Browns president Mike Holmgren said Thursday that the Browns will have an open competition for the starting QB job in 2012, multiple media outlets reported.
Holmgren said he wasn't "ready to anoint" Colt McCoy as the Browns' franchise quarterback, according to multiple reports. He also praised backup QB Seneca Wallace and third-string QB Thaddeus Lewis. McCoy started the first 13 games in 2011 before suffering a season-ending concussion in the Dec. 8 loss at Pittsburgh. Wallace started the final three games of the season.
General manager Tom Heckert reportedly said that the Browns would "probably not" sign a free agent quarterback to compete for the starting job, though he didn't completely close the door on that.
As the offseason begins, the question of how the Browns will proceed at quarterback in 2012 and beyond looms large.
Holmgren himself indirectly shed some light on importance of that very subject when asked how close the Browns were to competing for a Super Bowl. Holmgren noted that it took five years for the Packers to reach a Super Bowl in his tenure — but that we "found the quarterback in the first year."
That quarterback, of course, was Brett Favre, who led the Packers to two Super Bowls and one title in Holmgren's seven-year tenure from 1992-98. In Seattle, where Holmgren coached from 1999-2008, the Seahawks "didn't find the quarterback until Year Three," when they acquired Matt Hasselbeck from Green Bay.
Holmgren said the club likely would add a quarterback to the roster before training camp.
"We'll probably bring in a quarterback every year," he said.
The Browns didn't draft a quarterback nor acquire one via trade or free agency before training camp, though they added Lewis after final cuts.
Holmgren, as he did late in the regular season, expressed confidence in head coach Pat Shurmur.
"No one's on the hot seat," Holmgren said of the organization's outlook on Shurmur in 2012. "… We have a good coach and we have a good coaching staff."