Shurmur: ‘We don’t hand anybody anything’

Rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden is being handed a new

playbook, helmet and uniform this weekend.

The Cleveland Browns don’t intend to give him the starting


At least not yet.

Coach Pat Shurmur made it clear again during a conference call

Thursday in advance of the team’s rookie minicamp that Weeden will

have to beat out Colt McCoy and Seneca Wallace to be the team’s

starting QB next season.

”We don’t give anybody anything,” Shurmur said. ”They have

got to earn it in our eyes.”

Weeden, the Oklahoma State quarterback selected No. 22 overall

by the Browns, and Alabama running back Trent Richardson, who was

taken third, will be among 37 players the Browns will have at their

three-day camp in Berea, Ohio. Shurmur wasn’t able to hold a rookie

camp last season because of the NFL lockout and is looking forward

for the chance to coach young players.

”I am looking to see guys compete,” Shurmur said. ”I am

looking to see guys that will show us why we drafted them, that

they have the ability to learn and then have the ability to then go

out and do it on the field.”

Although the Browns haven’t anointed Weeden their starter, it’s

safe to assume the 28-year-old will replace McCoy behind center.

The Browns wouldn’t have selected Weeden, a former minor league

baseball player, in the first round if they didn’t intend to put

him on the field immediately.

Shurmur was adamant that there will be a competition and that

there are no favorites.

He plans to explain that to Weeden and all the other new players

before they take the field.

”We drafted these players for a reason,” Shurmur said. ”We

drafted them with the idea that they could come in and start or

until they start, could be effective role players. But, they have

to come here and do it. By doing it, that’s when we talk about

competing. That’s where they are at and they understand that.

”They have been competing as athletes since they were very

young boys. They don’t expect anything will be given to them

because that was the case when they went to college as well. I am

sure they all will look at this as this is just another step in

their football careers.”

Shurmur said Richardson will take part in all the on-field

activities and won’t be slowed by the minor knee surgery he had

after helping the Crimson Tide win the national championship.

Shurmur said he’s looking forward to seeing Weeden ”executing

as a quarterback” and will be able to see him throw to former

Oklahoma State teammate Josh Cooper, a wide receiver and one of 15

undrafted free agents signed by the Browns on Wednesday. Shurmur

described Cooper as being similar to Danny Amendola, whom he

coached in St. Louis.

The Browns’ rookies underwent physicals and an orientation

program on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the agents for third-round pick John Hughes, a

defensive tackle from Cincinnati, and fourth-round pick

James-Michael Johnson, a linebacker from Nevada, said on Twitter

that their clients have signed deals with the Browns.

A team spokesman said the deals were not completed.