Brandon Weeden's struggles as a rookie with the Cleveland Browns are well-documented. The 29-year-old threw just 14 touchdown passes to 17 interceptions, prompting many to question whether he truly is a franchise quarterback. The Browns signed Jason Campbell as competition in the offseason, and added Brian Hoyer this week to pad out the depth chart. Given that Weeden is standing on rocky ground, what are the chances someone else will start this season in Cleveland?
Head coach Rod Chudzinski confirmed recently that Weeden has been taking first-team reps in practice, ahead of Campbell and Thaddeus Lewis (perhaps on his way out after Hoyer's signing). ESPN Cleveland's Tony Grossi also felt that Weeden will eventually win the starting job, provided he plays up to his capabilities. Chris Pokorny at Dawgs By Nature agreed:
At this point, I think the Browns are still planning on entering the season with Brandon Weeden as their starting quarterback. The signing of Hoyer intensifies a possible competition between him and Jason Campbell, though.
Jason Campbell appears to have a legitimate chance of becoming the outright starter, however. He reportedly outplayed Weeden last Thursday, albeit against the No. 2 defense. Steve Doerchuk of the Canton Repository praised Campbell's arm and his "Roethlisberger-like size." Campbell has never had a sub-1:1 TD:INT ratio in his nine-year career. He was serviceable in his last two seasons playing with the Oakland Raiders and the Chicago Bears, completing 61 percent of his passes at 6.6 yards per attempt for eight touchdowns and six interceptions.
Hoyer is considered a long shot to compete for the starting job. Experts have been high on the fifth-year quarterback, however, despite his struggles when forced into action by the Arizona Cardinals last season. At the very least, Hoyer gives the Browns solid depth at the position in case of emergency. Although it's somewhat of a rarity these days given roster restrictions, don't be surprised if the Browns keep all three quarterbacks on their final roster.