Browns coach Rob Chudzinski announced Tuesday that Brandon Weeden will start in Cleveland's season opener against the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 8. The only surprise to the decision is how long it took.
"Brandon has earned this job," Chudzinski told reporters. "He's gained my complete trust."
Chudzinski praised Weeden's ability to maneuver the offseason competition with challengers Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer. All three quarterbacks likely will win a roster spot, Chud confirmed, but discussions with offensive coordinator Norv Turner and team brass all pointed to Weeden as the best option for 2013.
"I've always believed in guys earning things," Chudzinski said. "And he's earned it ... he's responded very well."
It's no small victory for Weeden, who struggled as a rookie but has shown improvement in two preseason victories. What stands out about the second-year passer is his arm strength. Weeden can fling it anywhere on the field, but Chudzinski also praised the quarterback's improved footwork and poise in the pocket.
There's still plenty of pressure on Weeden. Maybe not from Campbell or Hoyer, but from a new front office that -- according to everything we've heard all summer -- doesn't see Weeden, already 29, as the quarterback of the future. If that's so, Weeden has a chance to change minds, especially those inside the building.