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Oklahoma State football: Brandon Weeden has made a career of proving doubters wrong

There have been doubters throughout Brandon Weeden's two-sport career. Now, he must do the same with Browns' coach Rob Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner. And he has to start by showing them that he has corrected some of the issues that led to struggles during his rookie season.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: July 6, 2013 at 9:30 am •  Published: July 5, 2013

Brandon Weeden went through many changes in his first season as an NFL quarterback.

New coaches. New system. New pressures.

Now as he prepares for his second season in Cleveland — training camp starts in less than three weeks — little has changed for the former Oklahoma State superstar. The Browns changed owners midway through last season, and that led to a slew of moves.

New coaches. New system. New pressures.

“You want to prove to those guys that you're the guy,” Weeden said.

He has yet to be named the starter, having drawn criticism from new Cleveland general manager Michael Lombardi, but if anyone is capable of proving himself worthy, it's the big-armed redhead from Edmond.

“I've been in this position before,” he mused.

Sure has.

There have been doubters throughout Weeden's career. Doubters when he decided to try playing Division-I football after leaving professional baseball. Doubters when he was the third-string quarterback at OSU languishing behind Alex Cate. Doubters when he was a 28-year-old heading into the draft.

He proved all of them wrong.

Now, he must do the same with Browns' coach Rob Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner. And he has to start by showing them that he has corrected some of the issues that led to struggles during his rookie season.

Weeden finished last year with 14 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. His quarterback rating of 72.6 ranked 29th in the league.

The Browns won just five games.

“There were times last year we weren't very good,” he said recently before a charity event at Oak Tree Golf Club, “and it all falls back on me.”

He's accepting more blame than he likely deserves. The Browns, after all, were often an overmatched bunch that relied on loads of young players.

But Weeden still has to be better.

And he plans to be.

“I've done the things in the offseason to get myself better, to put myself in a position to play better,” he said.

He spends hours at night studying the playbook, even enlisting help from his wife, Melanie.

“I do everything I possibly can to learn this system,” he said.

This is a system, after all, that could change the trajectory of Weeden's career. Turner, who stinks as a head coach but sure knows how to run an offense, wants to stretch the field. Go long. Go deep. That suits Weeden's strength — his big arm — much better than Brad Childress' dink-and-dump system did.

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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