“I’ll decide who the starter’s going to be when we play against Philadelphia,” Shurmur said.