Cleveland Browns' quarterback, Brandon Weeden, was one of a number of PGA and celebrities participating in the annual Verplank Foundation Invitational, which raises money to fund scholarships.
Weeden was the 22nd-overall pick in the 2012 draft, played in 15 games last season and finished with the Browns' rookie record for yards passing (3,385). In his first season, he helped Cleveland upset the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers.
In 2012, he led Oklahoma State to a 41-38 victory over Andrew Luck and Stanford in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Before teeing off, Weeden took a minute to talk about his first year, baseball and what he's looking forward to.
Q: You're here at this celebrity golf tournament, and you've played baseball, you've played football. you're just kind of an all-around athlete. How do you expect yourself to perform today?
A: I've played enough golf where I should be able to play well. If I don't, I put a lot of pressure on myself to play well, so whenever I'm having to hit the ball well, you know, there's a lot of pressure there. But I'm excited, I feel like it'll be fun to get out and be with some of the PGA guys.
Can you talk about having the rookie record and what your goals are for yourself next season?
I played well at times last year, but I didn't play well enough consistently throughout the entire year, so I feel like I need to get better to make our team better. Find a way, whatever I can do to make our team better. Being in my second year, I know what to kind of expect. First year was tough, because I was kind of winging it each week. Just, I didn't really know what to expect as far who we were playing: I'd never played against these defenses and these coaches, so I'm excited about year two.
Two of the wins you guys got last season, the first one was against Cincinnati, and then you guys got another win, 20-14, against the Steelers. What was it like for you winning against those two teams?
They're great teams, and they're in our division, and the divisional games are the ones you need to win. Pittsburgh is similar to Bedlam around here, it's probably even a step higher, but it's a very big rivalry. If you can beat Pittsburgh, Cleveland fans will be happy for at least six or seven days. … That was one of my favorite and probably one of the biggest wins we had last year.
You got a concussion in that Pittsburgh game, so it was probably a little bittersweet in that sense. Can you talk a little bit about that and how you recovered?
The last five minutes were a little foggy; I wasn't able to sit out there and celebrate. But we played well enough, our defense forced a lot of turnovers, we were able to get things going offensively enough to score enough points. So yeah, it was bittersweet from the fact I couldn't enjoy it with my teammates, but at the same time, when you're in the NFL it's all about winning games.
You've probably heard this a lot: 28 years old going into the NFL, the oldest NFL rookie, do you feel like you were treated differently because you were older than a lot of the guys in the locker room?
I think there was just more expectation. Even though I was a rookie, I think people expected me to play like a five- or six-year veteran. Fair or not fair, it's a challenging league, and you can't go in expecting to dominate week in and week out, it's just too tough. I wouldn't say I was treated unfairly. My teammates treat me great, obviously they gave me a hard time, but we've got a good locker room, and they were good to me all year long.
You've played MLB, you've played in the NFL; can you talk about the difference between those professional leagues as an athlete?
It's a lot different. Football you prepare Monday through Saturday to play on Sunday, and in baseball, you throw every five days, but you kind of take a couple days off in between; it's kind of more laid back, the NFL is just a grind. You've got to work all year long to play 16 games. Each game, each quarter, each play is so precious and so tough that you've got to stay dialed in week in and week out. Baseball's not like that, you're playing 140 games and if you lose a couple here and there that's not really that big of a deal.
Between the two, which is more fun for you?
I enjoy playing being in the NFL. I enjoy playing football, and going out here and competing with some of the best athletes in the world.
In 2007, you decided you wanted to enroll in college. You had options; I mean you're from Oklahoma City — OU vs. OSU — why'd you pick OSU?
I reached out to both, and Oklahoma State only had three quarterbacks on their roster, at the time OU had five. Sam (Bradford) was young, he was a sophomore, and I just felt like my opportunity to play and play sooner was at Oklahoma State. Not only that, I signed to baseball there out of high school, and I was going to play football, as well. So I was going to be a dual sport out of high school. Just decided that Stillwater was somewhere I enjoy being. I love it up there, the fans are great, and fortunately it all worked out. We turned the program around, we won a lot of games my last two years, and I still love it and being in town.
You lived in Stillwater, can you talk about your decision to live there?
(My wife and I) rented a house, and we enjoyed our time up there. We live here in Edmond now, but it's still fun going back to Stillwater and you drive in town, and you kind of reminisce on everything that happened. You spent five years of your life there, it's kind of bittersweet. Me and my wife both miss it. We enjoyed all of our time there, and we get back as much as we can.
Colt McCoy is another quarterback who was on the team last year. He went to Texas, you went OSU, was there any rivalry that went on between the two of you guys?
When Texas played Oklahoma State, there was some crap talking and some stuff going on there. But for the most part, we kept it pretty low key. We both like the Big 12, and we want the Big 12 to do well. There was some jawing going on, absolutely. They got us; I think he got away with one. I think there was a fumble at the goal line, but it is what it is. There'll be more crap talking.