It's official: Brandon Weeden has been benched. In my game review, I highlighted all of Weeden's struggles this past Sunday against the Packers, and stated that it was time for a change to Jason Campbell. With no other quarterbacks on the roster, Campbell is the new starter by default. Head coach Rob Chudzinski made the announcement during Wednesday morning's press conference:
#Browns Chud said he made the decision Monday night to start Jason Campbell. "He's been productive, leadership, gives us best chance.''— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) October 23, 2013
#Browns HC Chud said QB Brandon Weeden being benched is ultimately about production & being consistent.— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) October 23, 2013
QB to be evaluated on week to week basis; going back & forth not ideal but fining production and consistency is what they want— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) October 23, 2013
Campbell becomes the third starting quarterback this season for Cleveland and will have a tough test this week against the 7-0 Kansas City Chiefs and a defense that has not allowed more than 17 points in a single game this season.
The expectation is not for Campbell to come in and light up the scoreboard: it's about trying to see if someone can come in to provide some stability to the offense. That includes things such as having better pocket presence to reduce the number of sacks, using his mobility to get out of the pocket, and not locking in to one receiver.
The last time Campbell was a full-time starting quarterback came in 2011 with the Oakland Raiders. He completed 60% of his passes with 6 touchdowns and 4 interceptions in 6 starts. The Raiders were 4-2 in games that Campbell started, but he suffered a season-ending injury in that sixth start...against the Cleveland Browns. Campbell had only taken five sacks during that stretch of games.
This preseason, Campbell completed 74% of his passes and threw one touchdown with the second-team offense.
With so many teams needing a quarterback due to injuries, you have to wonder if there is any chance the Browns would try to ship Weeden away via a trade soon. It happened in 2007 with Charlie Frye, who went to the Seahawks for a sixth-round draft pick, and the Browns sent Colt McCoy to the 49ers this offseason. With Weeden unlikely to be in the plans for next year, maybe another team, such as the Rams, would be interested in seeing if a change in environment for Weeden would help them:
And so Jason Campbell will start Sunday for the Browns. Brandon Weeden, anyone?— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 23, 2013