Browns coach Rob Chudzinski has announced that Jason Campbell will start at quarterback on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. The announcement comes after weeks of dismal performances by QB Brandon Weeden. Campbell is the third different starting QB in nine weeks and 20th different starter since 1999.
Chudzinski talked with the media about the decision, the Kansas City Chiefs and other issues.
"(We're) looking forward to playing Kansas City this week, an outstanding team, a very talented team [that is] well coached. I think (Chiefs Head Coach) Andy Reid has done a great job with them this season. If you look at their defense, they're one of the tops in the league in a number of categories: points allowed, takeaways and sacks – a great talent and a great scheme. Defensive line wise, they're big and strong there. (Chiefs DL) Dontari Poe is really playing good football. He's a force in there inside. (LB Tamba) Hali and (LB Justin) Houston on the outside at their backer positions really bring edge pressure and some outstanding play there. (Chiefs LB) Derrick Johnson has been playing good for a long time. He's good in all three downs as a run defender and pass defender, a very good football player. Their secondary is an outstanding secondary. Very solid at all three levels this team. (Chiefs DB) Brandon Flowers, as we know about, and (Chiefs DB Eric) Berry and (Chiefs DB Kendrick) Lewis at the safety positions really, really are playing well. Offensively, playing good football, mixing run and pass very well. They're efficient and can give you a lot of different formations and cause some issues from that standpoint. (Chiefs QB) Alex Smith is managing the offense very well. He's a run and pass threat. (Chiefs RB) Jamaal Charles is a dynamic player at the running back position as both a receiver and a runner. As far as their skills guys, (Chiefs TE Anthony) Fasano, (Chiefs WR Dwayne) Bowe and (Chiefs WR Donnie) Avery also give Alex Smith some options down the field. I really think their offensive line is very underrated; it's a very good offensive line. That group has done a great job at blocking both run and pass. Special teams are one of the tops in the league. They have an outstanding core group with their kicker (Chiefs K Ryan) Succop and punter (Chiefs P Dustin) Colquitt, (Chiefs PR Dexter) McCluster and (Chiefs KR Quintin) Demps as returners. It's a formidable unit. This will be another great challenge for our team, and we'll be ready and prepared at our best this week.
"I have decided that we'll start (QB) Jason Campbell this week. It's a tough decision. I believe that this is in the best interest of the team, ultimately, and gives us the best chance to win. I'm excited to see what Jason will do with this opportunity."
On when he made the decision to start Campbell:
"Monday. Monday night."
On what factors went into starting Campbell other than the fact he gives the team the best chance to win:
"Looking at Jason, the things that he brings to the table, his leadership, his experience and he's been productive and been successful in the league. You look at his arm strength, you look at his mobility and some of the things tie into it, and also from a gameplan standpoint, what we feel like for this game, ultimately, giving us the best chance."
On if QB Brandon Weeden's mental state contributed to starting Campbell:
"It really is about production and ultimately being consistent in that area."
On if Campbell will start a certain number of weeks or if it could go back and forth:
"Well we're going to evaluate it on a week-to-week basis. Again, the whole goal is to put the guy out there that gives us the best opportunity to win. Going back and forth isn't ideal, but ultimately, finding the production and the consistency that we need is the goal."
On when it was time to not start Weeden:
"I think that Brandon has improved. He's worked awfully hard. It just goes back to production and the combination of what we need to do in this game from a game plan standpoint and giving us the best opportunity."
On if he feels Weeden has gotten better upon reviewing film from last year:
"I think he has gotten better. As I mentioned, I think he has improved, but we're looking for the consistency and the production."
On if he met with Weeden and Campbell about the decision:
On how Weeden handled the change:
"Obviously Brandon was disappointed, but he's a pro. I expect from him what all the guys have done in the past and being ready to play. He's showed that he is ready to play, and I'm confident that he will be."
On if lack of fan support affected Weeden's confidence and contributed to the position change:
"That really played no part in the decision at all. Again, I'm committed to doing what I feel is the best and gives us the best chance to win in all cases and all decisions that I make. This is how I feel about this particular situation."
On if Kansas City's defense as a factor in starting Campbell over Weeden:
"Not really. The timing of it was really no factor in it. I think from a gameplan standpoint, I like the things that Jason brings to the table for them."
On if Campbell's mobility played a factor to start him over Weeden:
"I'm not going to get into comparisons with those guys, but Jason does have good mobility, and that's one of the things that is a strong point for him."
On what Campbell's experience as it relates to naming him the starter:
"It gives you a sense and some documentation and proof that he has been able to be productive and get the job done and win. As I mentioned before, I have confidence in Jason and have had all along the way, and I'm looking forward to seeing what he does with this opportunity."
On if not starting the fourth preseason game against Chicago affected Campbell's confidence:
"It didn't at all. He was real sick for a couple of days leading up to that game. It would have been tough for him to play at all. He was on the sideline and he was there in case of an emergency."
On if he is concerned the quarterback change might negatively affect the locker room:
"I'm not. We have a group of guys that are very resilient. They want to win. They want to do everything they can do to win. They recognize that individually each one of us has to focus on what we need to do and get better. I expect them to be ready to play, and whoever is playing that position or any position, that they're going to rally behind and play."
On if he addresses the entire team when making a lineup move:
"No, I don't."
On if he is making any other lineup changes at other positions:
"We're adjusting a few things but nothing major."
On players not practicing today:
"(LB) Quentin Groves won't practice. His ankle, we're going to have him looked at. He's a little sore."
On DL Billy Winn's status:
"Billy is really close right now."
On if Weeden could mentally handle being named the starting QB again in the future:
"I believe so. I believe he will be ready as he has in the past. He's shown his mental toughness and will continue to do so. I have no doubts that he will be ready."
On who will serve as the kickoff returner:
"(RB) Fozzy Whittaker, he'll return the kicks."
On Whittaker returning kicks and his success at Green Bay:
"He had some big returns for us. Now, one of the other factors was that we blocked a lot better in this game. That was a big point of emphasis during the week, and there was improvement from the week before. He had the opportunity and he had some return opportunities, and he made the best of them."
On if WR Travis Benjamin could return kickoffs:
"We'll continue to find opportunities for Travis in that area, as well."
On acquiring DB Jordan Poyer and WR Brian Tyms:
"[They are] a couple guys, both of them, that we had good ratings on as far as players from our personnel department, and some guys that are young guys that are developmental type guys. We'll see how quickly they can get up to speed and help us."
On if the Browns are short-handed at safety with the injury of DB Josh Aubrey:
"We'll actually work Poyer there so that addresses that."