Big 12 Coaches: Weeden lacks poise in the pocket

Any knocks on Brandon Weeden usually stem from his age, not his arm strength and accuracy with the football. But according to some of the coaches that faced him in college, Weeden may be a bit (in Butch Davis’s words) “skittish”.

From Pro-Football Talk:

NFL Films guru Greg Cosell saw some struggles under pressure on Weeden’s game tape, and in interviews with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Big 12 coaches who faced Weeden in college said they noticed the same thing.

“He got quick feet. He got nervous,” observed Iowa State defensive coordinator Wally Burnham, whose Cyclones defeated Weeden’s Oklahoma State Cowboys in the 2011 regular season finale. “He really threw the ball away in a hurry. I’m not saying he was scared, he just wanted to get the ball out to his hot receiver.”

Former Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables, now on Clemson’s staff, faced Weeden twice in college and similarly surmised that Weeden’s ability, or inability, to improve under duress will indicate his career path.

“The challenge in the NFL,” said Venables, “will be when the pocket’s collapsing.”

I would imagine with good offensive line and a solid running game, Weeden’s poise under pressure won’t be an issue in the NFL.

  • Scott Johnson

    lol Butch Davis

  • akzipper

    Well we’ve had a problem with QB’s taking too long in the pocket and taking way too many sacks. I would rather see him throw the ball away in a hurry instead of taking a sack, which can cost us valuable yardage. Part of what actually impressed me with his Gruden camp interview, was his ability to get rid of the ball in a hurry. 

  • EdgewaterJoe

    Dum de dum de dum — oh, look, yet another Browns attack piece/hatchet job by PRO YINZER TALK and their Steeler puppet Nick Florio. In other news, water remains wet.

  • Steve

    “I would imagine with good offensive line and a solid running game, Weeden’s poise under pressure won’t be an issue in the NFL.”

    Even with solid play from the o-line and Richardson, you better believe that poise under pressure will be a big issue. This is not college anymore kid. Grown men, you know, like you, and not kids, are coming after you.

  • Yup

    Why are Weinke, Henson, Hutcinson et al never mentioned in ANY article about Weeden? Those guys were almost in exactly the same boat as Weedon and none were ever more than average in the NFL. That seems as fair as this article, no? Sometimes I think I must be the only who remembers them…

  • New_prodigy

    Being “skittish” leads to panic attacks…ask Butch Davis

  • Garry_Owen

    Brandon Weeden:  Big 12 coaches lack the ability to beat me. 

  • Dee P

    But the one quotable source did beat him.

  • Mark

    And how are they alike aside from age? Do those 3 have the same skill set as Weeden? What about Kurt Warner? He didn’t start until he was Weeden’s age. Same with Roger Staubach. Hmmm, why didn’t you mention them?

    Look, all of these comparisons get a little ridiculous. It seems to me we should look at Weeden’s strengths and weakness (kind of like this article is doing) and figure out if he has a chance at success based on that, not by bringing other guys who have on barring on Weeden’s future.

  • Garry_Owen

    Yes, I was glossing over the painful truth for the sake of humor. Still, there’s arguably a hard asterisk by that ISU win.

  • subadai


    If the Browns drafted Jesus Christ himself, Florio’s headline would be “Roman’s say Brown’s Draftee not Savior.”

    If the Steeler’s drafted Stalin Florio’s headline would be “Steeler’s ignore draftee’s “minor” character issues. Get bloodthirsty dictator they have been looking for since getting bounced form playoffs.

  • mgbode

    look at the UTx tape.  yes, when he has no time, he struggles.   however, most QBs do.  the issue was it seemed to affect him even on plays without pressure.

  • floydrubino

    Regardless how it turns out I think it’s weird over the last 4 days or so that there has been no stories about how Holmgren and Heckert were not on the same page and Holmgren screwed everything up. It’s unfortunate that you guys aren’t critical more on some of these decisions that has happened in the last week. We are paying Holmgren so far for these bushleague decisions. Hiring Shurmur, Childress, drafting McCoy, and drafting Weeden are what has summed up Holmgren’s level of accomplishments and legacy here. What a pathetic outcome for hiring a person for that much money. You know why we don’t spend money on free agency it’s because of the walrus sucking down all that money for himself for mediocre decision making. Randy Lerner has failed us once again for not just hiring Heckert and leaving Holmgren out of the equation altogether.

  • Hypno_Toad

    Weinke’s last name also starts with a “W”, so there’s that.

  • Jaker

    Well it’s good we are improving our O-Line

  • Patrick Elder

    You’re right, why aren’t we all lambasting Holmgren for his moves that have been terrible? I mean, we’ve given him nearly a full 2 weeks to let Weeden work out! HOW MUCH MORE TIME DOES HE NEED?!

  • Patrick Elder

    P.S. You’re an idiot.

  • floydrubino

    well done
    you really got me
    we could of got Weeden at #37 without question
    Holmgren forced Heckert to pick him at #22
    Every move that Holmgren has made is terrible thus far
    If Weeden turns out to be great then great we can enjoy his play for a couple years until he is out of the league because he is a couple years away from using his buckeye card for discounts
    Holmgren would be great if we based performance off how many donuts he can eat in a day

  • 5KMD

    I will say it again, Henson put baseball inbetween his football careers. Weedon did not. Henson does not belong in your rant.

  • mgbode

    everything above is pure speculation. 

    and, if we got Kendall Wright at #22 and B.Weeden at #37, then I would feel worse about our team today because Schwartz likely doesn’t last till the 3rd round and we would have had to scramble at our RT spot with pocket-statue Weeden.

  • Max

    is there corroboration of H&H not being on the same page and Holmgren asserting his authority, or is this just a theory of yours?

    Have you seen that reported elsewhere?

    I’m not attacking you, I’m genuinely curious. You said “over the last four days” as if something has come out/happened that I missed. Details, please

  • Fryan723

    So you blitz him and he has some trouble, you mean like 99% of every QB ever! NO WAY! Kind of weird how he still managed almost 500 yards passing and a 1:1 TD to INT ratio that game. Some struggles man. 

  • Max


    I suppose that’s some corroboration, but it’s Grossi, so make of it what you will

  • cmm13


  • porckchopexpress

    To save the trouble of listening to the whole thing here is the transcript from the press conference Grossi references.

    And this is the quote he drew his opinion from:

    “It’s funny you should say that Tom (Withers) because I thought it was just the opposite. First off, I have tremendous trust in Tom and in Pat, and while we had all those meetings that I was kind of watching it, smiling and enjoying it as much as anything else. If I’m going to suggest something or push it’s going to happen long before this weekend. A discussion as an example, I won’t tell you exactly what it was about, but this is typical of what might happen. I said Tom, ‘Do you want to do this?’ He said I don’t think I do. I think it’s too much or too strong or whatever. Then I said well we may have to. Then he goes well if we have to then you have to tell me because I won’t do it. I said okay, then I might have to tell you. Fine. But that’s a healthy way to go about it, no one’s strangling anybody or pushing anybody and we’ve talked about that. Pat is kind of the peace maker in the group, but we all have our moments. It’s real healthy and I trust him a lot.”

    If you read the transcript the question right before this discussed the trade with Atlanta last year and how Holmgren really wanted Jones, but he let Heckert make the call on the trade.  To me it sounds like the disagreement was on giving draft picks away to move up one spot for Richardson.  Holmgren quotes Heckert as saying “(it’s) too much or too strong”. IMVHO that sounds like talk about spending draft picks not just taking a guy earlier than he’s “supposed” to go.  We know Heckert liked Weeden, we know he doesn’t care what people think about when a player is supposed to be drafted (Hughes) so why would he think taking Weeden 16 picks “early” was too strong? Makes more sense to me that he would have been happy gambling on TRich being there or just taking Claiborne, or trading down with the Cowboys so they could take him.  Just food for thought.

  • Max

    Oh, gee…you mean Tony Grossi blatantly took something out of context and applied it to something based on speculation in order to drive readership? I’m shocked.

    Good fisking, Sir

  • Vindictive_Pat

    This is what’s funny to me as well.  Isn’t that what “experts” always say about how you beat Tom Brady and Peyton Manning?  Every QB struggles with this in the NFL, yes some more than others, but it’s not like this growing pain is only attached to Brandon Weeden.  Andrew Luck, RG the 3, and Ryan Tannehill will have to learn how to throw with a 240 lb blitzing linebacker in their face as well.

  • Garry_Owen

    Well said.  Based on one game from a couple of years ago, this headline could just as easily have read “Eric Mangini:  Tom Brady lacks poise in the pocket.” 

  • mgbode

    yep, Giants first SB win over the “invincible Pats offense” was due to pressure on Brady all day long.   happens to the best of them.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Maybe they learned from watching McCoy get his a$$ kicked all last season.  This story is kind of what I was talking about before and after Weeden was drafted.  You see the physical assets but people don’t realize the types of games he played in or the offensive system he ran.  Not only will he need to learn the vaunted WCO but he’ll be facing competition unlike any he seen before I just hope he does better in professional football then he did in baseball.

  • floydrubino

    Obviously we don’t know what happened but any moves you make effect the rest of the draft. Once we traded up to get TRich when we didn’t have to then extra picks we have could of been used for other scenarios. Regardless of the outcome we took Weeden too early and then on top of it we gave Pittsburgh and Baltimore 2 guard prospects that could be dominant for 10 years. That’s great that Heckert liked these guys but with Heckert’s health leading into the draft who really knows how prepared we were. I like Heckert and I hope he feels well but it’s obvious the draft was terrible unless Schwartz and Ryan Miller work out. If people don’t see how important for us to hit on these offensive linemen then I could care less about your opinion because our offensive trench players outside of Thomas is the worst in the league. With Joe Thomas on it it makes us a little better than the worst because he is the best in the league. I don’t mind the T-Rich pick but we missed out on incredible offensive linemen with our 2nd and 3rd round picks without question. 

  • floydrubino

    And it is speculative that Schwartz wouldn’t last for a long time. Massie lasted until the 5th or 6th round. I would of much rather picked Decastro in the 2nd then Osemele in the 3rd round and then take Massie in the 6th round. Think about that draft having TRich then our o-line could have been Thomas, Decastro, Mack, Osemele, and Massie or Pinkston. Weeden has to be great right away and we have supplied him with no receivers. So our game plan is to take a qb too early that’s old and have no one that can help him out for years to come. What a great game plan.

  • Chris

    you’re dumb.

  • Yup

    They all played baseball and didn’t come to the NFl until after the age of 25 and all were considered to have strong arms. Yeah, that’s not too alike. You win.

    FACT: no over-25-minor-league-baseball-playing QB has been anything but mediocre in the last decade in the NFL. But please talk about Staubach so more… Jesus…

  • Yup

    Sorry. Still showed up in the NFL old. Still played baseball. Def belongs in the comparison.

  • mgbode

    FACT:  none of those other QBs you listed were deemed to have a 1st round draftable skillset.

  • mgbode

    “Massie lasted until the 5th or 6th round”

    for a reason. 

  • mgbode

    ” but with Heckert’s health leading into the draft who really knows how prepared we were”

    you need to stop now.