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Weeden makes NFL debut in win

Posted Aug 11, 2012

DETROIT -- Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden made his NFL debut in Friday night’s 19-17 win over the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.

DETROIT -- Going back to his days as a minor league baseball pitcher, Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden got a no-decision in his NFL debut in Friday night’s 19-17 come-from-behind win over the Detroit Lions in the 2012 preseason opener at Ford Field.

Weeden played the first three series of the game before he gave way to veteran quarterback Colt McCoy. During his time on the field, Weeden completed three of nine passes for 62 yards. He also threw an interception and fumbled the ball on a strip-sack early in the game.

“I was hoping to be a little more nervous, to be honest,” Weeden said. “In here, it’s kind of laid back like I expected, kind of like college, but I got here three hours and 15 minutes before the game and that’s a little bit different. You have a lot of free time, a lot of time to get your mind right, but once you get a routine, that’s all it is.”

Weeden may have felt anxious because he got to the locker room at Ford Field more than three hours before the opening kickoff. Compared to what he had as a college quarterback at Oklahoma State University, Weeden embraced the opportunity to prepare and said there is no such thing as too much time “at this position.”

“It’s so mental; there’s so much stuff that goes on that we have control of mentally, you need all the time you can have,” Weeden said. “I went out on the field for a little bit, met some of the guys I played at Oklahoma State with, threw the ball around a little bit and kind of got loose. It’s a rude awakening if you come in here and just go straight out. It’s nice to get your feet wet a little bit.

“We’ve been running these plays for a long time against our own guys, so it’s nice to have a chance to go out and execute against another football team. Overall, I think Thad (Lewis) came in the game and played outstanding. Everybody was on the same page. We did some really good things and it results in a ‘W.’”

Weeden got the competitive juices flowing early after the defense forced a three-and-out and a Lions punt.

His first pass went to wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi for a 12-yard gain and two plays later, Weeden connected with fellow Browns rookie Travis Benjamin for a 34-yard gain down the left sideline.

“On the one to Travis, I was really hoping they went single-high safety like they did,” Weeden said. “As we broke the huddle, I said, ‘Hey, get on your horse.’ ‘Run fast’ was what I told him. He did and he can fly. I put it out there and he made a heck of a catch.”

Three plays after the completion to Benjamin, Weeden was stripped of the football by Lions defensive end Willie Young. Detroit took over possession of the ball at its own 30-yard line, but could not capitalize on the turnover.

Veteran Browns cornerback Sheldon Brown intercepted Matthew Stafford’s pass intended for tight end Brandon Pettigrew and stopped the Lions’ drive in Cleveland territory.

“It was bang-bang,” Weeden said of the fumble. “I know for a fact I was checking down to Jordan Cameron in the flat. I felt like I was throwing to him, but they replayed it. They made the final call. I just tried to get it out as quick as possible, but he got my arm.”