Position thoughts: Quarterback

Posted by Vic Carucci on November 5, 2012 – 11:28 pm

By Vic Carucci, Senior Editor

This is the first in a series of position-by-position thoughts on the Browns after nine games. In this installment, we take a look at quarterback:

>>Brandon Weeden’s passing arm has proven to be every bit as strong as advertised when the Browns made him the 22nd overall pick of the draft. For that reason, he has the necessary foundation for success in the NFL. He’s able to make the deep throws that can break games wide open. He also delivers a tight enough spiral that, along with the velocity of his passes, allows the ball to cut through a strong wind.

>>Weeden’s nine touchdown passes tell a story of strong production, as well as his 2,088 passing yards. Through eight games, he was third all-time in rookie passing yards.

>>Weeden would be the first to admit that he needs to work on being more consistent. He rebounded well from a horrendous season-opener against the Eagles and seemed to start finding his groove. However, he has had some poor throws and bad decisions that have proven costly. Weeden has struggled with accuracy in his last two games. Part of his problems in the 7-6 victory against the Chargers in Week 8 were attributable to a brutal combination of wind, rain, and cold, although he still needs to learn how to cope with the elements that go with playing outdoors in Northeast Ohio and the rest of the AFC North. Weather shouldn’t have been a factor in his struggles against the Ravens on Sunday.

>>Dealing with the growing pains of young wide receivers such as Josh Gordon and Greg Little, and a young tight end in Jordan Cameron, has also done its share to make things difficult with him.

>>Even when he isn’t performing at this best, Weeden is still capable of making plays that put the offense in scoring position and keep the Browns in contention until the very end. He is a fierce competitor who doesn’t go into a shell when adversity strikes. Some of that is clearly due to the fact that, at 29 and having spent time as a professional baseball pitcher before entering the NFL, Weeden is far more mature than a typical rookie … and even some veterans, for that matter. He also is diligent about studying videotape to help prevent repeating mistakes.

>>With 12 interceptions, Weeden clearly needs to invest more work at taking better care of the ball. Opposing defensive coordinators will always design coverages that can fool a rookie quarterback into thinking he is seeing one thing when he actually is dealing with something entirely different. Weeden also can sometimes become a bit overconfident in the power of his arm and forgets that passing windows in the NFL are much narrower than those that he regularly saw at Oklahoma State.

>>Weeden no doubt will use the bye to do a thorough self-analysis of his game. He needs to devote the balance of the season to developing greater consistency and making progress with his reads and decision-making.

>>Carucci’s Corner is presented by Panera Bread.

>>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET, for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford” on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com.

>>Have a question for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”? Ask me at Twitter.com/browns_daily, Twitter.com/viccarucci, e-mail: Daily@ClevelandBrowns.com, or by calling 855-363-2459.

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