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Browns QB Brandon Weeden has a cannon of an arm

Associated Press Modified: May 12, 2012 at 6:02 pm •  Published: May 12, 2012
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BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Clay pigeons became clay particles.

In the blink of an eye, Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden's powerful right arm turned the tiny targets into dust.

As he prepared for the NFL draft, Weeden recently took part in an experiment on an episode of ESPN's "Sports Science," where the former Oklahoma State star and one-time minor league baseball pitcher fired footballs at clay targets traveling at 43 mph.

During one stretch he downed four out of five, blasting the soaring projectiles into smithereens.

"Pretty impressive," said wide receiver Josh Cooper, Weeden's college teammate who signed as an undrafted free agent with the Browns. "It's hard to do that with a shotgun."

Weeden's got a cannon, and his major league arm was on display again Saturday as Cleveland's rookies continued their three-day minicamp with two practices.

The 28-year-old Weeden has shown he can throw any pass — any time. With a flick of his wrist, he has effortlessly flung the ball 55 yards down the field, stood tall in the pocket and delivered 15-yard sideline patterns to receivers in stride and showed nice touch in dumping balls off to running backs.

Weeden's arm strength has been well-documented, and not just by the TV science experiment. While in college, he dislocated two of Cooper's fingers with missiles over the middle.

"It's a tight spiral. It's coming fast and it's usually right on the money," said Cooper, who had 161 receptions for 1,696 yards and 11 touchdowns in college. "He can either fire it in there or put some touch on it. He's that kind of quarterback. He knows what to do with the ball."

The Browns selected Weeden with the No. 22 overall pick in last month's NFL draft, a selection that seemed to indicate the team is moving away from incumbent starter Colt McCoy, who has had two inconsistent seasons in Cleveland. And although coach Pat Shurmur maintains competition will determine the starter, Weeden's arm strength alone would appear to give him a huge edge over McCoy.

Weeden's ball whistles through the air.

Shurmur, who has coached Donovan McNabb and Sam Bradford, said Weeden has an innate ability to sling the football.

"He is a very smooth thrower," he said. "He throws the ball easy and I think a guy that can throw the ball with a smooth motion, the ball presents itself to the receivers well. That helps them be more efficient catching it. I like what I've seen from him just in terms of throwing the football, for sure.

"His touch and accuracy are all part of it. It's kind of a natural thing, that they just know to take a little off of it because a guy's 5 yards away and then whether to put it on the right or left shoulder based on where the defender is so he can turn away from it, all things that we teach and we emphasize, but some guys kind of naturally get it."

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