Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback
Now that the first start is under his belt, Weeden is looking forward to returning to the field Thursday night when the Browns travel to the NFL’s smallest city to do battle with the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
“It’s a quick turnaround, but it’s been good,” Weeden said. “We’ve had however many practices we’ve had and we’ve come together and learned from our mistakes and put together a pretty good week. I’m excited to get back out there and not redeem myself, but correct the mistakes I made last week.”
Weeden completed three of his nine pass attempts for 62 yards with an interception and a fumble in the win over the Lions. He played the first three series of the game and did not return to the field after the first quarter.
When he broke down the film after Friday’s game, Weeden saw one glaring mistake that he wishes could have been taken back.
“The mistakes I made were so small that they’re easy fixes,” Weeden said. “I work on them every day after practice now. The one, the fumble, when I was trying to dump it down to Jordan (Cameron), regardless of if it was or fumble or if it wasn’t a fumble, I’ve got to get that ball out quicker just knowing where we were on the field, knowing how good Phil (Dawson) is.
“That’s three points and I feel like I took away three points from this team. I can correct that by getting the ball out just a split second sooner. That’s something you get a feel with as the game goes on. That’s the tough part of only playing 15 snaps because you’re not really getting into the flow of the game. As a quarterback, you like to get into the flow and the rhythm of the game and get going. It’s tough in 15 plays, but that was the one I would really like to have back, just because it took three points off the board.”
While Weeden was upset with himself for fumbling the ball when Lions defensive end Willie Young registered a strip-sack and losing a chance at kicking a field goal, he also understood the importance of finishing drives with touchdowns.
“I am not scared to throw the ball in the end zone; there’s just a fine line,” Weeden said. “Down in the red zone, the backs are open a lot and three points is not the end of the world. Yeah, we all want to get seven points. That’s the moral of the story. I want to score every time we touch the football, but sometimes the defense wins. Sometimes, you have to tip your cap and it sucks. Sometimes, they win a possession and you just have to take three points.”
When he lines up against the Packers Thursday, Weeden may see a zone blitz scheme from Green Bay defensive coordinator, Dom Capers.
Under Capers’ direction, the Packers registered two sacks for 14 lost yards in the preseason-opening loss at San Diego. They posted 29 sacks for 192 lost yards in 2011, led by Clay Matthews III’s six quarterback takedowns.
With the amount of pressure he could face against the Packers, Weeden has to be sure of his communication and getting the plays in to his teammates. It is something he has practiced since joining the Browns through April’s draft.
“In OTAs, we had a new install every day,” Weeden said. “At night, I’d send my wife a picture of the script and she would call the play -- she was butchering every play by the way -- and I would read them back to her. That was the way I did it, but now, I’m good. I’ve got a feel for what we’re doing. I understand where we’re running the football, what motions we’re doing and it’s a lot better now than it was my first time out.”