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Published: Tuesday, 8/7/2012

Browns name Weeden starter at QB

ASSOCIATED PRESS

BEREA, Ohio -- Brandon Weeden won the Cleveland Browns' starting quarterback job without playing a game.

Cleveland coach Pat Shurmur announced what had been an open secret after practice on Monday: Weeden, the No. 22 overall pick, will start Friday night in Detroit.

"Brandon is the starter, and we're moving forward," Shurmur said. "We're rolling, and I'm not looking back."

Weeden has taken snaps with Cleveland's first-team offense throughout training camp. He was pleased by the decision.

"I busted my tail for 10 practices now and put in a lot of work," Weeden said. "I've had my ups and downs. We play Friday. My job is to get the team playing better and win games ... starting Friday."

Incumbent starter Colt McCoy is now competing with 10-year veteran Seneca Wallace for the backup job.

"I sat down with all three guys separately and told them," Shurmur said. "Colt was very professional. Disappointed, but he handled it well."

McCoy believes he showed improvement, but has come to grips with the direction Cleveland is headed.

"Guys," he said, "it is what it is. I worked so hard, and I felt so good. Every day I approach my job as a professional. I get here early and am the last guy to leave."

The 25-year-old then went to pose for pictures with fans and sign autographs.

A year ago, McCoy started the first 13 games before being inactive the last three with a concussion as Cleveland finished 4-12.

Now, Shurmur likes the progress displayed by all of the team's passers.

"I feel better about the quarterback position," he said. "We've got two guys here who can be number two. To me, it is a win-win situation."

Wallace took some snaps with the second-string offensive unit Monday, but Shurmur said McCoy likely will be first off the bench against the Lions.

Weeden said officially being No. 1 won't make him change his daily approach, though he is getting more comfortable working with veterans like All-Pro left tackle Joe Thomas and center Alex Mack.

"I'm getting in the huddle and joking with guys now. The chemistry is great," said Weeden, a 28-year-old rookie from Oklahoma State. "But it is all about wins and losses. I've got to show I'm the best guy to get wins."

Weeden will likely play one quarter against the Lions. He's eager to play more.

"Every rep is vital," he said. "You can't get enough of them. You see guys in the league 12, 14 years like Peyton Manning, and they take as many as they can. I take every single one and learn."

Shurmur is confident Weeden will be able to guide Cleveland's west coast-style offense. The strong-armed former pitcher has looked sharp. Monday, he regularly found receivers on deep sideline patterns, routes that are generally acknowledged to be the toughest to complete.

"He gets with the program, he's accurate," Shurmur said. "He's wired right to play the position."



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