Weeden finding comfort level

Posted Oct 1, 2012

Quarterback Brandon Weeden is developing a comfort level within the Browns’ offense and with his wide receivers.

Since his opening day start against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 9, Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden has completed 78 of 132 attempts for 869 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions.

Weeden completed 25 of 52 attempts for 320 yards with an interception in a 23-16 loss at the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium last Thursday night, two weeks after he threw for a Browns rookie record of 322 yards and two touchdowns at the Cincinnati Bengals.

“I think it’s just confidence -- confidence in the guys around me, confidence in my ability, making good throws and building off of those,” Weeden said. “It’s getting better, but I’m not even close to satisfied. We haven’t won a game yet and that’s my main goal. Until we start winning games, it’s tough to be satisfied whether you played (well) or not.”

Weeden has completed 90 of 167 passes for 997 yards during the first quarter of his rookie season. He has spread the ball out to 12 different players, including the wide receivers, running backs and tight ends.

Second-year wide receiver Greg Little caught four passes for a team-best 77 yards against the Ravens and leads the Browns with 151 yards receiving.

“I can make it easier on them and I told those guys they make me a lot better than I am sometimes and I can make them better,” Weeden said of his wide receivers. “I’m not good without them and they’re not good without me. It works hand-in-hand and we’ve had several talks about it. They know how I feel.

“It’s a work in progress, but we expect them to make plays. We’re in the National Football League and you get paid to make big-time plays. That’s everybody on board. I’m happy with our receivers. They battle; they work hard; they don’t complain; they don’t beg for the ball. We’ve got a good group of guys and there’s not another group I’d want to work through it with.”

When looking at the progress the Browns have made on offense through the first four weeks of the season, Weeden said the team needs to avoid putting themselves into long yardage situations in order to get rookie running back Trent Richardson more involved in the offense.

“When you have a guy like Trent, he’s there to take a lot of pressure off of us,” Weeden said. “If we keep ourselves out of second-and-10 and third-and-10, you’re able to run the football, but when you’re forced to throw the ball, it’s tough to win being so one dimensional. That’s not anybody’s fault but our own. We’re putting ourselves in those situations where we’re having to throw the football. We’ve got to find a way to get 33 (Richardson) the ball, whether it’s out of the backfield or handing it to him.”

In addition to avoiding second and third-and-long situations, Weeden is working to improve his timing and handling the pressure from opposing defenses.

After being sacked eight times for 50 lost yards through the first three games of the season, Weeden was sacked only once in the eight plays in which he was hit by Baltimore’s aggressive defense. Weeden said Baltimore “blitzed probably half the plays” last Thursday night.

“You’ve just got to stand in there and take them,” Weeden said of the hits from opposing defenses. “You’ve got to stand in the pocket and deliver an accurate throw, but if you know where they’re coming a step ahead, if you can get the ball out before you get hit or get it to a guy in space, it makes it easier. For the most part, I’m growing there. That’s just trusting the guys in front of you. Those guys in front of you and the backs protecting, if you can trust those guys and set your feet, it’s a lot better recipe for success.”

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