New Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski made it clear at offensive coordinator Norv Turner's introductory press conference that it's "premature" to install incumbent Brandon Weeden as the starting quarterback.
Although Weeden's strong arm is well-suited to Chudzinski's vertical, downfield passing attack, owner Jimmy Haslam reaffirmed to reporters in New Orleans that the Browns will stage a quarterback competition this year.
"I think Norv and Chud have been very open that they like a lot of what Brandon (Weeden) does," Haslam said. "But we're going to have competition at that position. And I think competition makes us all better, and we'll see where that competition comes from."
The Browns' front office is "studying" their options in free agency, the trade market and the draft. San Francisco 49ers trade bait Alex Smith "loved" playing for Turner during the coordinator's one-year stint in the Bay Area. Considering his history with team president Joe Banner, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick could also be an option. Browns backup quarterback Colt McCoy is reportedly in Cleveland's plans for the 2013 season, but his skillset is a poor fit for Chudzinski's offense.
If we were setting the odds, it would be less than 50-50 that Weeden opens the season as the Browns' starting quarterback a year after the organization reached for him as a "panicked" first-round draft pick.