Browns' Weeden Must Prove He is the Future at Quarterback

Browns' owner gives Weeden seven games to prove himself... he may want to reconsider

11/9/12 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Nov 4, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden (3) looks to throw in the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIREJoe Banner, the new CEO of the Cleveland Browns, has stated that he and owner Jimmy Haslam will evaluate rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden over the rest of the season to determine if he is the Browns' quarterback of the future.

Weeden, a 29 year old rookie, was a controversial first round pick of the Browns due to his age. Despite his maturity, life experience isn't what makes you successful in the NFL - most players need NFL experience to find success in this league. Weeden has gone through typical rookie inconsistencies, sometimes putting up great numbers but other times looking miserable on the field. He's proven that he has an NFL arm, but his decision making is what has him on the hot seat.

The Browns are sitting at 2-7 and are obviously not competing for a playoff spot, so there will be a lot of evaluation going on for the remainder of the season. Likely to secure a high draft pick, the Browns will likely have the opportunity to snag a top quarterback prospect, so they want to know as soon as possible whether or not Weeden is their long term answer.

Weeden has thrown for 2088 yards (232 per game), nine touchdowns to 12 interceptions, a 55.1 completion percentage, and a 67.9 quarterback rating. Those numbers are partially skewed by his debut performance against the Eagles, in which he completed 34.3% of his passes for 118 yards with no touchdowns and four interceptions. He hasn't had a performance nearly that bad since Week 1. He has had his good days, however, posting a 84.3+ quarterback rating in four games, and a 92.7+ rating in three games.

Let's compare Weeden's stats to another first round pick - a first overall pick, in fact. This highly touted prospect came out of the gate similarly to Weeden. Actually, he came out worse. He started his new team's first game of the season and posted a quarterback rating of zero. That's right, absolute zero. He only threw the ball eight times, but that's because he got pulled due to his shocking lack of accuracy.

This unnamed quarterback finished his first nine games (the same amount Weeden has played) with a 4:10 touchdown to interception ratio and a 53.5 quarterback rating, only topping a 58.8 rating in two games over that span. He wrapped up his rookie season with 11 games (10 starts), and a quarterback rating of 54.9.

Who is this mystery man? Hall of Fame Broncos quarterback John Elway. Weeden is a similar prospect to what Elway was - he has an arm that can make any throw, but needs to learn when to dial back the power and make smart decisions. I'm not saying that Weeden, by any means, will be John Elway, but I am saying that it may be a little soon to bail on Weeden. If the Broncos had bailed on their rookie quarterback after one bad season, they probably wouldn't have a Super Bowl in franchise history.

Weeden's numbers certainly are not good, but he's playing on an offense with a bad offensive line, no consistent receiving weapons, and the 27th ranked rushing attack. There are not many quarterbacks who would find success with this offense, and I'd advise Banner and Haslam to take a look at a lineman in the draft before looking for a new signal caller.
Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview

11/10/12   |   bliv

(Edited by bliv)

Cleveland has one of the best starting offensive lines in the NFL without injury. including Joe Thomas arguably the best left tackle in the game, Alex Mack, Schwartz and Lauvao . They have a solid running back in Trent Richardson but ill give you that they have no wide receivers.

But to say they have a bad offensive line....please. That's just wrong.

11/9/12   |   jaysinw   |   5037 respect

LOL funny how Elway is thrown in there when comparing young QBs.... however true it may be. Right now I would take him over the Jags, and Jets QB.