And so begins another new era of Cleveland Browns football. Well, at least part of the new era that is.
Brandon Weeden will make his anticipated debut as the new savior of the Cleveland Browns when he steps under center for the first time tonight against the Lions. Unfortunately, Trent Richardson won’t be in the back field waiting for his first ever handoff against NFL level competition thanks to a gimpy knee. I know I only partially addressed Richardson’s knee issue on Wednesday, but I’d like to clarify my position on the whole thing. Yes, it was a minor procedure to clean up a small piece of cartilage, but you know what?
I’m freaking the eff out about this. No, this is not good… not good at all. That is of course unless the idea of your first round draft pick, #3 overall, going under the knife before even stepping on the field for a preseason game, let alone a regular season game. Richardson got hurt… practicing. It’s not even like he was hit in the knee or twisted it making some badass cut. Does no one else see why this should be troublesome?
At this rate I think the yearly ritual of buying stock in Jack Daniels prior to the Browns opening day might be happening three weeks earlier than normal.
But I digress…
The positive is the fact that Brandon Weeden and his 35-year-old self is finally going to see live action against a Lions team that might very well try to destroy him. Remember that Ndamukong Suh guy? Ya, he still plays for them. I feel sorry for Brandon Weedon’s osteoporosis riddled hips (Yes, for those of you wondering, buckle up. It’s about to be a long season full of Brandon Weeden old age jokes). There’s about a 75% chance of Brandon Weeden getting hit late during one of the two series he’s likely to play tonight because that’s what the Lions do.
In all honesty though, what should we be looking for from Weedon tonight? First off, I want to see his arm in action. I didn’t really pay much attention to OK State last year so I never really saw Weeden play. It’s should be fun to see how he delivers the ball and exactly what type of zip it has on it in contrast to Colt McCoy. Can he really fit it into the tight windows that all of the Browns’ beat writers have been going on and on about?
I also want to what type of decisions he makes. Yes, he’s probably only going to throw a handful of times, but does he show confidence when he makes them? Does he have an idea of what he wants to do? Will he try to push the ball down field or will he settle for check downs? Will he stare down his receivers? Basically, will he look like a typical rookie QB or will he show a bit more maturity given the path he’s taken to get to the NFL?
What do I think is going to happen? You might want to sit down if you’re an optimist.
I don’t think Weeden is going to fare well. I have the suspicion that he’s only going to make somewhere between 4 to 7 throws depending on how things go, he’s going to look rushed thanks to the Lions front seven, and he’s going to throw a pick. All that is coming for one very specific reason.
BECAUSE BRANDON WEEDEN IS A ROOKIE!!!
Everyone going on and on and on about how Weeden is the second coming of Joe Montana and will lead the Browns to the promised land in the first two years needs to stop. He’s a rookie, he’s going to look terrible at times, and the Browns offense is going to struggle.
As a matter of fact, don’t be surprised if they Browns offense actually moves when Colt McCoy comes into the game. Remember, last year McCoy looked amazing in the first 3 preseason games. He scored points, threw down field, and looked like he had turned a corner. Then the regular season started and well… you all were there. You saw what happened unless of course you got concussed too.
The important thing about tonight, regardless of how things go, is that no matter how good or how bad Brandon Weeden looks we need to keep things in the proper perspective. It’s only one game in the preseason that doesn’t count for anything. What really matters is how Weeden looks on September 9th against the Eagles when he has (hopefully) a healthy Trent Richardson in the backfield to take some pressure off of him and the passing game.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go make an appointment with my stock broker down at the liquor store.