The Honest Interview Series, Rob Chudzinski 10.28

Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

In today's honest interview series, Head Coach Rob Chudzinski would like to explain why he was quick to name Jason Campbell the starter, and why he didn't break camp with either of the veterans.


Coach Chudzinski immediately named Jason Campbell the starter for the team's upcoming home game against the Baltimore Ravens.  He was asked a few questions about the quarterback postion.

1. Why was Brandon Weeden chosen to start the season?

"We went with Brandon over Brian and Jason for a few reasons. The first is that we're trying to sell tickets to folks in Cleveland, and it's near impossible to get people amped about the possibility of a Campbell/Hoyer blahfest.  We gave every first team rep to Weeden because we wanted to see if he could be ABOVE average, because he's the only guy we had in camp that has the world class talent. Unfortunately, we were reminded again that all the talent in the world can't trump what's going on between an athlete's ears.

You'd think my bosses would have figured that out with Jamarcus Russell, but I digress.

2. But why wasn't this obvious in training camp?

"You saw the same practices and preseason games that I did. Against simple coverages and press man, Weeden is great. In college, he lit those defenses up. Unfortunately, he hasn't been able to do much against real defenses. Too bad we don't have any games against the NFC east, those defenses are the most similar teams we would see to BIG 12 teams.

Brandon is really one play away from playing and breaking out of his funk. Unfortunately, every time he runs that play, he either throws the ball out of bounds or to some guys in different jerseys."

3. So, you weren't bluffing when you said the competition between Campbell and Weeden was "tight."

"Yeah, sounded like coach speak, didn't it? All three of these these guys are pretty similar dudes. We didn't expect any of them to be Tom Brady, but we were hoping that there was one guy that could prove to be better than a game manager. As it stands, half a season of Weeden not measuring up to snuff meant that we'd be in position to grab the talent we want next year, with a convenient excuse of it being our first season covering the fan angst. Unfortunately, the injury pushed our time table back"

4. Do you think Weeden can still be a winning NFL quarterback?

"Sure I do. As long as he doesn't have to throw more than 15 times a game and has a dominant defense, running game, and pass blocking......Brandon could be very successful"

5. Why was Brandon re-inserted as the primary backup to Hoyer, if he was so limited?

"Let me spell out a scenario for you. If Brian Hoyer struggled or got hurt and we immediately inserted Jason Campbell, the Weeden Truthers(tm) would be left wondering every time the offense struggled if it would be better with Brandon. They would assume that the reason for his struggles in game one and two was a lack of a reliable game breaking wide receiver, and that JC and BH only really experienced success because of the better blocking and weapons. Brandon didn't play badly in his second start, and that created some doubts. I think we dispelled those notions adequately while maintaining draft position. There is now very little doubt in this city about where the team stands."

6. What do you think of the way Jason Campbell played?

"Woah mama, was that a surprise. We had tempered expectations about a career journeyman playing against an aggressive and legitimate defense. Jason got the ball out of his hand quickly and got it to our big playmakers. He ignored Greg Little, for the most part, and if Davone didn't eat all that popcorn before the game, I think we win in a tough environment on the road.

I wouldn't count on a repeat performance, but who knows. We're playing with house money."

7. What can you say about Jason's pocket presence and ability to read the field? Can Weeden learn something from him?

"You [as members of the media] are developing a bad habit of forgetting that this is one of the best pass blocking lines in the league, talent-wise. Also, Jason moved exceptionally well in the pocket, which is something that even the slowest of NFL quarterbacks can do. Weeden can do a lot to improve in this area; we're attacking him with nerf guns and water balloons in the hallway to try to speed up his response time."

"We've heard a lot of criticism about the way our plays develop and how long the routes take to run; sure looked quick and efficient, Sunday"

8. How can Campbell improve?

"He can lead his receivers a bit more, because last week he was slightly off target on a few passes that could have gone for big gains. Also, he can work on keeping Davone away from the baby oil pregame, and continue to avoid throwing anything even in the direction of Greg Little."

"Like I said earlier, improvement is a strong word here; I'd be tickled pink if he performed at this level most weeks. Don't get your hopes up, because that game was basically a high water mark for any quarterback that has played here in the last 6 years......and, because it's Cleveland, obviously."

9. What are Campbell's biggest obstacles to success?

"Our play calling doesn't even PRETEND to run the ball, and if we did, we would have to give it to practice squad players and the corpse of Willis McGahee. Receivers running the correct route and actually catching the ball when it hits them in the hands is a crapshoot, and our division is full of defenders that are long on mean streaks and short on brains. Also, if he starts to suck, our fans will boo him in about thirty seconds because they're waiting for and expecting failure. It's also about to get cold. Lastly.....there's basically no scenario in which he plays to a level that will preclude us from drafting a guy to play in front of him next May, which is a bummer for him."

10. What did the other players and coaches think of Jason's performance?

Fozzy Whittaker: "I'm really excited to be playing football in the NFL. I don't give a [redacted] who is at quarterback.

Paul Kruger: "I CANT WAIT TO FIGURATIVELY MURDER PEOPLE NEXT WEEK. WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?"

Greg Little: "I can't believe I spent all that time at Weeden's crappy hometown in my off-season to practice with the wrong QB"

Josh Gordon: "Is it Tuesday yet?"

11. What did the improved offensive play let you do with the playbook?

"With Campbell, offensive coordinator Norv Turner was able to call the flea-flicker and some bootlegs and roll-outs. We were able to do everything we wanted to do.

EDITORS NOTE: This was the actual quote. Nothing more honest than that.

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