Ask Vic: Accuracy key for Weeden

Posted Oct 8, 2013

Senior Editor Vic Carucci answers fan questions from the Browns’ official Facebook and Twitter pages, and

You’ve got questions and comments that you submit to the Browns’ official Facebook and Twitter pages, and Here’s what I have to say about what you have to say:

Ed says: “Brandon Weeden has to be perfect for us to win games. And by perfect I mean, no picks and get the ball out faster!”

I say: I’m with you on the points of Weeden avoiding interceptions and getting the ball out faster, Ed.

But to me, perfection also includes accuracy, not just in terms of keeping the ball out of the hands of the opposing team but also in terms of completing the majority of his throws. I want to see Weeden put the ball in the best possible places for receivers to not only make the catch but also go onto gain significant yards.

The intensive coaching he has received and will continue to receive from offensive coordinator Norv Turner should help on all counts. However, what will help the most is Weeden taking it upon himself to address the flaws in his game by putting in as much extra time as is necessary on the practice field and in the film room. And I fully expect he will do that.

You would assume Weeden was paying close attention to what Brian Hoyer did during his two starts while Weeden was out with an injured thumb. You would assume he saw the brisk pace with which Hoyer ran the offense, making quick decisions with where to go with the ball and wasting little time delivering it, and will do all he can to incorporate that into his game.

Kyle says: “Just my opinion, but I think every game should be played like a playoff game. There is three-way tie for first place in our division, and this Detroit game is a must win. I think the Browns’ defense will be tested and will be the key to win the game.”

I say: Totally agree, Kyle.

Attitude is everything with the Browns. Attitude has gone a long way toward allowing them to overcome a 0-2 start and all of the other forms of adversity they’ve faced so far.

There are plenty of players on the roster with considerable mental toughness. They understand what it takes to win the many close, competitive games they’ve played all season. They have delivered difference-making plays on both sides of the ball when they’ve been needed.

And the defense is one of the best in the NFL. It will be tested, for certain, against the next two quarterbacks on the schedule – Detroit’s Matthew Stafford and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers.

But it’s built to withstand the many challenges coming its way as it has withstood most of the ones they’ve faced so far. The Browns can stop the run, turn up the heat on the quarterback, and, as a bonus, they’re showing considerable improvement in their secondary with surprisingly strong play from cornerback Buster Skrine and free safety Tashaun Gipson.

My sense is that the Browns will handle their current run of success and show the hunger necessary to at least compete for a chance to reach the postseason, especially with the AFC North being as wide open as it has been in a long time.
Bernard says: “I’m kind of scared of this game. The Lions’ pass rush is the best in the NFL. How will Brandon Weeden deal with it?”

I say: The better question is how will the Browns’ offensive line deal with that great pass rush, Bernard?

It will be difficult, to say the least. However, the Browns’ protection will be aided by the return of right guard Shawn Lauvao to full (or fuller) health. Left guard John Greco and center Alex Mack simply have to be exceptional. That means holding their own without being called for holding (at least not repeatedly) or any other penalties, which will be extremely difficult against the dominant inside duo of Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley.

Weeden needs to do his part by making decisions quickly, but accurately, and getting the ball out of his hand rapidly. He also must have good pocket awareness, something that he lacked in the early going of last week’s win against Buffalo.

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