AFC North Notes: Browns to pick starter?

ITEM: Weeden could be named starting QB
According to a report on, Browns Coach Pat Shurmur hinted that he could name rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden his starter by the opening of training camp in late July.

He said he'd like to name the starter "sooner rather than later.''

He said the competition between Colt McCoy and Weeden is playing out much like it did in St. Louis in 2010, when Shurmur said the coaching staff named Sam Bradford the starter at the beginning of training camp.

"I remember this process when we were in St. Louis and we drafted Sam Bradford," Shurmur told Mary Kay Cabot. "Sam Bradford was playing it through in my eyes a lot like it's happening here. We had A.J. Feeley that was there, a veteran quarterback and they shared reps and there were times when A.J. started the drills, there were times when Sam started the drills and then it was the beginning of training camp when we named Sam the starter and he had a pretty good year his first year."

The Rams finished 7-9 with Bradford as their rookie starting quarterback.

Shurmur said of naming his starter as soon as possible, "Once we've made the decision that's the deal, I think you want to try to – if you know that he's going to be your guy, then make it happen so everybody gets comfortable working with that guy all the time."

Asked specifically if he'd like to have it done by the start of the training camp, Shurmur said, "Ideally we'd have a starter now. Teams that are going into this offseason with a starter, that's the most ideal situation. But when you have new players that you really like – that's why you picked them – you just need to see them come in and do it before you make that move."

ITEM: Suggs says his rehabilitation is going well
Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs recently spoke to Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun on a variety of topics, including the possibility of winning Defensive Player of the Year for a second straight season and helping the Ravens host the AFC championship game.

"I'm going to shock a lot of people when I'm coming out of that tunnel," Suggs told Preston. "I'm in a boot already working on flexibility, getting back that range of motion. Next week, we're going to start a little walking and working side to side. I won't say I'm ahead of schedule, but I'm a lot better than I, the doctors and rehab therapist thought. I kept telling people it wasn't as bad as some people made it out to be."

Asked if he was still scheduled to make it back before his predicted time frame at the end of November, Suggs didn't back off.

"Late November, that will be the latest I return," said Suggs. "Going into the (hyperbaric) chamber is an option, it certainly can't hurt. I can take an iPad and iPod in there and spend a few hours a day. It can only help the healing process."

There continues to be speculation that Suggs sustained the injury playing basketball, while he maintains he did it while running the Ravens' conditioning shuttle run. Coach John Harbaugh has said he doesn't care how the injury happened, that his only concern is getting Suggs back onto the field.

"As I look back over this injury situation, it was just me kind of stressing, pushing too hard because I never want another season like 2009," said Suggs. "I wanted a repeat, but only as the Player of the Year. And I want to hold that Lombardi Trophy. I wanted to make sure that championship game was going to be played in Baltimore, so I didn't take any time off. After the last game, I left Baltimore and came to Phoenix and started training again. I think the injury is a result of me pushing too hard. I'm not 23 anymore. I'm not 30 either, but there are times you have to back off."

ITEM: Lewis, Zimmer do separate Q&As
Cincinnati Bengals Marvin Lewis made a recent appearance on ESPN 101 in St. Louis, and while on the air he addressed a variety of issues.

What the ceiling is for Andy Dalton and A.J. Green:
"Well hopefully there is no ceiling and they keep going. A.J. can burst any seam there is, he continues to get better. I think he has had a very, very good start to the season and I think Andy and he both have really matured as people, they'll continue to grow as players. They like the way it worked, they liked the way it tasted and you can see them even hungrier right now."

Whether he would like the Bengals to be on HBO's Hard Knocks again:
"We've done our time for the NFL right now. (Host: So no?) I think it's a great thing for your fans and I think they get a great perspective behind the scenes, they really get a look at your football team and if we were doing this right now we'd be sitting there and the camera would be on us right now as I'm making this call so it's really a 24-7 deal. No matter what you do there's a camera there."

Whether kickoffs will be removed from the game completely:
"That's more scuttlebutt and the special teams overreacting a little bit. There is an injury factor to the kickoff. We tried to revise it a little bit last year and see if we can help some of those collisions, and I think it was a positive but we only have one year of data and so the feeling coming out of the competition committee was to play it again this year and see what happens. It's an exciting play, certainly teams that have great returners want to continue with that as part of the game and it's an exciting play for the fans.

Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer met with reporters following the team's OTA session on Monday, June 4:

On if he expects to see CB Leon Hall practicing at training camp?
"He looks good. I don't know what the timetable is. I just know he looks good when I see him doing stuff. When he's doing drills he looks good. Brandon Ghee has improved, I think. He didn't have a great day today but he's improved through the course of time. Actually, the other corners, Jason (Allen), (Terence) Newman look good."

On No. 1 pick Dre Kirkpatrick:
"In rookie minicamp he struggled for the first two days, then got better like the last day and today he looked like he did the last day when he started improving again. He was lost mentally, but from what I can tell when he was doing coverage things he looked better, more like I anticipated he would when we drafted him."

On how Derrick Harvey and Jamaal Anderson are doing on the defensive line:
"They both show some flashes of good things. Harvey looks like he has pass rush ability and has to get better playing the run. Anderson is a little better playing the run, and he's trying to improve things with pass rush."

On Rey Maualuga:
"He just has to have a little bit more patience. He reads things so fast that sometimes he will over-read stuff. If he was a little more patient, he could read it inside out."

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