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Trent Richardson named likely starter for Browns

No surprises out of Cleveland, where Pat Shurmur hinted Thursday that Trent Richardson is closing in on the team's starting running back job.

The Browns coach told The Plain Dealer it's "probably safe" to assume the first-round pick will sit atop the depth chart when the Philadelphia Eagles come to town for the season opener.

Other news and notes out from this week's minicamp:

Brandon Weeden has been praised for his arm strength and accuracy in Browns practices, but the rookie passer suffered through precision issues Wednesday, according to Marty Gitlin of Weeden underthrew receivers and was intercepted by free safety Usama Young on a pass intended for tight end Evan Moore. Shurmur told reporters this week he wants to seal up the quarterback competition by training camp. The second-year coach expanded on the already decided race between Weeden and Colt McCoy, saying Thursday wants to see a "good body" of work before making his decision.

Excuse Montario Hardesty for ignoring the Richardson nugget from above. He believes he's every bit the runner the former Alabama star is: "Oh, yeah," Hardesty told The Plain Dealer. "That's just confidence. You have to have that in the NFL. I feel like I'm as good any back that's playing in the league."

Hardesty spent the offseason working out with some of the NFL's top-flight backs and came away with a promising self-assessment.

"That's how I know I can still be one of the best in the NFL," he said. "I trained in Florida with a lot of guys that are considered big-time running backs, including Arian (Foster), and I know I'm just as good."

No end to the lofty chatter here in June.

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