Through fourteen games Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden has looked like… well a rookie. While Weeden has had some success, it’s his decision making during critical times in games that gets him in trouble. So, what is wrong with Weeden?
There are multiple reasons for his struggles. One big reason is the Cleveland offense is not geared to fit Weeden’s strengths. In college, the 29 year old was in a wide open offense mostly in the shotgun formation. Pat Shurmur and his weird offensive mind set does not use enough shotgun. Only when playing from behind, do we see a fair share of the shotgun formation. The other thing that irks me is Weeden’s six and a half yards per passing attempt average. This is unacceptable. I have said it all season, the guy has the arm, let him throw down field. Take some chances and stop being conservative.
However, while some of his struggles cannot be blamed on him, some of them can. The rookie’s pocket presence and internal clock is awful. Every game, it seems like he is getting three balls swatted down at the line of scrimmage. This is because of poor vision and not being able to maneuver out of the pocket to find a clear passing lane. For the most part, the revamped offensive line has done a good job this season, so they are not to blame. With Weeden’s height and athleticism, there are no excuses for the 21 batted balls this year.
When looking at Weeden’s numbers, they are a little deceiving but they are consistent. Shurmur and Brad Childress have had Weeden sling the ball 498 times this year. Weeden has completed 285 of them, good for a 57 % completion percentage. Weeden has 3,281 yards passing and 14 touchdowns. Like any new quarterback in the league, it’s the interceptions that are killing Weeden. He has also had a handful of pick sixes.
The final verdict on the first round pick is; there is not one. Despite having two games left to play, the Browns need to stick with Weeden and let him develop. If the orange and brown fans are not careful, it could be a case of be careful what you wish for. Would you really take Colt McCoy, Matt Flynn, or god forbid someone like Kevin Kolb as the next starting quarterback for the Browns? For the record, I have nothing against McCoy, I just don’t believe he is a starting QB in the NFL.
Cleveland’s young team is just starting to gel, why mess that up and start from scratch. Have we not done that already? Although there are many fans clamoring for McCoy, for once it’s time to just stick with something and see it play out. For thirteen years, Browns fans have seen quarterback after quarterback fail, it’s time for that to end.
Let’s go surprise the world and beat the Denver Broncos.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
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