Weeden gets second look at Ravens

Posted Oct 31, 2012

Quarterback Brandon Weeden prepares for his second game against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday in Cleveland.

Brandon Weeden’s first two road starts as the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns came against the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens. After losing both of the initial matchups on the road, Weeden led the Browns to a 34-24 win over the Bengals in the rematch Oct. 14.

The Browns fell to the Ravens, 23-16, at M&T Bank Stadium in front of a national television audience on NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football on Sept. 27, but on Sunday afternoon, Weeden and the team will get a second chance at the Ravens at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

“We’ve come a long ways,” Weeden said of the improvement since the first Baltimore game. “I watched the game last night on my iPad at home, and Josh (Gordon) really hadn’t come into his own. I was doing some uncharacteristic things, missed some throws. We had some drops. We’re not making the same mistakes that we were making, so we’re coming a long way. After watching it last night, it’s very, very encouraging.

“Game reps are irreplaceable. When you’re able to get out there and make mistakes in the heat of the battle and you’re able to see it on tape, it makes you grow up pretty quick.”

Weeden completed 25 of 52 attempts for 320 yards with one interception in the loss at Baltimore. The yardage total was the second-highest for a Browns rookie quarterback, but his interception was returned 63 yards for a touchdown by Ravens defensive back Cary Williams with 15 seconds left in the third quarter of play.

“In a crucial time in the game, you can’t miss him there,” Weeden said. “You’ve got to miss out there, away toward the boundary more, toward the sideline and that was a costly play in that game. I fast-forwarded right through it. I didn’t watch it.”

Browns coach Pat Shurmur said the Ravens made a good play when Williams jumped the route and scored the defensive touchdown.

“Specifically, on that play, you need to be aware,” Shurmur said. “There are certain corners in the league that tend to jump routes and if you’re throwing a controlled route, kind of a timing route toward the boundary, you’ve got to be aware of that. I’m assuming he’d learn from that.”

Although he committed the turnover, Weeden responded by engineering an eight-play, 48-yard drive that kicker Phil Dawson capped off with a 50-yard field goal that drew the Browns to within 10 points of the Ravens at 23-13 with 12:11 left in regulation.

“I knew I had to,” Weeden said of the response drive. “I didn’t have a choice. I put our team in a tough spot, spotted them seven points and put ourselves in a whole. However I had to do it, I had to find a way to answer and we came up a little short that night, but we learned a lot.”

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