BEREA—The rest of the season starts Sunday for the coaches, front office personnel and players of the Browns. Jimmy Haslam and Joe Banner have said on the record that they will all be under the microscope as the two make decisions pertaining to the future of the team.
However, there is probably no more of an important decision that the organization can make than whether Brandon Weeden is the franchise quarterback the team has so desperately been seeking.
The Browns will likely once again have a high draft pick in the first round, but not a second-round pick due to the selection of Josh Gordon in the second-round of the supplemental draft.
Do they even consider drafting another quarterback in the first-round next April?
Weeden has had an up-and-down season, as expected from a rookie in the NFL. He is 185-of 336 (55.1 pct.)for 2,088 yards with nine touchdowns and 12 interceptions. His rating is 67.9.
Pat Shurmur feels that Weeden can be the guy the Browns used a No. 1 draft choice to be. However, he said he's got to be better at taking care of the ball.
"I think he's got a chance to be an outstanding player," Shurmur said. "I don't think there's any question about it. That's it. He's got to lead us to victories and don't throw as many interceptions."
Shurmur was asked what does Weeden need to do to eliminate them.
"Don't throw them. Done. End of story."
After starting his NFL career with a zero touchdown, four interception game against the Eagles, Weeden has thrown nine touchdowns to just eight interceptions. Shurmur said that Weeden has all the tools, but it boils down to the decisions that he makes.
"The essence of a quarterback is you have to be a good decision maker and you have to decide when it's important to try to be aggressive with a throw and then it's also important to then, of course, be smart with the football," he said. "I've looked at all those interceptions and there were times when (Weeden) could've made better decisions.
"Then of course things that happen when a ball bounces off a guy's chest," he said. "So you look at all those things. You don't want to play anxious football, but you also have to be smart and I think that's something we all have to come to grips with."
This week's counterpart for Weeden, Tony Romo, has been embattled in a similar fashion as he's never been able to lead the Cowboys to a championship. Romo is in his 10th NFL season and at the age of 32 some in Dallas wonder if he's the answer for the Cowboys.
In 2012, Romo is 230-of-344 (66.9 pct.) for 2,603 yards with 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and a 85.2 rating.
However, he has proven he can lead his team to victory when the game is on the line, something that Weeden has yet to do. Romo's career QB rating in the fourth quarter is 100.6, while Weeden's is 63.2 in his rookie season.
"The game is never over when (Romo's) got the ball in his hand," Shurmur said. "He's got outstanding weapons to throw the football to."
TRich Good: RB Trent Richardson is expected to be as healthy as he has been in quite a while. After missing the preseason recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, he suffered bruised ribs against the Bengals. He is coming off of back-to-back 100-yard rushing games. With a week of rest after the bye week, Shurmur was asked if Richardson was healthy.
"He says he is I haven't like punched him in the ribs or anything, but he's going be out there practicing," Shurmur said. "He said he feels good."
Captain Ben: TE Ben Watson was named the fourth captain for this week's game.
Only Dimitri: The only player on the active roster not practicing Wednesday was DB Dimitri Patterson (ankle).
TV Time: The Travel Channel has been around Berea filming for the show that will debut on Dec. 4 about the Browns and what it entails to travel a team in the NFL. The show is being produced with NFL Films and RIVR Media. Dee Haslam, the wife of owner Jimmy Haslam, is the founder and CEO of RIVR Media.