Norv Turner will call plays for the Cleveland Browns next season. It's not yet certain who will run the plays.

Norv Turner will call plays for the Cleveland Browns next season. It’s not yet certain who will run the plays.

Newly hired coach Rob Chudzinski said yesterday that “it’s premature” to name Brandon Weeden the starting quarterback in 2013.

At a news conference to introduce Turner as his offensive coordinator, Chudzinski would not commit to Weeden, who had an uneven rookie season after he was drafted in the first round last year.

Chudzinski said he has been too busy hiring assistants to judge what he’s inheriting, which is why he won’t pencil Weeden in as the starter.

“That’s premature to say any of that,” he said. “until we all get together, we get the staff set, we get a chance to sit down and talk through personnel and everybody’s on the same page with those things. You don’t know watching tape necessarily how guys are.”

Weeden won’t be handed anything by Cleveland’s new regime, and Chudzinski, who was hired as the Browns’ sixth coach since 1999 on Jan.?11, isn’t rushing into such an important decision. The Browns have opened the season with a new starting quarterback each of the past five years.

Weeden, 29, passed for 3,385 yards but completed only 57 percent of his throws in Cleveland’s West Coast system. He had 14 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, and his 72.6 rating was 29th among the league’s 32 starters.

Turner, who also will coach Cleveland’s quarterbacks, wasn’t modest in predicting he can get the most out of Weeden’s potential.

“There’s a lot of guys that I’ve been with that I think have had their best seasons while I was coaching them,” he said.

As far as play-calling duties, Chudzinski, a former offensive coordinator, was happy to hand them over to Turner, who he said has been “one of the best play-callers in the league for a long time.” They worked together in San Diego — Chudzinski coached the Chargers’ tight ends under Turner — and already have a trusting relationship.

Chudzinski said having someone with Turner’s vast NFL experience is a huge plus, particularly for a rookie head coach.

“One of the things you want to do as a head coach is recognize the people that are around you and the talents that they have,” Chudzinski said. “With Norv here, there’s no doubt in my mind he’l l do a great job as the play-caller. I’ll still be involved. The way that we’ve done this is from a game-planning standpoint, and on game day when I was with Norv when we were in San Diego together is that everybody’s really involved through the whole process.”

Payton ready to put controversy behind him

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton returned to work following a nearly yearlong suspension for his role in the team’s bounty program, and he has some catching up to do.

The newly reinstated Payton watched Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, Ala., and planned to meet later in the day with his staff to evaluate a defense that struggled during a 7-9 season and opened with four straight losses. He said during a 45-minute meeting with reporters that he and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell agreed not to discuss specifics about whether there was an organized bounty system or of their 41/2-hour meeting on Monday.

“We’re at a point where it’s time for closure. It’s time for us as a team, it’s time for us as a league, to take this next step forward,” Payton said.

Seau’s family joins lawsuits against NFL

Add Junior Seau’s family to the thousands of people who are suing the NFL over the long-term damage caused by concussions.

Seau’s ex-wife and four children sued the league yesterday, saying the former linebacker’s suicide was the result of brain disease caused by violent hits he sustained while playing football.

The wrongful death lawsuit, filed in California Superior Court in San Diego, blames the NFL for its “acts or omissions” that hid the dangers of repetitive blows to the head. It says Seau developed chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) from those hits, and accuses the NFL of deliberately ignoring and concealing evidence of the risks associated with traumatic brain injuries.

Seau died at age 43 of a self-inflicted gunshot in May. He was diagnosed with CTE, based on posthumous tests, earlier this month.

An Associated Press review in November found that more than 3,800 players have sued the NFL over head injuries in at least 175 cases as the concussion issue has gained attention in recent years. The total number of plaintiffs is 6,000 when spouses, relatives and other representatives are included.

Brady fined

The NFL fined New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady $10,000 for an “aggressive slide” in Sunday’s AFC championship game against the Baltimore Ravens. On a first-and-goal in the second quarter, Brady was forced out of the pocket to his left. He ran for 3 yards but slid before he could be tackled. In the process, he raised his right leg and kicked defender Ed Reed in the thigh. Brady reportedly apologized to Reed in a text message.

Sparano joins Raiders staff

The Oakland Raiders hired Tony Sparano as an assistant head coach who will work with the offensive line.

Sparano comes to the Raiders after one season as offensive coordinator for the New York Jets, who ranked 30th of 32 teams in total offense.