While discussing a few of his over throws in last week’s overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns starting quarterback Brandon Weeden frustratingly explained that a few of the routes run in the game hadn’t been undertaken by the team during practices.
“There’s a couple of routes we ran on Sunday for the first time all week and that’s not fair to me,” alleged Brandon Weeden, adding that in the later stage of the game the Cleveland Browns offense unexpectedly improvised on a few routes that hurt their odds of winning. “It’s not fair to the receivers, it’s not fair to any of us, because when you’re getting thrown in the fire and the bullets are flying . . .”
Then perhaps realizing that the statement wasn’t helping his future chances with the Cleveland Browns (even after the ownership and coaches projected him as the franchise quarterback at the end of training camp), Brandon Weeden changed course and took some self-criticism. The rookie quarterback discussed issues with his elbows that resulted in a few botched throws.
However, Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur had already caught whiff of brewing locker room criticism and reeled-in to set the record straight with his job on the line after the new management took over.
“I disagree with some of that because I do think that we make an effort of the ones we’re going to call we practice,” expressed Pat Shurmur. “A lot of the plays that we practice, we’ve been running all year and you run them in training camp.”
“It’s nearly impossible with the amount of time and then the length of the season to practice every single thing multiple times. You see it going on behind me (after practice) right now,” continued Pat Shurmur. “They spend extra time working on the individual routes. That’s what you’ve got to do.”
Besides, it’s not like Brandon Weeden is in a position to make those assertions given his overall performance this season. Brandon Weeden ranks No.32 among starting quarterbacks in the league with a 55.3 pass completion rate.
Cleveland Browns receiver Mohamed Massaquoi also found it hard to buy Brandon Weeden’s explanation for lack of preparation of the select routes during practices.
"Sometimes you may not be sure if you're going to run a play in a game and then you see a look presents itself,” said Mohamed Massaquoi, “and you didn't really put emphasis on it in practice but it's available for the game, so you run it.”
Brandon Weeden later reeled-back from his previous statement and acknowledged that the Cleveland Bowns need to improvise on the routes being run according to the situation and keep the freshnes of the offense alive.
“These guys can’t run forever. You want to make sure they’re fresh throughout the week,” said Brandon Weeden before adding that he’d prefer to throw to more than just one target in the end zone. “You try to spread them out and you know what you’re throwing… (Otherwise) that’s tough on them (with) just limited amount of reps (for the left out receivers).”
While Brandon Weeden’s second set of comments were less critiquing of the Cleveland Browns’ practice routine, the 28-year-old’s statement cloaked the opinion that he still thinks he’s right.