UPDATE...While Brandon Weeden more or less successfully navigated his 2nd preseason game against the Packers, the poll results were a tiny bit surprising. I fully expected 1 or 2 scoring drives to get the majority of votes, but I was shocked that 20% would have been ok with no scoring drives, as long as he took care of the ball, converted some 3rd downs, and showed some ability to move the offense. Combined, 45% would have been ok with 1 or 0 scoring drives. I guess Browns fans are still exhibiting some patience with this project, which is good to see.
Brandon Weeden has never shied away from the spotlight or the big moment. Second half against Colorado in 2009...2 last minute drives to tie the game at the end of the first half and end of the regulation in the Fiesta Bowl. He's shown he can make big throws in big moments.
Tonight's NFL preseason game pitting Cleveland against Green Bay will be another one of those moments.
I know, it's just a preseason game, but this will be Weeden's first extended playing time in live action for the Browns. HC Pat Shurmur has stated that the starters will play at least the first half, maybe a little more.
While it is expected that he will make mistakes, Weeden will need to flash some of that golden arm while in Lambeau Field. Drives need to be sustained, points scored. Convert 3rd downs. Not asking for the moon, but a TD or multiple FG's need to show up on the scoreboard while he is at the helm.
While lots of folks talk about how college players, especially QB's, must adjust to the speed of the game, that is only referring to the speed of the game AFTER the snap. While I'm sure that is an issue for Weeden, like any other rookie QB, there is another speed he is struggling to adjust to...the slow down between plays.
Don't forget, Oklahoma State's goal was 1 play every 18 seconds. Breakneck pace. Overwhelm the defense with speed of play calling. Limit defensive substitutions and adjustments. Simplified play calling to keep things moving.
The Browns' offense is the tortoise compared to what Weeden is used to running. It will be hard for him to find a way to get into a rhythm running so few plays, and at least 50% of those I presume will be runs. His arm is tuned to 40+ attempts per game. Now he'll be lucky to get 25. He is used to scoring nearly 50 pts/gm...now he must accept 20, if he's lucky. Calling plays must feel like he's gone from basic math to advanced calculus. The defense is fully prepared with play call and proper personnel on almost every down.
Yes, he has been through plenty of practice, but practice isn't live action and he's had virtually none of that. I would hope by the middle of the 2nd quarter he's had ample opportunity to settle down and show what he is capable of.
Weeden must learn patience. Not the easiest of things to do when you are a QB that is used to 1 minute 50 second drives for touchdowns.
As a huge Brandon Weeden advocate, I'm really hoping he produces some positive things for Browns' fans to hang their collective hat on tonight, or the annual QB anxiety in Cleveland will continue to grow.