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Cleveland Browns' Brandon Weeden enduring up-and-down rookie season

Former Oklahoma State and Edmond Santa Fe standout is learning on the job. But he believes the Browns are close to being a playoff contender.
By Mike Baldwin Published: November 24, 2012
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/articleid/3731759/1/pictures/1893029">Photo - Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden (3) throws during warm ups before an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Sharon Ellman)  ORG XMIT: CBS108
Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden (3) throws during warm ups before an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Sharon Ellman) ORG XMIT: CBS108

One area Weeden is focused on improving is a 55.3 percent completion percentage. He's had more passes dropped than any quarterback in the league, but also has missed his share of open receivers.

“This thing is all about completions,” Weeden said. “This isn't like Oklahoma State. There are so many ins and outs that you have to learn on the fly. You can't come into the league and expect to know some of these things that quarterbacks know that have been playing a lot of years.”

Weeden, 29, is much older than your typical NFL rookie quarterback. He played professional baseball before resuming a football career at OSU. He said the biggest adjustment is the pace of the game compared to the Cowboys' up-tempo offense that ran 90 to 100 plays a game.

“All the little nuances can make such a big difference, like checking down to a receiver,” Weeden said. “It's such a different mindset how you go about a game, even small things like running the clock.”

Weeden lives in Edmond in the off-season. So many friends, relatives and OSU fans attended last week's game he joked even the family dog made the trip to Arlington, Texas.

“It was a playoff-like atmosphere,” said Cleveland cornerback Sheldon Brown. “Each and every game is giving him experience. We're so proud of how Brandon has handled everything from the time he stepped into the locker room (last spring).”

Rookie quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III have enjoyed immediate success, but that's rare. Most rookies have to pay their dues like Weeden.

“No question I'm getting there,” Weeden said. “Teams will bring some crazy (defensive) stuff at me but I've pretty much seen everything for the most part. That's good. Early on I'd miss some things.

“I'm not where I need to be but I feel I've gotten better week in and week out. ... There are so many things I can do to get better. I'm so focused and bought in on this team. I just want to help this team start winning a lot of games.”


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