The Cleveland Browns named rookie
In his words, the National Football League is too tough, in terms of competition and talent, to rest up instead of preparing.
“I’m excited about it,” Weeden said following Monday’s practice. “I busted my tail for 10 practices now and I’ve really put in a lot of work, a lot of studying. I’ve had some ups, had some downs, but I think I’ve come a long way and hearing the news is obviously exciting, but my preparation is not going to change.
“I’m going to go about it the same way I’ve been going about it, continue to get better as a football player, continue to be a leader on this football team and play Friday. My job is to get this team better to start winning games on Friday.”
“As a player, you don’t really think about it; it was going to happen sooner or later,” Weeden said. “Now that it’s official and I’m going to start the first one, that was what I wanted. That was my goal and I’m excited about it. It’s a privilege. A lot of hard work has gone into it, but it’s a privilege to be the starting quarterback for this football team.”
Weeden will get that privilege Friday night when he makes his first NFL start against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.
The Lions possess a solid pass rush, one that generated 41 sacks on opposing quarterbacks last season. Led by Cliff Avril (11 sacks, six forced fumbles) and Kyle Vanden Bosch (eight sacks, four forced fumbles), the defensive line was the catalyst for Detroit’s defense.
Weeden said he will experience “a lot of emotions” on Friday.
“My main goal is to go out, however long I play, be 100 percent in my responsibilities -- no missed assignments on my team, on my part,” Weeden said. “I think it’s going to be fast. Guys are going to be flying around. It’s going to be fun. It’ll be nice to get hit a couple times, but it’s nice. Practice is nice; you’ve got to do it, but as a player, you love putting the pads on, playing in front of people and going out and it meaning something, putting points on the board.”
While coach Pat Shurmur said Weeden would play with the first-team and then, let the other quarterbacks on the roster play for the remainder of the game, the first-year quarterback said he would take any and all practice repetitions he can get in order to prepare for the regular season.
“You look at guys like Peyton Manning, the guy’s been in the league 12, 13, 14 whatever how many years, he takes every rep,” Weeden said. “As a quarterback, you can’t see enough looks; you can’t make enough throws; you can’t get enough game reps to get prepared. As a quarterback, you want as many as you can because there’s so many different looks they’re giving you and you can do so many things offensively that are completely different. I don’t take any rep for granted. I take every, single rep and learn something from it.”
In addition to getting the repetitions and finding more of a comfort level in the Browns’ West Coast offense, Weeden plans on using the preseason and the remainder of training camp as a time to bond with his teammates.
“I know the plays well enough now where I can get in the huddle and joke with the guys and I’m not worried about what’s going on or thinking too much,” Weeden said. “I can really communicate with the guys like Alex (Mack) and Joe (Thomas), who have been in there for a while. The chemistry is great; it’s getting better and is going to continue to get better. I feel a lot more comfortable in the huddle, even more than I did when we started this thing a couple weeks ago.”