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Brandon Weeden 'surprised' by Browns signing Brian Hoyer

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Brandon Weeden would like to start, coach. (USATSI)
Brandon Weeden gets some added competition for the starting QB job. (USATSI)

The Browns made a fairly unsurprising and innocuous personnel move this week, signing quarterback Brian Hoyer to their roster.

With some uncertainty at the position, you can't blame them. But incumbent starter Brandon Weeden was still "surprised" by the decision to bring in someone else.

"I was surprised, but that's the nature of the beast," Weeden told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Friday during a charity event. "It's part of this business and if you start worrying about it, that's too much to worry about. That's my mentality going forward."

Weeden has every right to be confident: Joe Banner said he's the starter and there's going to be competition for him on the roster. That competition comes in the form of Hoyer and the recently-signed Jason Campbell. (Campbell, by the way, told Cabot he wasn't surprised at all the Browns signed Hoyer.)

Weeden has also said himself he fully expects to be the starter.

Nevermind that coach Rob Chudzinski said it's "too early" to commit to Weeden as the starter; he'll get every chance to win the job so the new regime in Cleveland can evaluate him for their long-term prospects.

The one thing that should make Weeden a little nervous? The kudos Browns GM Mike Lombardi's previously heaped on Hoyer. As Cabot points out, Lombardi was effusive in his praise of Hoyer while working at NFL Network as an analyst.

"I think Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett are starters," Lombardi said in 2011. "I've said this many times: If I would have taken the GM job of the 49ers, I would have gone after Brian Hoyer, because I think he has all the traits and characteristics. If I were the Cleveland Browns, I'd rather have Brian Hoyer behind center than Colt McCoy."

Fortunately for Weeden, he at least beat out McCoy, so maybe he falls above Lombardi's "Hoyer Line" for quarterbacks, wherever that may reside.

Unfortunately for Weeden, there's going to be pressure to perform out of the gates in 2013. If he struggles, or if he doesn't look like "the guy" as the team heads into the season, it wouldn't be stunning if they decided to roll the dice on a guy Lombardi publicly praised before.

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