Teammates 'have Brandon's back'

Posted Nov 27, 2013

Those who line up next to quarterback Brandon Weeden believe in the second-year Browns signal-caller.

As Jason Campbell recovers from the concussion he suffered in the third quarter of last week’s 27-11 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden was named the starter for Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

And with Wednesday’s announcement came the support of his teammates.

“We have Brandon’s back,” outside linebacker Paul Kruger said. “He’s here, working hard every day. He’s a good player. He’s got a strong arm and he’s smart. There’s only a few guys in the league that are exceptional at it. It’s not too late for anything for us. We have five games left. We can finish strong. We can make good things happen for us. It’s us staying positive, making the changes we need to make to better ourselves and win games. If we do those things, we can finish this season really strong.”

Defensive captain, and middle linebacker, D’Qwell Jackson added, “I’ve always been behind Brandon from day one. It’s the back-and-forth game. As a pro, you have to always prepare whether you’re a starter or a backup. You’ve always got to prepare as if you’re playing.”

Having spent the last two seasons playing against Weeden every day in practice has given defensive back Joe Haden an appreciation for the work the second-year quarterback puts in during classroom sessions and on-field work.

“I know he’s going to be on top of his stuff,” Haden said. “I know he hears the noise. I know he hears the boos. That upsets us and I know that upsets him. That’s our guy, and I know he’s going to come in this week, do what he can do, study the film, and just try to go out there and execute. That’s all we can do now, just go out there, try to make plays and try to come out on top.”

While the defenders are tasked with rushing opposing passers and keeping some of the NFL’s most talented wide receivers contained, they believe the hardest job on the football field is the one that Weeden will reassume Sunday.

“That’s the one position on the field that matters more than anything,” Kruger said. “You’ve got 53 guys depending on you, and you really can’t make a mistake. You’ve got to be a special guy. It’s a tough position. That’s why they get paid the way they do. That’s why they’re protected the way they are. There’s a reason for those things and that’s because those guys can change the game.”

Jackson continued, “He plays a tough position. He takes all the credit when you win, and unfortunately, he takes all the credit when you lose. I’m more than confident he can get it done. If he’s up or if Jason’s up, it doesn’t matter to me who’s back there. I know both guys are more than capable enough to help us win some games.”

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