Browns' quarterback competition still ongoing
BEREA — Pat Shurmur still did not announce his timetable on proclaiming a starting quarterback, but he did say he likes the idea of keeping three quarterbacks, as opposed to two.
“I like that model,” Shurmur said. I favor keeping three.”
Shurmur said about half of the NFL teams use just two quarterbacks.
Although he wouldn’t commit to the pecking order, Shurmur admitted that there is room for Brandon Weeden, Seneca Wallace and Colt McCoy.
“That’s still a very real possibility,” Shurmur said. “I could see the scenario with all three on the team.”
Thaddeus Lewis, who is almost an afterthought this season was the third quarterback last year. He is the fourth quarterback currently on the roster.
“We’ll help him to get some reps,” Shurmur said. “He does a good job.”
Shurmur said he’s not worried about any distractions with the quarterbacks.
“I have no reservations however it works out,” he said. “I think competition in this sport and all sports is very real.
“Every year someone is coming in to compete and take your spot.”
Wallace was a bit outspoken about being the backup last year and said he didn’t really look at himself as a mentor to McCoy.
“Seneca is very competitive,” Shurmur said. “When he was competing, he was helping without knowing it.
“I’m well aware of what he said at the end of the season,” Shurmur said. “I’m glad he’s here.”
Wallace said the situation in 2012 is much different.
“I’m a realist,” Wallace said. “(Weeden) was drafted in the first round for a reason and at some point, he’s going to play.
“This is my 10th year,” Wallace said. “I know the ropes. I’m not naïve. We all know there might be competition, but at the end of the day we all know who will play.
“Last year was a different situation,” Wallace said. “Me and Colt were competing (to start).”
Wallace was asked if he thought all three players could be on the team.
“Who knows? Probably not,” Wallace said.
He was asked if he would be content if he was the third quarterback, behind Weeden and McCoy.
“Not really,” Wallace said. “The third guy isn’t active on game day. Can you say if you see all three (of us) here?”
McCoy is taking a different approach. He said he has not thought about being the backup or number three.
“I have not gone there in my mind,” McCoy said. “I’m going out there to practice with my mindset as the starter.”
McCoy didn’t respond to a hypothetical question about asking to be traded or released if he isn’t the starter.
“My mindset is to play and do my best,” he said. “I’m doing all things as if I’m the starting quarterback, but there are only certain things I can control and that’s all I am doing.”
McCoy said he’s not looking back at what could’ve been had the Browns had a full off-season last year and more offensive weapons.
“You can’t make excuses for things that happened in the past,” McCoy said. “My mindset is to get better every day. I look ahead every day as a new day a new opportunity.
However, McCoy did concede that Weeden is most likely going to end up being the starter.
“I understand we are trying to get Brandon ready.”
Weeden said he still doesn’t consider himself the starter.
“I can’t say that,” Weeden said. “Even though I’m getting a lot of the reps with the one’s, nothing is set in stone until it’s official.”
Weeden said it doesn’t bother him going to training camp not knowing he is the starter.
“That will all happen and it will take care of itself,” Weeden said. “I’m not up there making those decisions.
“I feel like I’ve come a long way since Day One,” he said. “I’m starting to be more comfortable and excited for what we’re doing.”
Benjamin Has Mixed Day: WR Travis Benjamin caught a deep ball down the sideline for a touchdown from QB Seneca Wallace and caught a couple of other nice passes, but he had trouble fielding punts later in practice.
“That was just at the end of practice and a little lack of focus,” he said.
Shurmur said he likes what he’s seen in the rookie from Miami.
“What he can do is catch the ball in the deep part of the field,” Shurmur said. “He’s a good route runner. He has quickness and can get separation.”
Benjamin knows he can out run most defenders, but is trying to develop techniques to get himself into the open.
“I come out every day to get better,” Benjamin said. “Knowing my speed, I can run past the defenders. I need to work on technique and little things.”
Benjamin admitted catching passes from QB Brandon Weeden is different from what he’s used to.
“(Weeden) has a little more touch than what I’m used to.”
When asked to elaborate he said,
“He has a strong arm and puts zip on the ball.”
Benjamin says he hopes to compete to break into the lineup as a rookie, either as a starter or on third down.
“I’m ready to come in and if the coaches call my number, I’ll be ready.”
Last Go Around: Tuesday was the first day of the last week of OTAs. The Browns will have sessions until Friday and then the structured part of the off-season will be over. Training camp is set to start in late July.
“We have three more structured team practices,” Shurmur said. “The rookies will have a couple more weeks and then the break.”
The rookies will conclude on June 27th and then have a rookie symposium in Canton until the 30th.
The rest of the OTAs are not open to the media.
Missing In Action: K Phil Dawson was the only player not present for OTAs. OL Stanley Daniels (undisclosed), FB Eddie Williams (back) and DL Brian Schaefering (sports hernia) did not participate in drills.
On the NBA: QB Brandon Weeden, who hails from Oklahoma State said the Thunder will win the NBA Finals in six games. WR Travis Benjamin, from Miami (Fla.) says it will be the Heat in six games.