Here in May, Mike Holmgren won't publicly anoint his starter, but reading between the lines, Colt McCoy needs to set the house on fire to upstage his rookie competition.
"We didn't draft Weeden -- I mean, because of his age -- he can't sit and watch for two or three years, but he's got to prove it," Holmgren, the Browns' president, said Wednesday on ESPN's "Mike and Mike" radio show. "How that will play out ... we're not forcing that at all."
It coincides with Holmgren's comments to a Cleveland radio station Tuesday:
"We drafted a young quarterback that we think can come in and play right away, but we're not just going to hand him the football," Holmgren told WKRK-FM, via The Plain Dealer. "I still love Colt McCoy (but) we had a chance to get a mature quarterback who has a chance to come in and contribute right away. Whether that happens or not we have to let it play out.
"We have to let them compete. We have to let them play and see what happens. The fact that we drafted him so high means that we like him, but we also like Colt McCoy and we like Seneca (Wallace) as well."
Holmgren has maintained the Browns will continue to draft quarterbacks until they find a franchise passer -- and they'll keep drafting quarterbacks once they do. You're dead on arrival in the AFC North, much less beyond, without an elite player at the position.
Here we are a decade-plus into this experiment known as the "new Browns," and the heat is dialed up high in Cleveland. Weeden will play sooner rather than later.