By Bernie Kosar, Special Contributor to ClevelandBrowns.com
Here are my takes on the Browns made while appearing on “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”:
Early in my career at the University of Miami, Howard Schnellenberger told me something when I was competing against Vinny Testaverde that has stuck with me ever since.
“Physical tools are obviously great to have,” he said. “But the quarterback position is one position where, mentally, it’s really imperative that you have your game down and you understand how to react in the heat of battle; when you, at 220-230 pounds, are getting run over by that 300-pound guy and you understand how to make that 18-yard comeback throw, that 20-yard square-in throw on third-and-10, and be able to make those plays. Or more importantly, don’t make the bad plays under duress.”
That perspective is what comes to mind as I think about Brandon Weeden’s performance in Browns rookie minicamp and OTA practices. From a standpoint of just physical tools, it has been a very impressive start for him. But at the quarterback position, the true test is when it’s live. And between now and Sept. 9, the only get “live” situations you get is in those preseason games.
Now, if it turns out that Weeden looks as good in the preseason as he has during rookie minicamp and the OTA practices and is named the starter, where does that leave Colt McCoy?
If he ends up becoming a backup for the Browns or even for another team, that wouldn’t be the worst situation in the world. For a young guy, being on a team and being one of only 64 guys in the country who is working as a quarterback in the NFL, is hardly a bad thing.
You’re gaining experience and your body is not deteriorating from taking those excessive hits. If you deserve to be in the league and you can make plays, you will get those reps and those opportunities on the back side of your career, like Steve Young got.
Young wasn’t happy when he began his NFL career at Tampa, after playing in the USFL, and then spent several years not playing behind Joe Montana in San Francisco. But because he wasn’t taking a pounding and his body didn’t get broken down, he was able to get those years back.
He handled himself the right way, he conducted himself the right way. More importantly, he learned the game and learned how to make plays and when he got his chance he made the most of it.
Be sure to catch Bernie Kosar’s regular appearances with Vic Carucci on “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford,” Monday through Friday, 6-7 p.m. ET, live on ESPN 850 WKNR and ClevelandBrowns.com
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