The Cleveland Browns have some serious decisions to make during the off-season. Do they roll with the starter Jason Campbell or the backup in Brandon Weeden? Let us take a look at both options and see who would be the better fit long-term for the Browns organization. The quarterback situation over the last few years has been a source of bad play. Both are basically the same age Campbell at 31 and Weeden at 30, but the difference is that Jason Campbell is a lot more seasoned at 31 having played for nine years.
Brandon Weeden drafted number one in 2012 by Cleveland, he is 6″3 and 220 lbs is a decent quarterback, but he is not a starting quarterback that is able to take the weekly punishment that a starter takes. Mentally he is tough, but his physical side is not in the same ballpark. In 2002 Weeden was drafted by the New York Yankees as a pitcher, he played for various organizations until 2006 when he quit baseball due to injury and bad play. In 2007 Weeden enrolled at Oklahoma State University and set a lot of records during his time there. He has been listed on the Browns injury report on five different occasions during the 2013 season. You cannot be effective and consistent if you are injured all the time. Weeden is not durable enough to be a starter. That is just the physical side of his game which in my estimation leaves too much to be desired. Coming into the NFL as a 28-year-old rookie does not help his longevity at the NFL level.
Now lets take a look at his production, at this point in his career Brandon Weeden has thrown more interceptions than he has touchdowns with 23 touchdowns to 26 interceptions. He has a QBR (Quarterback Rating) of 70.3 and it is about ten points under the NFL average. He needs work on reading defenses and coverages, and little nuances of the game that will come with seasoning. Do not get me wrong Brandon Weeden is NFL material, but he should not have been a first round pick. He is a short-term answer if you have an injured quarterback, but he is not a starter. In order for Weeden to be anymore than he is at present, he needs a coach/mentor to take him under his wing and teach him the skills that he is lacking.
That brings us to Jason Campbell who is the Browns starter right now. Drafted number one by the Washington Redskins in 2005 from Auburn University. He is 6″5 and weighs 230lbs. One of Campbell’s biggest strengths is being able grasp offensive concepts really well between his college time and time with the Redskins, Raiders, and the Chicago Bears. He is a big physical guy who needs an opportunity in a system where he can continue to develop. Starting when he was at Auburn, Campbell has found himself having to continually learn new offensive systems due to coaching changes. Campbell can be mobile if he needs to do so. He is much more durable than Brandon Weeden. He can be consistent and effective. He has a QBR (Quarterback Rating) of 84.7 which is about four points above the NFL average. Campbell has thrown 86 touchdowns to 57 interceptions during his nine-year career.
In my humble estimation if the Browns are not going to pick up an NFL ready quarterback in the upcoming draft then the choice is clear in which quarterback should be your starter for next year. Do not get me wrong, both Weeden and Campbell have work to do in the off-season, but Jason Campbell is just a better fit for what the Browns need under center.
The Browns off-season will be interesting to say the least, so let us just sit back and see what kinds of moves the organization makes to bring all the quarterback play or lack of play to an end.
Mike Samuels is the AFC North Division Leader and can be reached at email@example.com, on twitter @steeler_mike, and Http://www.facebook.com/TheSportsDude