Like all first-year players, Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback
In addition to learning the Browns’ West Coast offense and the strengths and abilities of each one of his teammates, Weeden had to learn how to study for an NFL opponent. Although he did not change the amount of time spent studying the game, Weeden did alter his approach.
“The way I prepared, I really dissected it more,” Weeden said. “We did a lot of stuff that we didn’t do in the second game that we did in the first game. I wouldn’t say I put in more time because I always put in a lot of time, but after having the game I had the first week, I can’t let that happen again and it was on me to fix it.
“It’s just getting in a routine and understanding what you’re looking for, not just watching the game to watch a game. When you turn on the (Green Bay) Packers, it’s hard not to watch Aaron Rodgers do what he does against defenses, but you’ve got to really look at what we’re trying to get done against that defense.”
Browns coach Pat Shurmur felt Weeden had a good week of preparation leading up to the 2012 regular-season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns Stadium and felt that routine got better heading into last Sunday’s game at Cincinnati.
In his NFL debut, Weeden completed 12 of 35 attempts for 118 yards with four interceptions.
As the preparation got better, so did Weeden’s statistics. He completed 26 of 37 attempts for a Browns rookie record of 322 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
“It just shows me I can play at this level,” Weeden said. “The Bengals have a good defense; they were a playoff team last year and it gives you that self-confidence that you can make all the throws, do all the things to put your team in position to score touchdowns, score points. Confidence-wise, it was good for me. Now, I’ve just got to build off of it, be consistent and do it two weeks in a row.”
While he credited the preparation for his increased production, Weeden also complimented the play of wide receiver
“He does everything right,” Weeden said of Massaquoi. “He’s so decisive when he runs his routes; you know exactly what he’s going to do. That makes things so much easier for me. I can rely on him. I trust him. He’s going to make a play; he’s going to do everything he can that if he’s not going to catch it, nobody is. As a quarterback, that’s comforting. He’s a great player. I’ve got a ton of confidence in him and it started day one.”
Shurmur said Wednesday that he felt Weeden had a better week of preparation by “just watching him operate and knowing what we inspired him to do.”
“I thought he did some things better in terms of getting completions where we were trying to throw the ball down the field and he’d check it down or go to his third or fourth receivers, so there were a couple things there,” Shurmur said. “No. 1, he’s learning that completions are important and he’s also displaying to me that he’s more familiar with the progressions.”