The Cleveland Browns signed quarterback Jason Campbell to a two-year contract this week. The implication is that he will push Brandon Weeden for the starting job.
Campbell led the Oakland Raiders to a 4-2 record during the 2011 season before a season-ending injury. To replace Campbell the Raiders traded high draft picks to acquire quarterback Carson Palmer from the Cincinatti Bengals but, the team finished 8-8. Campbell spent the 2012 season with the Chicago Bears.
The Browns have signed Campbell not to mentor Weeden, but to see how each learn offensive coordinator Norv Turner‘s schemes and plays. Each quarterback has the physical tools to play the position and and have similar issues with game-day accuracy, but not arm strength. Weeden has familiarity with the players, but not the coaches. Campbell does not not know the team, but has played under coaches that have been influenced by Turner.
From his experience in the NFL, Campbell will bring a high level of adaptability to the Browns. He has yet to work with any members of the offense, and if the Browns look to make many more changes on that side of the ball, they are interrupting the development of an offensive unit that they have yet to even coach.
It is very possible that Colt McCoy gets a chance to start for this team. They may also release him or trade him before training camp. The quarterback position can go any number of directions at this point. Each of those three, as well as Thaddeus Lewis, bring something to the position that the coaches want to see. If you look at this optimistically, then the coaches are simply looking for the guy who will be the best fit for this team. They need a leader who can move this offense from day one of training camp.
There is a lot of potential in the offensive group that the Browns are looking at, and often times coaches go with potential to see what happens. If the coaches could get a chance to work with this offensive group before the draft, they would have a much easier time assessing the situation.
There is a balance between maintaining player chemistry, and putting the right players on the field. Coach Turner has been around long enough and will make this offense successful in the least amount of time possible. Obviously teams want to have the right quarterback, and the Browns are playing it safe in order to make sure they have a good fit for their offense on the roster.