August 18, 2014

Brandon Weeden opens Browns OTAs as No. 1 quarterback

Despite various attempts to suggest the contrary, Brandon Weeden has opened Cleveland Browns Organized Team Activities (OTAs) as the starting quarterback.

ESPN Clevland’s Tony Grossi reports that Weeden, while he may have merely been given the job due to a lack of serious alternatives and could very well be on a one-year audition, is firmly running with the first team while Jason Campbell and Thad Lewis are second and third, respectively.

“The Chudzinski-Turner offense – a vertical passing game played off a power running game – would seem to be an ideal change for a team that invested first-round draft picks last year in Weeden and Trent Richardson,” writes Grossi.

Earlier this week on WKNR’s Cleveland Browns Daily , Weeden said to host Vic Carucci, “I looked at (receiver) Greg Little walking in and said, ‘What do you think?’ And he’s like, ‘This is fun.’ That’s what we want. We want to go out and have fun. Usually as a receiver and a quarterback, that’s dropping back and slinging it around a little bit. That’s what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna throw the football down the field. We’ve got guys that can go get it. It’s fun to come to work every day.”

With the Browns adding slot recievers Davone Bess and David Nelson, they are giving Weeden the weapons they feel he needs to flourish in an offense that arguably suits his skill set better than the one employed by former head coach Pat Shurmur.

In 2012, the strong-armed Weeden threw for nearly 3,400 yards, but did so with a passer rating of 72.6 with an average of 6.55 yards per attempt. He has been working out for the large part of the offseason, including private work with former NFL quarterback Chris Weinke.

[Related: In 2013 the Browns are betting on defense and hoping for offense]

  • willf6

    Hey guys. I am just curious what the perception of Weeden is in Cleveland? I am a Browns fan, born and bred, but I am was born and continue to live in Phoenix, AZ. So, I don’t get to hear what the fan’s take on Weeden is, there in Cleveland.

  • JHop

    Meh.

  • Toddyus

    I’d say the average Cleveland-based Browns fan has been beaten into a pessimistic, “won’t be fooled again,” defensive position. We won’t permit ourselves to like a guy, as if the mere declaration of support will result in that player’s guaranteed, abject failure.

    I can’t speak for everyone else, but secretly I’d like to see him succeed and be given a proper chance to do that. However, I won’t be buying his jersey any time soon…

  • Natedawg86

    Rooting for him, but he has a tight leash. Needs to get through his progressions quicker and make better decisions. I think coaching may have limited his pre-snap decision making ability (audibles). Seems to focus too long on one receiver. If he shows signs of being good, he will have a chance in 2014. If he bombs or is average, there is a good chance of a Browns selecting QB with 1st RD draft pick.

  • bossman09

    He’s the best “horrible” QB we’ve had since Tim Couch. Could be better, could be worse – only 2013 will tell.
    If it wasn’t for that disaster of a 1st game against philly, his numbers would have been decent. His season peaked weeks 6-8 and then he slowly started to decline again.
    Clearly he has the physical ability to play QB, but he needs to gain the mental quickness needed to be successful. Specifically, he needs to read defenses quicker and not lock on to a single route. If he does that, this is a mildly successful playoff team.

  • RyInCBus

    ^^ Nailed it. However, I’d say this “won’t be fooled again” attitude extends beyond the QB position and to the entire organization overall. There is a sizable amount of reluctance to buy into anything this new regime has done and only winning will make it subside. Even then, it will be a constant back and forth I feel. The entire culture has to change.

    Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Jimmy Haslam and recent player arrests have added fuel to the fire of those who like to cherrypick every negative while simultaneously minimizing or making light of any sign of progress. (Sometimes I have to remind myself Desmond Bryant, Paul Kruger and Davone Bess are even on the roster.)

    That’s just the way it is right now. It is the state of the franchise from the fan/media point of view. The team, of course, doesn’t look through the same lense. And like I said, nothing will change until the team wins. Unfortunately, the season is still a long way off.

  • woofersus

    In other news, the sky is blue. I’m not sure why so many articles have tried to make a big mystery out of it. Of course they’re not going to name a starter publically in April or May, but Campbell can’t be a guy they’re really excited about. If they wanted to make a QB change this year they would have drafted somebody or made a strong push to trade for somebody like Alex Smith or Matt Flynn. Weeden wasn’t great last year and he’s 30 so you’ve only got so much time to develop, but if you remove his statistical outliers (first game specifically) he wasn’t completely awful either. This offense is the best fit for him you could ask for and he’s the best guy on the roster to run this offense. We may be talking about replacing him next year if he doesn’t improve, but for the 2013-2014 season that time has pretty much passed.

  • Garry_Owen

    Even if he turns out to be “great” or even “very good” (a possibility, I think), he’ll never be anything more than a stopgap. He can’t be the franchise QB we’ve been looking for, because he won’t have a long career. That’s too bad, and rather frustrating. Let’s hope the team can catch lightning in a bottle in the next 5-6 years, but even if they do, they’ll be looking closely at every major QB prospect in college. Weeden is not safe.

  • TSR3000

    I will tell you in one year. As for now, my (our?) attitude is one of extremely guarded optimism.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    There simply nothing else football related to talk about so of course the #1 option is always the QB position.

  • Sam

    OH MY GOD, COLT MCCOY, COLT MCCOY, COLT MCCOY!!!!!!!!!!!! MCCOY!!!!!!!!!!!!! WINNER, COMPETITOR, BEST COLLEGE QUARTERBACK EVVVVVVVVER!!!!

  • Youhearditherefirst

    Weeden will throw for 4000 yards in this offense. He threw for 3400 last year, 6 yards at a time. Imagine if they open up the passing game this season! The offense is going to surprise a lot of people this year, including most pessimistic Browns fans! You can thank Norv Turner for this….