Weeden readies for second start
Rookie Brandon Weeden expected tough lessons as Cleveland’s new starting quarterback.
One task has him talking to himself.
The No. 22 overall draft pick said after practice Tuesday that he’s learning to call plays by practicing his speech. New Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress told Weeden to work on complicated calls in front of a mirror.
“I can’t say I’ve done it in front of a mirror, but I did talk to myself in my hotel room last week,” Weeden said.
And that was before fumbling, throwing an interception and going just 3-for-9 for 62 yards in his debut in Detroit. However, it didn’t rattle his confidence. If anything, it made Weeden more determined, according to coach Pat Shurmur.
“He’s a very resilient guy. So when he has a bad play or two, or a bad series or two, I see him bounce back extremely well,” Shurmur said.
Weeden said taking only 15 snaps in Detroit made it look worse because he didn’t get a chance to get into rhythm. That will change Thursday night in Green Bay, when Weeden and the first-team offense are scheduled to play at least two quarters.
“Numbers are deceiving,” Weeden said. “I’m excited to get back out there and correct the mistakes I made last week.”
His fumble kept the Browns from scoring on their first drive, to the Detroit 23.
“That was the one I would really like to have back, because it took [at least] three points off the board,” he said.
Weeden may get one of his primary targets back. Shurmur said Mohammed Massaquoi, who caught Weeden’s first pro pass for a 12-yard gain, may face the Packers. Massaquoi was hit hard and removed in Detroit under the NFL’s new rule guarding against concussions. The fourth-year receiver said Tuesday he feels fine.
Shurmur wants Weeden to work as much as possible. He expects an efficient offense because of it.
“You like to see completions,” Shurmur said. “You like to see if the ball is thrown down field, again you get completions. You obviously want to score points, but you want to see the quarterback manage scoring drives and do it efficiently.”
Second-year receiver Greg Little said Weeden is getting better at finding a number of receivers and joked that he now has to bribe Weeden to throw him the ball.
“Last week, I sent him cookies,” Little said. “This week, maybe some fruit to keep him healthy.”
More importantly, Little spends extra time working with Weeden on pass routes. Shurmur said that after a pass intended for Little was intercepted by the Lions, the duo practiced that particular play repeatedly the next chance they got.
“We go over everything together,” Little said. “We talk, do some work after practices. He’s very talented. He can make all the throws. If he is late with a read, he can make up for it with his arm.”
Childress coached star quarterbacks Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia and Brett Favre in Minnesota. He’s impressed with Weeden’s skills and aggressiveness, and doesn’t want to hold him back from developing the reputation as a go-for-broke passer.