Cleveland Browns‘ quarterback Brandon Weeden has a lot of growing up to do in his second year. His career got off to a very rocky start in 2012, but that was to be expected, given that he was a rookie starter on a bad team. Weeden ended up progressing throughout the year, though, which is all you can really ask for. Still, that won’t change fans’ expectations of him in 2013.
One area where the young QB struggled last season, was in batted passes. Weeden led the league with 21, which is simply something that just can’t happen going forward. He recently acknowledged this very topic on NFL AM:
“You really can’t work on it. It’s something that if you think about it all the time, it will probably create more problems. I think there are a lot of reasons they happen. One being me patting the football, which I’ve talked about is one thing I’ve worked on this offseason to get rid of the habit of patting the football before you release it. That just gives those guys an extra half a second to jump up and bat it down.”
It’s easy to jump all over the ‘you really can’t work on it,’ comment, but it’s true. Batted passes happen naturally during games, and they’re something you really can’t replicate in practice. However, Weeden is still on the hook for a lot of the 21 passes that were knocked down a year ago.
Holding the ball too long is clearly contributing to these batted passes, as well as other bad plays for Weeden. Just by working on that aspect of his game, and with a year of experience under his belt, I’m betting the second-year QB will improve in 2013.
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