ESPN football analyst and long-time color commentator Ron Jaworski feels that Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden will make the jump in his second year under center in the NFL, this time under offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Upon watching film study, Jaworski, via ESPN’s SportsCenter, said that he came away “impressed” with the former Oklahoma State Cowboy despite his quantitative struggles.
“For a rookie, Weeden showed uncommon poise and calm in the pocket with consistently solid mechanics,” said Jaworksi. The former Eagles quarterback cited such intricacies as Weeden staying on his back foot despite being under pressure, and driving the football downfield with above-average velocity.
“There’s no question in my mind that his throwing skill set and Turner’s quarterback-friendly system will mesh effectively,” he said.
During his rookie season under former head coach Pat Shurmur and offensive coordinator Brad Childress, Weeden finished among the worst of NFL quarterbacks in terms of passer rating (72.6). While he finished well in terms of yards (3.385) and touchdowns (14), his decision making led to many down-field mistakes, leading to 17 interceptions. He was also a victim of the league’s most batted balls by opposing defenders.
Many analysts feel that Weeden’s skill set will flourish in an offense that allows for more shotgun formations as well as fewer shorter passing routes that were customary within the West Coast Offense. Weeden’s downfalls have never been mechanical or velocity-oriented, and by all indications, the Browns’ quarterback has looked good through various workouts and minicamps. It will be up to the player to translate such improvements to the field.