BEREA, Ohio — The new Cleveland Browns coach and offensive coordinator both had several chances Wednesday to say that Brandon Weeden would be their guy at quarterback next season.
That can’t give him a lot of confidence heading into the spring, especially when coach Rob Chudzinski said it would be “premature” to say right now that Weeden is the team’s starter.
Chudzinski then rattled off a coach-speak answer about staff and personnel and making sure all are on the same page and that kind of thing.
But the best Chudzinski and Norv Turner could say about Weeden was that he has the “skill set” a team would want.
Otherwise, they played the “too soon” card.
“For me to give you a big evaluation on Brandon would not be fair,” Turner said. “I first of all haven’t met him, and I just started looking at tape.”
How the quarterback saga plays out (again) will be one of the more discussed topics of the Browns’ offseason.
But the difference between this offseason and the one a year ago is stark: There are no Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III types in the upcoming NFL Draft. Alex Smith anyone?
This, combined with the likelihood that new defensive coordinator Ray Horton favors the 3-4, means there could be significant retooling this offseason, with rush linebackers needed and adjustments required by defensive linemen, and possibly a new quarterback brought up to speed.
Yes, it would appear the Browns’ carousel of change could be cranking up again.
Most of Turner’s news conference dealt with a lack of specifics other than one key fact: Turner will call plays, under the direction of Chudzinski.
“Norv’s been one of the best play-callers in the league for a long time,” Chudzinski said.
Chudzinski added it was important for him to be coach of the entire team and not be pigeon-holed as an offensive guy only. So he’ll rely on Turner and his many years of experience that includes calling plays in Dallas, Washington, Oakland and San Diego.
The decision to let Turner call plays is sound and logical, which is to be expected from a smart, logical coach.
Otherwise, Turner talked about the inconsistency of youth, learning what guys do best and asking them to do that, and making sure the coaches are all on the same page. Between the front-office collaboration described by Joe Banner and the “same page” described by Chudzinski and Turner, the Berea offices soon could turn into one, large hugfest.
Turner studied the Browns before his Chargers lost to them 7-6 this season, and he said he saw some potential. He spoke well of the receivers, the offensive line and of running back Trent Richardson.
“I saw guys who, when they were doing things right, they did them very well,” he said.