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Childress to Weeden: 'Keep shooting'

Posted Sep 14, 2012

Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress wants quarterback Brandon Weeden to continue testing opponents by throwing the ball downfield.

Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress watched from the coach’s booth as rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden threw four interceptions in a 17-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

However, despite those four turnovers through the air, Childress wants his quarterback to continue throwing the ball downfield and in tight windows instead of thinking too much during his time on the field.

“You prop him back up and get him back on the horse,” Childress said Thursday. “I’d worry about him if he didn’t keep shooting. You’ve got to keep shooting. You’re trying to give him throws that he’s comfortable with, which we had our chances. We had some swings at them; we just didn’t execute quite the way we needed to execute.”

Pro Bowl cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie collected two interceptions against Weeden last Sunday, while safety Kurt Coleman was responsible for the other two.

Childress said that Rodgers-Cromartie and the Eagles’ other starting cornerback, Nnamdi Asomugha, “may be the best pair around.”

“Those corners are good corners,” Childress said. “The way that they play is kind of an up-in-your-face style, which is something that we need to be able to contend with probably on a weekly basis. It disrupts timing in any offense that you play, but those off-schedule throws, they’re just as important as the rhythm, on-time throws.”

After watching the game film, Childress recalled a lesson he has learned many times during his 14-year coaching career in the National Football League: the margin between winning and losing is thin.

“If you go back and pull apart what kind of interceptions those were, the first one was a tipped ball, which could go from an interception to a first-and-goal where you say, ‘Well, that was a pretty good throw,’” Childress said. “The two down the sideline to Cromartie, he doesn’t give Travis (Benjamin) a chance to use his speed, not necessarily his size, but his speed. That’s one of those (where) you’ve got to give him an opportunity to make a play. The last one is a straight overthrow. I don’t feel like it’s too big for him. You’re going to throw interceptions. The first pick in the draft (Andrew Luck of Indianapolis) threw three.”

This week, Childress and quarterbacks coach Mark Whipple have worked with Weeden on correcting the mistakes from the Philadelphia game while preparing for this week’s meeting with the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

When asked about Weeden still working on chemistry with his receivers, Childress emphasized that with more completions comes more confidence.

“We’re a progression system, so we may have great intentions of wanting to throw the football to receiver A; he’s the No. 1 read, but by the way this thing’s defined, if we go to receiver A and he’s covered, then, we progress to two and three,” Childress said. “Guys have to be patient with that. We don’t know what exact coverage they’re going to play. We’re one game in and typically, when somebody makes plays for you, you have a tendency to continue to look at somebody and that will evolve as the season goes on.”