By Andy Sedlak
Cleveland Browns storylines can change like the Ohio weather. I’m still waiting for my voice to come back after pleading for Romeo Crennel to give Brady Quinn a chance.
But there’s one storyline this season that has seems to have some staying power. And it doesn’t concern the suits over at Pilot Flying J.
Three words: Brandon Kyle Weeden. The soon-to-be 30-year-old NFL wunderkid.
That’s the hope anyway. The old cliché is that a player never matures more than he does between his first and second seasons. Last year the quarterback started 15 games, throwing 14 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He put up 3,385 yards and a quarterback rating of 72.6.
You don’t need to be dashing in Kosar’s town. But Weeden looked junior-high awkward at times. He panicked when pressured (hence the interceptions) stared at his receivers and even had trouble with the play calling.
All the while, there were bright spots. From the top of Section 506, we found ourselves thinking out loud: “If he can just get a few of these things straightened out…”
Introduce our new storyline. Weeden has officially been named the Browns starting QB once again. In two (I know) preseason games, he’s put up 229 yards and three touchdowns. He’s completed 18 of 25 passes.
More than that, he’s looked good doing it. He’s crisp, making quick decisions, stretching the field and putting a nice touch on shorter passes.
In both (seriously, I know) preseason games, he’s entered the ballgame, performed, and exited. Head held high.
He handles himself, you know, like a quarterback.
And that’s grabbing our attention. We can throw out the numbers because these are exhibition games. Weeden is claiming big league poise for the first time in the NFL career. It’s like he knows something we don’t.
And we’ve been waiting for a “quarterback” since Clinton administration.
We need to find him before the next one.
Food for Thought From Around the Country: “I don’t know if Weeden is a championship-level quarterback. I know he has the No. 1 ingredient – arm strength. He now has the right offense, the right coaches and, possibly, the right supporting cast. So let’s find out.” – Tony Grossi, ESPN Cleveland
Until Next Time: With your fantasy drafts approaching, we’re all on the hunt for a new pithy team name. A colleague recently passed along some Browns-inspired suggestions…
-In the Garden of Weeden
-Weeden Start the Fire
— Andy Sedlak is a multimedia journalist for WHIO-TV and the Dayton Daily News. He’s been a Cleveland Browns season ticket holder since the team’s rebirth in 1999. He routinely suffers “Bottlegate” flashbacks and still hates Jose Mesa.