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Did Mike Holmgren pull rank on Brandon Weeden pick?

The Cleveland Browns have been hunting for a franchise quarterback ever since Bill Belichick rattled the city by releasing Bernie Kosar midway through the 1993 season.

The man in charge of finding that elusive prize today -- Browns president Mike Holmgren -- believes Brandon Weeden won't disappoint.

The Browns turned heads last week when they pulled the trigger on the Oklahoma State quarterback with the 22nd overall pick in the draft. The popular thinking was Cleveland would wait until the 37th pick. But when the Tennessee Titans snagged Kendall Wright at No. 20, the Browns bypassed their need at wide receiver and shifted gears.

Holmgren relayed a backroom conversation he shared with general manager Tom Heckert during the draft. Holmgren didn't specify the exchange was over Weeden, but ESPN Cleveland connected those dots. Did the trade up for running back Trent Richardson at No. 3 lead to this chat? Possibly. It sure doesn't sound like the preamble to selecting tight end Brad Smelley with the 247th pick.

"I said, 'Tom, do you want to do this?' " Holmgren said after the draft. "He said, 'I don't think I do. I think it's too much or too strong or whatever.'

"Then I said, 'Well, we may have to.' Then he goes, 'Well, if we have to, then you have to tell me because I won't do it.'

"I said, 'OK, then I might have to tell you.' "

The rest is history. Drafting Weeden all but buried Colt McCoy's status as the Browns' starter. ESPN Cleveland reported McCoy's role was in hot water before the draft, after the quarterback's father publicly responded to the team's handling of his son's Week 14 concussion against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

We're not sure that matters. If Weeden's arm does what the team expects, he's going to play immediately.

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