Monday, October 7, 2013
A MarQueis of all trades
By Pat McManamon
The Cleveland Browns might go into Sunday’s game against the Lions with two quarterbacks.
If that happens, MarQueis Gray, a waiver wire pickup from San Francisco in September, would serve as the No. 3 behind Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell.
Coach Rob Chudzinski said the Browns were continuing to examine their options in light of the season-ending injury to Brian Hoyer, but there did not seem to be a great fervor to add a third quarterback. CEO Joe Banner has long said he would not pick up a player if he’s not part of the long-term solution, but a reserve quarterback might be an exception to that policy. That being said, a Vince Young, Matt Flynn or Matt Leinart would not seem to fit the profile.
Chudzinski confirmed that Weeden will start, with Campbell the backup.
If both are injured, Gray would play -- even though he’s been working at tight end, fullback and special teams before this week.
Had Weeden been injured Thursday night, Gray would have gone in the game because Campbell was inactive.
“They were prepping me on the sideline,” Gray said. “They gave me a couple plays that I would be running. If need be, I would be ready to go.”
But without practice. Gray said he has not taken a single snap in practice at quarterback.
This week, he’ll get more, but it won’t be a lot -- Chudzinski said Gray would receive one period of work “on air,” without defenders.
“I got a lot to learn,” said Gray, who also will play fullback if Chris Ogbonnaya does not return from a concussion.
Gray said he’s played quarterback his entire life -- before this season. He was heavily recruited out of Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, and attended Minnesota. He sat out his freshman year because of irregularities in his ACT score, played quarterback and wide receiver as a redshirt freshman, played mainly as a receiver as a sophomore, started at quarterback as a junior, and played quarterback and receiver as a senior.
He threw 295 passes his college career, when he ran three different types of offenses.
“The I, the spread and the Pistol,” he said. “I pretty much played in most of the offenses.”
The Browns rolled the dice with two quarterbacks against Buffalo. They might keep rolling them. If they do and the starter is hurt again, their backup will be a September waiver wire pickup who is also the third tight end and backup fullback.