Browns should have named Weeden earlier

August, 6, 2012
8/06/12
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Brandon Weeden was named the Browns' starting quarterback, coach Pat Shurmur announced after Monday's practice.

"There's no looking back," Shurmur told reporters, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

There was never any doubt on who would be the Browns' starter. The only question was: What was taking the Browns so long to make a decision?

The coaching staff had already determined that Weeden would be the starter because he took all of the snaps with the first-team offense for the first eight days of training camp. Even if Weeden struggled during camp, the Browns were going to have to stick with Weeden. In reality, this isn't a playoff year for the Browns. One of the big goals for this season is determining whether Weeden is a starting quarterback in this league.

When a team invests a first-round pick in a 28-year-old quarterback, he's going to play right away. Bringing Weeden along slowly isn't in the cards when he will turn 30 in the second month of the 2013 season.

The Browns should have named Weeden the starter at the June mandatory minicamp. Yes, the announcement should have come nine weeks ago. The Colts and Redskins wasted no time in handing the ball to Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. The Browns should have followed suit. It would have put more pressure on Weeden, but he could've handled it. He already looked like the starter at that point by his confidence and comfort level in the offense.

This decision goes beyond the age factor. It only takes one drill to see Weeden has the strongest and most accurate arm on the team. Colt McCoy, who averaged 5.9 yards per pass attempt (33rd in the NFL), and Seneca Wallace, who is 1-8 over the past three seasons as a starter, were never a threat to the 22nd overall pick in the 2012 draft.

Shurmur declined to name the primary backup to Weeden. Now, that is a real quarterback battle. The competition for the Browns' starting quarterback job was always a charade.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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