Weeden still has chance for long-term success

Posted by Vic Carucci on December 29, 2012 – 12:05 am

By Vic Carucci, Senior Editor

You’ve got questions and comments that you submit to the Browns’ official Facebook and Twitter pages. Here’s what I have to say about what you have to say:

Nathan – I enjoy reading your articles and have watched and waited for Brandon Weeden to emerge as the QB you and other Cleveland media said he was or would be. Following the Broncos’ game, one glaring thing is apparent. Colt McCoy managed to score when Weeden could not get it done. For all the talk of his size and accuracy, Weeden is the second-leading QB in interceptions??? All season long I watched as balls were knocked down at the line. What could have been? That’s the question I kept asking all season. Another year under his belt, an improved receiver and running-back corps, Colt would have surely managed better than 5-10.  The team, the city’s sports media, and its coach all dumped Colt like hot garbage.

I truly appreciate the kind words, Nathan, but I’m going to have to disagree with your take on Weeden and McCoy.

Yes, McCoy did lead the Browns to a touchdown last Sunday, and I certainly wouldn’t diminish the importance of that. McCoy was working at a distinct disadvantage, having gotten no real on-field opportunity to prepare for the game because Weeden received the lion’s share of first-string repetitions in practice. McCoy showed his typical toughness and determination as Broncos pass-rushers basically teed off on him in the latter stages of the game.

But I hardly view that drive and the fact Weeden didn’t guide the team into the end zone as proof that the wrong guy has been the Browns’ starter since the start of the season. Weeden clearly played better than he did the previous week against the Redskins. His resilience, which he also showed from his first start to his second, is exceptional.

Weeden’s interceptions and other moments when he has struggled also don’t overshadow all of the good he did for this team. And there was plenty of it.

I disagree that, with the same supporting cast, McCoy automatically would have helped the Browns to more than five wins. I’m not saying he was incapable of that, either. I just continue to believe that Weeden was the better choice and his superior physical talent allows him to make bigger plays and give the offense an explosive dimension that did not previously exist.

I believe he will improve, and should have at least another season to demonstrate that he can be the Browns’ long-term answer at quarterback … or not.

BrownsBummer – Can’t wait for the Browns-Steelers game. I am hungry for this win.

Love your optimism, BrownsBummer (although your handle doesn’t really suggest that you tend to see the brighter side of things).

I think it will be an extremely difficult game for the Browns. Asking Thad Lewis, in his first NFL start, to lead the team to victory against the league’s top-ranked defense and arguably the greatest defensive mind in the game in Dick LeBeau, could honestly be asking too much.

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