Because of a difference in age and an extended stint in minor league baseball, Brandon Weeden and Sam Bradford never locked up in a Bedlam duel.
And because of how the 2012 NFL schedule broke, we’re still yet to see the two OKC-area quarterbacks match wits and cannon-arms on the football field.
That is, until Thursday night in Cleveland, when the duo went head-to-head in the first quarter of their preseason opener.
Yes, it’s only a glorified exhibition. But unless they match up in the Super Bowl (which is about as likely as Oregon State meeting Vanderbilt in the national title game), this is all we have to go on for at least another season.
And if you’re a fan of either quarterback, you can only hope it was a sign of things to come.
Weeden was terrific in limited action, leading the Browns to scores on both of his allotted possessions. Overall, he was 10-of-13 passing for 112 yards, including a short TD strike to running back Dion Lewis, in Cleveland’s 27-19 win over the Rams.
Despite the laid-back nature of the game, it was one of Weeden’s most promising professional appearances, particularly because it came in his debut under the new Rob Chudzinski-Norv Turner regime, which many have speculated will help showcase his downfield passing ability.
“I felt pretty good,” Weeden told the Cleveland Plain Dealer after the game. ”When I talked to you Wednesday, I just wanted to manage the game, have positive plays, don’t go backward and do my part to help our offense. Overall, the communication was great, which allowed us to play a little faster. It’s just knowing where to go with the football. I think for the most part I made pretty good decisions tonight and we had guys around make big plays.”
For Bradford, who has been surrounded by the best set of weapons he’s seen since entering the league, it was another positive sign that year four might serve as his breakout campaign, propelling him from decent starter to the NFL’s elite.
Also in limited action, Bradford went 5-of-8 passing on his three drives, including a 58-yard perfectly placed bomb to Chris Givens and a three-yard TD toss to him a couple plays later.
“A little frustrating on the first drive,” Bradford told reporters, referring to the early fumble by his backup running back deep in Browns’ territory. “We put something together, had a nice third down conversion and we were moving the ball, and to turn it over in scoring position is always a little bit frustrating. But, it’s nice to finish the night with a touchdown.”
But in reality, not too much can be gleaned from the preseason opener, except a sour taste in our collective college football loving mouths, bitter that we never got to see this ideal Bedlam QB duel. Two homegrown products, two beloved statesmen and two eventual first-round picks battling it out for their rival schools.
Sam Bradford’s 2008 Sooners, who made the national championship, against Brandon Weeden’s 2011 Cowboys, who were a fluke double-overtime loss against Iowa State away from getting there.
Who would have won? And wouldn’t that have been fun?