BEREA, Ohio--It might not be the happiest birthday present for Brandon Weeden, but his coach is standing behind him.
Rob Chudzinski announced that Weeden will continue to be the starter and defended him a day after the Browns collapsed and lost 31-17 to the Lions.
Weeden turned 30 years old on Monday.
One of the first questions that was asked of Chudzinski in his Monday press conference was if there was any thought of changing quarterbacks.
"No, this is one game," he said. "I thought Brandon played well in spurts. and at times. Obviously he made a couple of critical mistakes. That's a lot of different reasons of things that happened. it's not just one guy."
Two of the critical mistakes Weeden made were an intentional grounding that stopped a second half drive before it could get going and an ill-fated interception that ended any opportunity for a comeback.
Instead of taking a sack, Weeden tried to throw the ball away underhanded.
"We don't every want to flip a ball or pitch it underhand as it has a tendency to rise or go up on you," he said. "You want to throw it out of bounds or take the sack.
"He was just trying to per preserve the play and not take a sack."
Chudzinski said the Browns just need to maintain consistency.
"We played well in spurts, but our main goal right now is to be more consistent," Chudzinski said. "It's not about one play or person to assign blame. There are many correctable points this is one game and we're 3-3. We can only control the things we can control going forward."
Craig Robertson said the team is behind Weeden.
"He's our quarterback," Robertson said. "You can't toss and turn quarterbacks every week. We have to rally behind him."
Weeden statistics, overall, weren't too bad, but the mistakes were glaring. Weeden finished 26-of-43 for 292 yards with two interceptions and two touchdowns. He finished with a 76.9 rating after having a rating of 92.7 at the half.
"It's a combination (of things," Chudzinski said. "There are a lot of different people and moving parts and it takes eleven guys to be successful. We're playing well at times and at times, not so well. Brandon is doing some good things. It's just a matter of cutting out the critical mistakes."
Chudzinski said as coaches they are trying to help Weeden eliminate the big mistakes.
"It's the thing you look at from a coaching standpoint to put your finger on it," he said. "It comes down to those critical mistakes that I know he wants to have them back. There are also mistakes from other guys. At times, there wasn't anybody open and obviously with the quarterback, everybody sees and thats part of the job, but we overall have to play better."
Chudzinski was asked if he's seen improvement in Weeden this season.
"I think you look all the way back there has been improve and growth in his game," he said. "I go back to the Buffalo game, where he made plays that were a part of us winning the game. You look at the first half (against the Lions) and he played well. What we have to do is work with him to not make critical mistakes. "
When Weeden was injured, Chudzinski elevated Brian Hoyer from third string to start against the Vikings, bypassing backup Jason Campbell. Chudzinski was asked if there's any reason he hasn't considered going to Campbell, who has started 71 games in the NFL.
"Theres nothing blocking that," he said. "I feel good about Jason. I'm going back this is one game. I thought Brandon played well and made some plays to help us beat Buffalo and this is one game and we just have to work on those critical errors."
After Hoyer was lost for the season, Chudzinski said the front office was looking at possibly adding a third quarterback. To date, they have not signed any, rather adding wide receiver Charles Johnson to take Hoyer's roster spot.
"We're constantly looking at all of those options," he said. "We picked up Charles Johnson, who we evaluated coming out of college and felt like getting the best player available to us, was the best thing to do."
Chudzinski said that Weeden can still learn from his mistakes.
"All of us you learn from what (we) did, correct the mistakes and it's a new week," he said. "We're moving on and it's about Green Bay. You can't let things dwell as they will carry with you."
Chudzinski was asked if the offensive philosophy should be modified and more focus on the run instead of the passing game.
"I think what we need to do is really stay the course and from a philosophy, strategic standpoint the run and pass really go hand in hand of where we're at right now," he said. "I think we're improving in the running game and to ditch the passing game and just go 100 percent run, would not be in our best interest. We need to get better in both.
"Whether it's Brandon, the offensive line responded and played they're best game," he said. "We're improving in running and they go hand in hand. You can't just do one thing in this league"
Line Praise: Chudzinski said he felt the offensive line played their best game of the season against the Lions.
"I just thought our offensive line played their most physical game with the challenge they had and they responded that way," he said. "It wasn't perfect and there are things we need to fix it's just not off line, quarterback, recievers, at times things are working and at times, not so much. We just have to keep working and improving."
The Browns rushed for a season high of 126 yards and only gave up two sacks.
Chud Defends Lack of Run: Chudzinski was asked why the Browns rushed just five times after having 115 yards in the first half.
"If you look at it by series we had four series on first and second down," he said. "We were three runs and three passes on the first three series that we came out. On the fourth series ,we had the intentional grounding on the first play of that series. As far as rushing opportunities, you have to look at that."
Overrated: There was some criticism that the Lions won because of their halftime adjustments. The Browns led 17-7 but allowed 24 unanswered points in the second half. Chudzinski said that halftime adjustments are overrated.
"There is really not a lot of adjustment (at the half)," he said. "You do things as the game goes on. Some of (the importance of adjustments) is overrated. You put a plan together and then you go on. We're going to look at that in terms of things we do procedurally, but it's just a matter of executing."
Robertson was picked on by RB Reggie Bush in the second half and he was asked if he is too hard on himself. However, Robertson had the Browns only sack of the game.
Chudzinski said Robertson will rebound.
"I don't think it's about being young or inexperienced," he said. "It's about the individual and Craig stood up (and took accountability after the game) and you see the guy he is. I think he'll get better."
Robertson was asked if he was too hard on himself.
"I've been hard on myself for a long time," he said.
Robertson said Chudzinski's message was simple to the team.
"It's a new week," he said. "The focus is on what we have to do (and get ready for Green Bay). We have to work harder. I know I've challenged myself to be better."
Sheard Back: In answering a question about the lack of sacks by LB Paul Kruger (one), Chudzinski said the return of LB Jabaal Sheard will help the rotation.
"One of the things that was key, (the Lions) were able to protect and we didn't' get the pressure we would've liked," he said. "Matthew Stafford got rid of the ball quickly. You obviously want more (sacks) and hopefully, well get Jabaal back this week and with more of a rotation, and that will help."
By the Numbers: The Browns are 24th in the NFL in total offense (22nd in rushing and 17th in passing). Meanwhile, on defense they rank 7th overall (7T in rushing and 8th in passing defense).