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Published: Wednesday, 8/14/2013

Browns ponder QB decision

Weeden sharp, but not starter yet

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Brandon Weeden has been sharp in training camp, but has yet to win the Browns' starting quarterback job. Brandon Weeden has been sharp in training camp, but has yet to win the Browns' starting quarterback job.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

BEREA, Ohio — Training camp is over. The Browns’ quarterback competition isn’t.

Coach Rob Chudzinski wouldn’t commit Tuesday to naming a starting quarterback for Cleveland’s season opener, saying there remains a “close” battle between Brandon Weeden — the presumed starter — and veteran backup Jason Campbell.

Weeden has taken every snap with the starters during camp, and he had a strong performance in the Browns’ preseason opener last week against St. Louis. The second-year quarterback has made progress in Cleveland’s new offense. He looks comfortable and composed. He has said and done everything right.

Chudzinski wants more.

“There’s a point where I will name a starting quarterback,” Chudzinski said. “I am not ready to do it yet.”

Chudzinski was asked to assess the race between Weeden and Campbell, who was signed as a free agent in March.

“I think it’s still close,” Chudzinski said. “We are finding out every game. These games are important opportunities for guys to show what they can do.”

Weeden knows he must continue to impress Cleveland’s new front office, which didn’t draft him and handpicked Campbell. Weeden completed 10 of 13 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown against the Rams. He will need to keep it up to keep his job.

Weeden has little doubt that he will be the one behind center on Sept. 8, when the Browns play the Miami Dolphins.

“I’m confident that I’m going to be, but I’ve got to prove it to the other guys, the guys upstairs that I am the guy,” he said. “The only way I can do that is play well and keep continuing to get better. ... It’s a competitive sport. It’s a competitive position. And it being my second year, things didn’t go as well as obviously I wanted them to last year.

“That means I have to show these guys that I can play and show these guys that I can be the man. It’s just one more obstacle I’ve got to overcome, but I’ve just got to worry about what I can control.”

RICHARDSON TO PLAY: Trent Richardson doesn’t have to wait and wonder any longer.

He’s finally going to play for the Browns in an NFL exhibition game.

Cleveland’s second-year star running back was thrilled to find out he’ll play in Thursday night’s preseason game against the Detroit Lions. Richardson was held out of last week’s opener against St. Louis by coach Rob Chudzinski as a precaution because the former first-round pick was still recovering from a shin injury and the Browns didn’t want to take any chances.

But following Tuesday’s practice, the Browns’ final one of training camp open to the public, Richardson was told by reporters that Chudzinski plans to use him for “a couple series.”

“Oh, he told you I’m playing?” Richardson said, surrounded by media members standing near the goal post. “Hey, I’m surprised like y’all and I’m happy, and I can’t wait to get up out there.”

Richardson missed the entire preseason as a rookie a year ago while recovering from knee surgery. He had hoped to play in all four games this summer, but the Browns took the safe route last week and rested him against the Rams.

Now it’s time to turn Richardson loose. He worked extensively with the starters during practice, then Chudzinski announced Richardson will play.

Not a lot, but some.

“I kind of had a feeling he was going to say yeah today because he had me going in there with starters today,” Richardson said. “It felt good when I was out there and I’m happy coach told y’all I can play.”



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