Rookie QB Brandon Weeden will become a Browns leader right away

Take it from a guy who knows: Hall of Famer Roger Staubach
by Berry Tramel Published: July 29, 2012
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Remember all the talk before the NFL Draft about how Brandon Weeden's advanced age would work against him? Probably it did.

But post-draft? Now that Weeden has an employer, his age suddenly becomes a plus.

Weeden is a 28-year-old rookie quarterback with the Cleveland Browns. But he's no ordinary rookie.

Only four offensive players in the Browns' training camp are older than the 28-year-old Weeden.

Which means leadership will come much easier and much more quickly for Weeden.

So says Roger Staubach, who was 27 years old when he made his NFL debut and 29 before Tom Landry handed him the Dallas Cowboy huddle for good.

“Being a leader as a quarterback is really important,” Staubach said from his Dallas office the other day. “His age will work for him there.

“That's the position where you can really take advantage of it. That's a position that's more than throwing the ball. It's leading the team.”

The Browns have yet to name Weeden their starter, but that's considered a formality. Cleveland coach Pat Shurmur said he could name a starter anytime between now and the exhibition opener next week.

And Weeden not only is talking like the leader, he's being treated as the leader. Weeden has taken the majority of snaps through the first two days of practice, the Cleveland media swarms Weeden at every chance and Weeden talks about his new teammates the way he talked about his OSU comrades the previous two seasons, building up receivers be they proven or not.

In 1969, Staubach joined a Cowboy team with established players like Ralph Neely, Walt Garrison, Lance Rentzel and Bob Hayes. But Staubach was older than them all.

“Made a big difference,” Staubach said. “I was their age; they looked up to me. It's a positive thing to have that. You're going to be quarterbacking guys, as a rookie, that are younger than you. I don't think it'll work against him in the long run.”

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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