After nearly two weeks of practice in training camp, the Cleveland Browns will get the 2012 preseason underway Friday night when they head to the “Motor City” and face the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.
The Browns and Lions have met in each of the last 10 preseasons, and have five wins apiece in the summer series. However, the Browns are just 1-3 at Detroit in the last 10 years.
“I think because nobody is going to play the whole game, what you want is to go in and be generally efficient,” Browns coach Pat Shurmur said. “You don’t want penalties. You want to get lined up right, not too many men in the huddle.
“You want to see the quarterback be able to call the play, execute. It’s the same thing on defense, get lined up properly, defeat the blocks, address the gaps, tackle the ball-carrier and when they drop back to pass, I want to see some pass rush.”
Shurmur announced earlier this week that rookie
Weeden was selected by the Browns with the No. 22 overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. The former professional baseball player completed 767 of 1,102 attempts for 9,260 yards and 75 touchdowns for the Oklahoma State University Cowboys.
“Let’s remember now, he’s a rookie, so when he goes in, this will be his first NFL contest,” Shurmur said of Weeden. “We’re looking for him to go out there and execute and be generally efficient and then, take a lead of that huddle and direct us into the end zone.”
Weeden and the Browns’ first-team offense will be competing against a Lions defensive line led by veterans Kyle Vanden Bosch, Cliff Avril and former Brown, Corey Williams, as well as emerging players, Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley.
The Lions registered 41 quarterback sacks last fall, led by Avril’s 11 and six forced fumbles and Vanden Bosch’s eight takedowns.
“It’ll be nice to see another helmet, another jersey,” Weeden said. “I think any time you go through practice like this, it’s fun; it’s exciting to compete against your guys and make each other better, but as a player, you always love strapping it on against other guys. To put on a helmet and see another colored helmet, I think it’s a lot of fun and anytime you can keep score and the points actually add up, it’s a lot of fun.
“You always like a test off the bat to kind of get a feel for what you’re in for. I think this defensive line is very active. They’ve got guys who can rush the passer and that’s good for me. As a player, you want to face guys early on that can give you a feel for what you’re going to feel week-in and week-out.”
While Weeden and the offensive line look to handle the pressure Detroit is capable of generating up front, Cleveland’s defense will contend with Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson.
Johnson caught 96 passes for 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns last year and helped lead the Lions to the playoffs for the first time in 12 years.
“It’s going to be great,” Browns defensive back