BEREA - Last week new Browns owner James Haslam III sat in the stands for a portion of a home preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
When the Browns close out the preseason Thursday at home against the Chicago Bears, quarterback Brandon Weeden might as well take a seat in the stands. Coach Pat Shurmur reluctantly announced after practice Tuesday that Weeden won't play as a precautionary measure to avoid injury.
Shurmur wasn't initially going to reveal any of his plans for using starters. When pressed on the quarterback position, he revealed his plan to sit Weeden and start Colt McCoy.
"I'm giving you guys everything now," Shurmur said.
It might be a meaningless game for players that are assured roster spots, but it is important for McCoy and Seneca Wallace, who will follow McCoy into the game. A decision hasn't been made on Weeden's backup. With Thad Lewis expected to be the third quarterback, either McCoy or Wallace will be gone.
"As they're out there playing we're gathering information about whether they're going to be a member of the 53," Shurmur said.
Weeden played in just five quarters in three preseason games, finishing 24-of-49 (49 percent) for 297 yards and one interception. He definitely could use more repetitions before going into the season opener Sept. 9 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Weeden struggled in starts against the Detroit Lions and Eagles but was more successful against the Green Bay Packers. The line had problems with pass protection against the Lions and Eagles, leading to three fumbles by Weeden.
Weeden has maintained a glass-is-half-full attitude throughout training camp. He's clearly the best quarterback on the roster in practices, but he needs to clean up some issues on game day.
"We knew where the mistakes were," Weeden said of a 9-of-20, four-sack showing against the Eagles. "We shot ourselves in the foot. We went backwards and not forwards after that first drive (to the Eagles' 2).
"We were third and extra long like six or seven times. You can't expect to have a whole lot of success from that. After watching the tape it was that, and for me it's the importance of taking care of the football."
Weeden has found a comfort zone with rookie receiver Josh Gordon, who caught a 28-yard pass on a deep fade route to open the game against the Eagles. There needs to be better chemistry with Greg Little and Mohamed Massaquoi, who has played limited minutes because of health concerns.
One thing Weeden won't stop doing is taking chances. He looks deep first and then checks down, which is opposite of McCoy's method of operation.
"I have a lot of faith in the guys around me to make the plays," Weeden said. "I'm going to throw BBs when I need to and I'm going to have to give them a chance. You can have a good arm, but you still have to know how to use it and take advantage of it."
Several other starters won't face the Bears, but Shurmur wouldn't list them. Rookie running back Trent Richardson definitely won't play. He still hasn't returned to practice after undergoing a minor surgical procedure to remove a loose particle from his left knee Aug. 9.
Richardson will not have a single carry when he plays in his first regular-season game. No one is more anxious to have Richardson back than Weeden.
"He's one of those guys that you can keep feeding it to him over and over and over because he's able to punish them for 4 or 5 then do it again," Weeden said. "That's comforting not only for me but I think for Pat when he's calling plays."