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Weeden's approach sparks confidence

Posted Nov 29, 2013

Quarterback Brandon Weeden’s approach to the week of practice has sparked confidence within the coaching staff.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden will start against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium after being taken out of the lineup for struggling in losses to the Detroit Lions (Oct. 13) and at the Green Bay Packers (Oct. 20).

But since that time, Weeden has been inserted into games against the Baltimore Ravens (Nov. 3) and last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, when starter Jason Campbell suffered multiple rib injuries, and later, a concussion.

Despite a chorus of boos when entering the games, Weeden has approached his latest opportunity to lead the Browns’ offense with a lot of confidence.

“It’s important at that position,” Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said. “You have to be confident. Brandon’s had a very good week of preparation and practice, and that’s one of the things that I’ve specifically noticed. He’s been very confident this week and expects to do well.

“I feel like he’s been very confident in his preparation. Every opportunity that you get and everything that you go through, if you approach it the right way, can be a learning process and you can grow from those things. Brandon, throughout, has been a professional and has taken that approach. I think that will help him in the opportunity that he has.”

In seven games, including four starts, this season, Weeden has completed 117 of 227 pass attempts for a team-best 1,361 yards and six touchdowns against seven interceptions despite being sacked 24 times for 152 lost yards.

With a full week of practice under his belt, Weeden has sparked confidence within the coaching staff.

“He’s extremely excited to get a chance,” offensive coordinator Norv Turner said. “He’s a very, very good competitor. You get down and you want to be good, and he does a great job of keeping it to himself and not showing it.

“If you’ve been in that situation where people have been critical of you, it’s hard. You’re playing in front of your home fans and a guy gets hurt and you get booed, that’s not appropriate and I think it’s hard on him, but I’m very impressed with how he’s handled it.”

Turner said he believes Weeden is “going to play well,” and feels the key is taking care of the football, something the Browns have not done in the last two weeks.

The Browns lost all three of their fumbles and an interception in last week’s 27-11 loss to the Steelers, and had another four, one fumble and three interceptions, in the 41-20 loss at Cincinnati on Nov. 17.

“The number one thing you have to do as an offensive group is eliminate the turnovers,” Turner said. “If we protect the football, and we’ve said it all along, when we’ve played our best, we’ve won the turnover battle and we’ve not had turnovers.

“During the three-game win streak, we did a great job of protecting the ball. In the Kansas City game and the week after against Baltimore, we played at a nice level. Jason did a great job of protecting the ball.”

CAMPBELL UPDATE

Campbell has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Jaguars because of the concussion he suffered against the Steelers. Following Friday’s practice, Chudzinski provided an update on the veteran signal-caller.

“He has checked in every day,” Chudzinski said. “We’ve sent him home. He is feeling better, though. He’s very close and getting much better.”

GIVING THANKS

With Thursday being Thanksgiving, Chudzinski took time to reflect on the blessings he has received, and expressed some thoughts on what he is most thankful for in his life.

“We have a lot to be thankful for, and certainly, for me, it’s an honor to be a part of the Cleveland Browns organization and coaching this team,” Chudzinski said. “Our players feel very fortunate to be able to play for this organization and be a Brown.”