At this time a year ago, the Cleveland Browns and the 31 other teams in the National Football League were going through an offseason without any contact between the players and coaches due to a work-stoppage.
This year, the Browns are going through organized team activities and mandatory minicamp practices with a new backfield led by first-round pick in quarterback
“Philosophically, you install the offense for all the players and the benefit of the way we’re doing it now is you’re getting a chance install it, add to it and go back and repeat it,” Browns coach Pat Shurmur said following Tuesday’s minicamp walk-through. “I think (Brandon’s) like every other player on offense. There are things he has to learn and the more he hears it, the better he’ll get.”
He added, “You’ve got to install the system, the things you like to do well and as you watch him practice, you kind of fine-tune it and let him do the things that he does well in the system,” Shurmur said. “There’s no set formula for that, but that’s why you practice, so you can watch it all happen and try to give him the best chance. It’s not just young quarterbacks; it’s all your quarterbacks. You want them to go out and, within the system, do what they do well.”
Weeden has enjoyed getting the opportunity to spend time with his teammates on the field and in the classroom, where he can learn their tendencies and get more familiar with their skill sets. He, however, is not rushing the transition from college to the NFL.
“Being a rookie, I think you like this time to get comfortable with what you are doing,” Weeden said. “As a competitor and as a football player, you want to throw the pads on. Even though not so much for me because I don’t hit or I’m not getting hit in minicamp, I think anytime you see flying bullets from our position with pads on and all of the chaos is going on around you, you get more comfortable. I think that’s what gets you ready to play games.”
Having worked with young quarterbacks in his two previous stops in the NFL, Donovan McNabb with the Philadelphia Eagles and the St. Louis Rams’ Sam Bradford, Shurmur is aware of how improved play at one position can elevate the entire offense.
“We all have certain things we need to do,” Shurmur said. “The receiver’s got to get open and the quarterback’s got to throw it to him. The better they both do at those tasks, the more efficient you’re going to be. I know this, a receiver that finds a way to get open and a quarterback that throws the ball accurately, on time, now you have your best chance to complete passes and run with the football. It goes hand-in-hand.”