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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

The Browns also drafted Alabama tailback Trent Richardson, third overall. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, only three NFL teams ever opened the season starting rookies at both quarterback and tailback: the 2008 Ravens (Joe Flacco/Ray Rice), the 1968 expansion Bengals (Dewey Warren, Paul Robinson) and the '69 Cowboys (Staubach/Calvin Hill). None of the duos lasted the whole season. Staubach was subbing for the injured Craig Morton.

Staubach didn't get the Cowboy QB job full time until 1971. Landry was slow to commit to an inexperienced quarterback, even someone as talented and mature as Staubach, a Naval Academy graduate who spent five years in service to the country before going to the NFL.

Those days are gone. Ballyhooed rookie quarterbacks now almost always are thrown in the fire.

And Staubach said Weeden's age will not be a negative. He said Weeden can have as long a career as he wants. Staubach played 11 seasons and was chased away not by old age, but by too many concussions.

“If he can throw it at 28, he's still going to be firing that thing at 38,” Staubach said. “Quarterbacks can stay around quite a while … if he's a fitness guy and stays in shape, he can play a long time in the NFL. He'll get a full NFL career.”

In some ways, a fuller NFL career. Weeden is an old-pro rookie. What was a curse before the draft now becomes a blessing.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at

by Berry Tramel
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 Oklahoman,...
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