CLEVELAND — Thanks to a shaky debut as an NFL quarterback, Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden, would display a simple case of rookie growing pains.
Weeden, the 22nd overall pick out of Oklahoma State, would complete three of nine passes for 62 yards, toss one interception and lose one fumble in a 19-17 victory over the Detroit Lions.
The former Oklahoma State standout would also be sacked once.
In finishing his first-ever NFL start with a QB rating of 19.0, Weeden’s so-so outing against the Lion’s vaunted “wide-nine” pass rush should be dismissed entirely.
While there are some in the school of thought that feel that former starter Colt McCoy, who would have a better stat line in completing six of eight passes for 88 yards and lead the Browns to a field goal, McCoy is a second—or even a third-string—back-up at this point in his NFL career.
Weeden throws a better deep ball and has more velocity on his passes, while McCoy has more mobility and is a threat to scramble. Weeden’s arm strength and ability to throw downfield is the reason why he is the Browns starting quarterback.
To compare a rookie in his first start against a third-year quarterback facing second-stringers is not only foolish but completely unfair to both quarterbacks
While McCoy would put up some respectable numbers, he would also show the same tendencies of leaving the pocket too early and putting his receivers in harm’s way, such as his 42-yard completion to tight end Jordan Cameron.
Cameron would leave the game with a lower back injury.
In comparing McCoy and Weeden, one must consider the fact that many of Detroit’s players that McCoy was facing were players who may never play a down in the NFL.
If McCoy would have hypothetically led the Browns downfield to a touchdown against the Lions first-team, then there may be reason to discuss why McCoy should start over Weeden.
In reality though, McCoy does not give the Browns the vertical ability to attack downfield in the passing game the way Weeden does, such as Weeden’s 34-yard completion to Travis Benjamin would demonstrate.
Fans calling for McCoy to start over Weeden need to take an objective and un-bias look at both McCoy and Weeden first and stop over-reacting to the tentative play of a rookie quarterback in Weeden.
Before criticizing Weeden, who only play a total of three series, McCoy apologists should as themselves, would he have done better?
Robert D. Cobb is the NBA Network Manager for Rant Media Network, Featured Writer of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Featured Columnist for the Cleveland Browns and Arsenal Gunners.
In addition to covering the NBA, I also cover MLB, NFL, NHL and Champions League soccer news, rumors and opinions, please follow me on Twitter at @RobertCobb_76