STILLWATER — Brandon Weeden represents tradition with Oklahoma State football. Recent tradition, no doubt, since Weeden quarterbacked the 2011 Cowboys to the Big 12 championship and a Fiesta Bowl victory, but still, tradition.
And it pleased OSU coach Mike Gundy on Thursday when Weeden stopped by the Cowboys’ spring practice.
“When we started here years ago, we said that at some point, in order for Oklahoma State to be successful in the long run, that we have to develop and build tradition,” Gundy said.
“You start to build tradition by winning. Then when you start to win, you bring good players in and you take good care of them. Over a four-, five-, six-year period they’ll start to come back. Then that cycle starts, where it takes a long time.”
Weeden spent the last two seasons with the Cleveland Brown but recently signed with the Dallas Cowboys. So he should be around a little more.
“I miss you guys,” Weeden said to OSU fans. “I do. I love being back in Oklahoma and, if I’m in the city or wherever, I love just walking down the mall and seeing people wearing Oklahoma State shirts and hats and stuff.
“It’s a family. It truly is, and I think once you’re gone and you’re away from it for a little while, you kind of forget that and kind of take it for granted, but when you’re here, Oklahoma State fans have been nothing short of remarkable. I miss you and look forward to being around here for the future.”
Gundy is a former Cowboy quarterback himself, in all likelihood OSU’s greatest until Weeden came along.
“There’s really no fast forward button in developing tradition, and that’s tradition when players come back,” Gundy said. “We’ve had a number of guys show up, but here’s a guy that just signed with the Cowboys and is going to take time out of his day to drive up and be around the team and watch the quarterbacks. It means a lot to us and that’s what has to happen in order for us to continue to have success.”
Here are Weeden’s thoughts on a variety of other subjects:
On the current OSU quarterbacks: “I thought they all looked pretty good. I think Daxx Garman can just flat-out spin it. I think he sits back in the pocket and throws a good ball, very accurate. J.W. (Walsh), I was around him for a few years so I kind of know what he brings. He’s just a football player. He throws a good ball. You can tell he’s in complete control of the offense — again, just being a leader. Mason (Rudolph) looks good. From the reps I saw, he sits back there and he’s a big kid. You can tell he’s still learning, but I think he’s a guy that has a pretty high ceiling.”
On the Cowboys overall: “Very good, talented team. I think there’s a lot of young guys that show a lot of promise; some names that I’m becoming pretty familiar with, some guys that may be new to the program, but I think are going to be guys we’re going to rely on for the years to come. You’ve got guys like J.W. that have been around here for a little while. You can just watch him practice and tell he’s a leader on offense and does things the right way. So, overall, good. I think Coach Gundy’s got them going the right direction.”
On Gundy preparing players beyond college: “I think that’s one thing I’ve always given Coach Gundy a lot of credit about. He always tries to prepare guys for life after football in the professional ranks or a professional out in the business world or whatever it may be. He expects you to be on time, do things the right way, take care of your stuff off the field, and then when you show up, be prepared and practice hard. I think the way he runs this organization, this program, again, it’s like a business. He doesn’t tolerate guys being late. He doesn’t tolerate guys not trying hard and those types of things, and I think that’s going to benefit these guys if they get a chance to play at the next level or when they get out in the real world.”
On how it sounds to say he’s a Dallas Cowboy: “It sounds really good. I like it a lot. I haven’t heard that sentence yet, but I think it’s exciting. It’s a dream come true to be able to play down in Dallas, and I’m excited about what’s in store.”
On his emotions upon signing with Dallas: “Extremely excited. I was ready for a change of scenery. I was ready for being in an atmosphere where it’s a well-run organization that’s going to compete every Sunday. Kind of a fresh start for me, and I think for myself and the Browns, both mutually agreed that was going to be best for both sides and everything went great from there. I respect everything (Cleveland general manager) Ray Farmer did there with me and the conversation we had. Now that I’m in a new spot, now I’m excited about what’s ahead.”
On signing with the New York Yankees (which Weeden did out of Edmond Santa Fe in 2002) and the Dallas Cowboys: “There’s a lot of people that absolutely love them and there’s a lot of people across the country that ... either love them or hate them. That’s the thing about the Cowboys and Yankees; it’s a nationwide thing. It doesn’t bother me one bit. Two great franchises, two first-class franchises and I’m just honored to be a part of both of them.”