Browns give their QB carousel another spin

October, 24, 2013
10/24/13
9:10
AM ET
Say this for the Cleveland Browns: They should be used to working with a new quarterback.

"This is our third time with a different quarterback, so I think we're ready for it," receiver Josh Gordon said after Jason Campbell was named the starter Wednesday over Brandon Weeden.

Some teams start three quarterbacks in 10 seasons. The Browns will start their third in eight games. It's the fifth time since 1999 the Browns have used three quarterbacks in a season.

[+] EnlargeJason Campbell, Brian Hoyer and Brandon Weeden
Ron Schwane/USA TODAY SportsThis will be the fifth time since 1999 that the Browns use three quarterbacks in a single season.
The move is for performance reasons. Weeden started the first two games before being replaced by Brian Hoyer. Hoyer hurt his knee in Week 5 and was replaced by Weeden. But Weeden has played so poorly that he's been replaced by Campbell.

The Hollies sang about being "On a Carousel." The Browns have perfected it.

"I feel like that's what the coaches wanted, the front office wanted," Gordon said. "If that's what they feel is right, that was the right move."

Gordon conceded that three starters in eight games is "a little different."

"But I think we can definitely overcome it if it's a big problem," he said. "I don't see it as a big problem. I think we'll be fine."

"It can be [tough]," Davone Bess said. "That's the nature of this business. Obviously you want consistency at the quarterback position, knowing who's gonna be there every week. But that's [life in] the NFL."

Weeden was in the locker room, but declined (cordially) to speak with the media. His future now is in serious limbo. He's 30, he was given two opportunities to lead the Browns and he's lost his chance. A year after being welcomed as a first-round draft pick and strong-armed starter, he seems to have lost his confidence and his nerve. It seemed, midway through his rookie season, he'd have a future. But he struggled late in 2012, and this season never seemed to take hold of the starter's role.

"It's not about one person," Campbell said. "I know everyone wanted to say it's about Brandon. But it really wasn't about one person. We all as a collective group have to do a better job, day in and day out, of doing a better job."

Coach Rob Chudzinski said the team will evaluate the quarterback spot week by week, and said one of the reasons Campbell is starting was that he fit the need for Sunday's game against Kansas City. A lot can happen, and Campbell understands as well as anyone. Two years ago he was playing his best when he started in Oakland and had the Raiders on their way to a 4-2 start. In a game against the Browns, he scrambled but separated his shoulder when tackled by Chris Gocong and Scott Fujita.

That was the last time Campbell was a full-time starter.

Now he returns as the starter for the team that put an end to his last best chance to succeed.

Pat McManamon

ESPN Cleveland Browns reporter

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