By Vic Carucci, Senior Editor
The burning question from the Browns’ OTA practice under the sizzling sun on Wednesday was this: Should we jump to conclusions because Brandon Weeden took the first-team snaps?
Pat Shurmur says we shouldn’t, no more than we should have concluded anything from Colt McCoy taking first-team snaps in last week’s workouts.
Fine. As the head coach, Shurmur needs to maintain as much of the structure of a quarterback competition as he can in the face of wide-spread assumptions that Weeden already is the winner based on his first-round status and general manager Tom Heckert’s recent public assertion that he expects Weeden to be “the guy” to fill the No. 1 spot.
He needs to keep Weeden motivated. He needs to keep McCoy and the other quarterbacks on the roster engaged with the process to push Weeden and to push themselves in case, for any reason, one of them has to be “the guy,” even temporarily.
Weeden also needs to work with different receivers and running backs, something that comes from being under center with the starters as opposed to the backups (although at this stage, some of those designations are subject to change).
But here is something that remained the same from last week and from the Browns’ rookie minicamp: Weeden threw the ball extremely well. He continued to show why he was a first-round pick and why the Browns were enamored with him enough to make him the No. 22 choice overall.
Weeden doesn’t disappoint. His passes are consistently accurate and tight. They leave his hand quickly and with just the right velocity for the right circumstances whether he is going long, short, or somewhere in between.
Sometimes, the receivers in practice were able to get good separation from defenders because of their speed, athleticism, and smart route-running. But sometimes, it was simply because Weeden got them the ball faster than defenders could get to them.
He also consistently throws a “catchable” pass. The ball regularly arrives where it is supposed to be, on the numbers, when it is supposed to be there. The receiver usually doesn’t have to break stride or do any extreme contorting or leaping to make the catch. He simply has to do what too often didn’t happen in 2011, and that’s hang onto it.
So far, the Browns’ pass-catchers have been hanging onto the majority of passes that Weeden delivers.
The bottom line is, since the first practice of rookie minicamp, Weeden has looked every bit like you expect a starting quarterback to look. And on Wednesday, he was the starter.
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