The learning curve for rookie quarterbacks in the NFL is steep, regardless of their age.
The Cleveland Browns anointed 28-year-old Brandon Weeden the starter without much competition in training camp with incumbent Colt McCoy.
Through two preseason games, Weeden has experienced the ebbs and flows of the NFL tidal wave. He turned the ball over twice in Week 1 of the preseason against the Detroit Lions, leading to his woebegone 19.0 quarterback rating. However he bounced back in Week 2 against the Green Bay Packers, completing 12 of 20 passes for 118 yards and upping his rating to 76.7.
“I think if you look at my Week 1 performance, I felt a lot more comfortable Week 2 against the Packers,” Weeden said Monday morning on “NFL AM.”
Part of the learning curve for a rookie quarterback is adjusting to the speed of the game, along with understanding his limitations and responsibilities.
“Being a quarterback, and I learned this Week 1 already, at Oklahoma State you could be more of a risk-taker at quarterback and take shots and go for it on fourth down,” he said. “This league, it’s a bit different, the little nuances of taking care of the football, that’s such an importance at this level. You watch the games that we had last year, it came down to late plays, and maybe a play here or a play there and that’s all it takes in this league is a couple plays throughout an entire game.”
Neither secondary he has faced thus far is the caliber he’ll encounter in the AFC North, but if Weeden can continue to make strides he’ll have a chance to prove to whoever is calling the shots next year in Cleveland he should keep the starting job he was given to start this season. That is precisely the stance he is taking.
“There is very little margin for error and I think you’ve got to be so precise in everything you do,” he said. “If I can get better each and every week, that is my main goal and if that happens we should win a lot of football games.”