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Weeden aims for consistency

Posted Oct 16, 2013

Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden aims to play at a consistently high level against the Green Bay Packers Sunday.

During the Cleveland Browns’ 31-17 loss to the Detroit Lions at FirstEnergy Stadium last Sunday, quarterback Brandon Weeden engineered three scoring drives in the second quarter that helped the team build a 17-7 halftime lead.

However, the Browns did not score after halftime, and in the third quarter, the team had three three-and-outs without a single first down.

As the team began its preparation for Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, Weeden focused on one thing above all us: consistency.

“You play the quarterback position at any level, those are the questions you’ve got to answer,” Weeden said. “Winning’s the cure-all. If we can win games, that cures everything. I need to do my part. I need to be more consistent to help this team in whatever way possible.

“You never want to lose. Once we get in here, especially today, it’s all behind us. It’s on to Green Bay and we’re not looking back. No loss is ever easy to shake off. You’ve got to have a short memory and move onto the next week against a good football team.”

After throwing a late interception that allowed the Lions to build their lead up to 14 points with Matthew Stafford’s third touchdown pass of the day to tight end Joseph Fauria with 2:01 to play in regulation, Weeden said he did his best to eliminate the outside distractions that come with making an error late in the game. He described it as “part of playing the position.”

“I’ve got very good earmuffs on,” Weeden joked. “I went out and bought the best ones I could. You can’t listen to it. All I care about is what goes on in this building. The guys in this building have my back, and I have theirs, and we’re all on the same page. It really doesn’t matter what else is being said. We’re a football team here, and I love coming to work with these guys every, single day.

“If you play this position long enough, you’re going to make mistakes. It’s how you bounce back and learn from them. The easy ones are social media, which turn into a joke. You watch movies with the wife and just don’t listen to it. I’ve been through ups and downs enough, and I’d like to say I’m mature enough to not listen to a seven-year old kid tell me how to play quarterback. I’m concerned with helping this team win games.”

Weeden has been able to move past last week’s loss to the Lions, the Browns’ first in a month, because of the support of his teammates, who verbally expressed their faith in the second-year quarterback before Wednesday’s practice.

“Nobody in the locker room is discouraged,” six-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas said. “Everybody’s behind him, and if he just makes a couple more plays in that game, I think we win and he’s the hero. Everybody has a lot of confidence and trust in what Brandon does. We definitely think he’s the guy that can lead us, this year, to the playoffs. I think he definitely feels the support from us. It’s unwavering, and we see all the good things he does.”

Veteran running back Willis McGahee added, “We all lost as a team. He didn’t lose for us. We all could’ve done better. We’ve got his back, so there’s no worries over here. It was my first game playing with him, and the question is how he responds this week. That’s what counts. You can’t do anything about the past. It’s over and done with.”

In addition to the faith that his teammates have shown in him, Weeden also draws confidence from that second quarter when he engineered those three scoring drives. In his mind, if the Browns can duplicate that productivity and string it together over the course of an entire game, the team will have success.

“You look back at the drives where we’re eventually able to score touchdowns, we had big plays,” Weeden said. “We had first downs. We got chunk yardage, and we weren’t able to do that in the second half. It was 11 guys not being on the same page, and that’s what it takes to be successful at this level.”