BEREA, Ohio – Thursday was the third day of Browns OTA practices and the first open to the media. It was a beautiful, sunny day that featured a practice with a noticeably faster tempo than has been seen in Berea recently, Brandon Weeden operating the first-team offense and head coach Rob Chudzinski answering a question about the quarterbacks and the possibility of adding another by saying, “all of that remains to be seen.”
And, yes, what happens from here very much remains to be seen.
Multiple reports early Thursday evening said the Browns have signed Cleveland-area native Brian Hoyer, who was released by the Arizona Cardinals early this week.
Again, the Browns are three days into OTAs. And they’ve decided to add a quarterback who’s now on his fourth team in nine months. That says something — maybe a lot — about what the decision makers have seen from Weeden and Jason Campbell in minicamp and the first three days of OTAs. We know zero about the team’s plans for Hoyer at this point, but you don’t sign a guy a week into OTAs to be a third-stringer.
That makes what remains to be seen pretty interesting. When it comes to not having a certain starting quarterback, interesting doesn’t usually mean good.
Perpetually interesting, these Browns. For 14 years now — minus Derek Anderson’s three magical months in 2007 and Tim Couch’s periodic flashes of brilliance in the back half of 2002 — this franchise has searched for anything resembling an answer at quarterback, and that’s why the people calling the shots for this franchise have changed so much.
This new group has now added another to the mix. If there wasn’t really a quarterback race before — and there probably wouldn’t have been had Weeden been anything resembling good from now through August — there is one now.
To this untrained eye, the best quarterback on the field at Thursday’s practice was Campbell, the veteran signed in March to his fourth team in five seasons. That opinion means nothing; really, one May practice means nothing in the grand scheme, especially with a new staff installing new things and still on what has to be a nametag basis with its players.
But now a new guy joins the mix; a guy who, like the other guys, has played a little and has done little to indicate that great things are ahead. We don’t know how they’ll try to spin it, but the Browns certainly have a quarterback question and might have a full-fledged quarterback competition on their hands, one that brings back bad memories of Anderson vs. Charlie Frye and Anderson vs. Brady Quinn and — I guess — Colt McCoy vs. Seneca Wallace, if that ever really happened.
Here’s what Weeden said not long after Thursday’s practice when asked how he’d felt out there: “My third day was not as good as my first two days. Day One and Day Two, I was making completions everywhere.”
Here’s what Weeden said when asked if he thought he’d be the starter: “I’m approaching it that way. I’m approaching it that I’m going to take the next step and be that guy.”
The team’s latest move suggests, at very least, a dissenting opinion.
Stay tuned. As always, it promises to be interesting.