Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden did not have an ideal NFL rookie season in 2012. He was not able to take his team to the playoffs like Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III, and one could make the case he put up the worst performance among rookie starting quarterbacks. With that being said, Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner is already impressed with what he has seen from Weeden.
“Brandon is a one-year player in the NFL who did a lot more good things than people give him credit for,” Turner said, according to Cleveland.com. “I like his composure, the way he competes, he’s worked awfully hard. He’s got to be one of the hardest-working guys on our team. So you look and say, ‘Hey, you hope there’s a big upside.’ ”
There is no question Weeden is going to give 110 percent on the practice field, in the film room and on game days. There is also little doubt that he will be able to be the vocal leader Cleveland desperately needs. However, just because he works harder than anyone else on the team does not mean he will automatically be the quarterback to lead Cleveland to the next level.
The Browns do not want to see Weeden get too comfortable as the starting quarterback without any competition, like what happened with Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets. Competition is what keeps the mind sharp and will allow Weeden to perform at the highest level possible. For that reason, Cleveland signed former quarterbacks Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer to two-year contracts.
“I think we have three talented guys,” Turner told Cleveland.com. “We have a vastly different group of guys. Jason’s played nine years in the league. He’s proven he can win in this league. When he’s been with good teams, he’s played better than when he’s been with bad teams. And then with Brian, you’ve got a guy that’s been a backup in some good situations. He really hasn’t played enough to know where he’s at, and we like the way he throws the ball. We like a lot of things about him.”
Even though Turner has only seen Weeden practice three times since joining the team, he knows that the second-year quarterback has the potential to be special. He sees the powerful arm that can launch the football into the stratosphere and the high football IQ that will kick in when the chips are down. In fact, the high football intelligence is what gives the Browns confidence that Weeden will be able to pick up the new system on offense quicker than anyone else does.
It is hard to say how impressed Turner is with Weeden considering they have spent a very limited time together. However, the fact that he is willing to openly talk about all of the good things Weeden is capable of after only a few practices is a good sign.