|Coach Rob Chudzinski and owner Jimmy Haslam meet with the media on Friday. (US Presswire)|
On Thursday night, the Browns hired Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski to become their next coach. A day later, Chudzinski, now in his third stint with the organization, was noncommittal on the future of quarterback Brandon Weeden, the team's first-round pick nine months ago.
"I don't want to get into specific players right now, any of the players on the roster," Chudzinski said, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "I've seen a little bit and until I get the full look at the 16-game schedule and have the opportunity to see that with our staff, I'm not going to comment and be premature."
Fair enough, especially if Chudzinski brings in Norv Turner, which CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora suggested is a real possibility. Turner's track record as a head coach might not be all that impressive, but he has had success as an offensive coordinator, particularly when it comes to working with quarterbacks.
Not surprisingly, Weeden, 29, had an uneven rookie season. He completed 57.4 percent of his passes for 3,385 yards with 14 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.
Whoever is under center for the Browns in 2013, Chudzinski said the plan is to have a "vertical, downfield passing game and a balanced offense. ... We're going to focus on running and throwing the ball and doing whatever we need to do to win."
When Jimmy Haslam became the Browns' new majority owner in early August, the first question that he asked then-team president Mike Holmgren was, "Can Brandon Weeden play?"
Five months later, Chudzinski is tasked with finding the answer. Complicating matters: Even though the Browns have the No. 6 pick in April's NFL Draft, this year's quarterback class lags well behind the record-setting group from a year ago. Free agency isn't much better. Which means that, barring a trade, Cleveland's 2013 quarterback situation could look a lot like the 2012 version with Weeden and Colt McCoy battling for first-team reps.
Of course, we wouldn't be having this conversation if the Browns had beaten the Redskins to the punch 10 months ago and pulled off that pre-draft trade with the Rams for the rights to Robert Griffin III.
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