NFL News: Browns’ Richardson says Weeden struggled reading defenses

NFL Network’s Steve Wyche, via The Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot, claims he was told that the Cleveland Browns were forced to dial down their offense due to the inadequacies of quarterback Brandon Weeden.

Wyche claims that, in an off-camera conversation with running back Trent Richardson, the Browns quarterback struggled reading opposing defenses.

“He said as a rookie, [Weeden] really had trouble reading defenses from time to time and they had to skew their offense a little bit, sometimes somewhat predictable,” said Wyche. “He thinks things are going to open up a little bit, but he really does like Brandon Weeden.” 

Richardson, who gave himself a C-plus grade for his rookie season, ultimately spoke on camera and stood behind his fellow teammate.

“I think he’ll be my quarterback,” Richardson said. “We can’t put too much on Brandon, especially as a rookie. 

“We want to make sure he believes, he knows he’s going to be our quarterback. When it comes to stuff like that, we’ve just all got to be behind him.”

In 2012, the strong-armed Weeden threw for nearly 3,400 yards, but did so with a passer rating of 72.6 with an average of 6.55 yards per attempt. He is expected to face competition for the starting job this coming season, but is also said to be one of the biggest benefactors of new head coach Rob Chudzinski as well as Norv Turner’s down-field, shotgun-friendly offense coming to Cleveland.

[Related: 2013 NFL Draft: Weak draft? Fits for Browns at No. 6]

  • JK

    After the headline I was ‘Ohhhhhhhhh shish’ .. then I read the article now I’m ‘meh.’

  • Jaker

    I was literally typing the same thing. I was all like “Noooooooooo”, then I was all like “oh, meh, ok”

  • nj0

    Which happens with like 98% of headlines in the off-season….

  • hopwin

    “stood behind his fellow quarterback” ??

    Fellow rookie?

  • Bryan

    A key qualifier was left out of the title: “from time to time.”

    Given that we can’t see the transcript and we don’t know the context, its hard to know what to make of this. T-Rich may have been asked a question like:

    “Did Brandon have any struggles adapting to the complexities of NFL defenses last season?”

    T Rich may have said: “Brandon did a great job overall, but like any rookie really had trouble reading defenses from time to time.”

    Note: The quote attributed to T-Rich is not even a direct one. It is Wyche’s retelling of an off-camera interview.

    Of course, now the internet in Cleveland will melt down, this story (that very well may not be a story) will be spread like wildfire until everyone demands Banner has a press conference to explain it.


  • Harv 21

    and Trent probably just learned a lesson about casual conversations with reporters: there’s no such thing, and it’s in your interest to only give Crash Davis-like comments about your teammates, especially your QB. Doesn’t matter how nuanced the comment, the headline will be “Why Brandon Can’t Read.”

  • C_CLE

    So basically, “He was a rookie and had some struggles, just like the rest of us.”

    Nothing to see here…

  • JK

    I think I took this class at tOSU.. How To Get People to Read Your BS 110

  • MrCleaveland

    Agree. He’s a rookie who came out of a non-NFL system in college. What did people expect?

  • MallaLubba

    Based on what I’ve heard of the voracity of Browns fans for stories, I believe the headline could have been “Someone Said Something Vaguely Pertinent About the Browns” and millions would still read it.

  • mgbode

    Oh, you mean like how Harbaugh did it for Alex Smith in 2011? Of course, he was lauded for those efforts:

  • mgbode

    and 99% in season

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Stevie Wonder knew Weeden couldn’t read defenses well!

  • Duh…

  • dan

    I swear to Cthulhu I’m not crazy, but I’m certain I remember that less than a year ago Heckert and Holmgren were talking about how Weeden’s “maturity” was a plus, not a minus, and I don’t think it unreasonable to have thought that the implication of those sentiments was that Weeden would adapt to the pro game quicker than, or at least not embarrassingly slower than, the less “mature” guy drafted two rounds later who, as it turns out, joined Luck and RG3 as rookie quarterbacks good enough to not just improve the won-loss record by more than one game (gasp!), but to actually take their teams to the playoffs. Now, I didn’t actually believe Holmgren and Heckert, but I don’t think it would have been unreasonable for some poor fan to have believed that their talk about Weeden’s maturity meant that they thought his adaptation to the pro game would be better than it was.

  • Hard to tell if it’s a pop against Weeden or a pop against Schurmur, actually.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    True plus his mentor/tutor/advisors were the great duo of Shurmur and Childress.

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    Especially the “we can’t put too much on Brandon”

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    Especially the “we can’t put too much on Brandon”

  • C_CLE

    Even with all that. He’s still a rookie, playing in a league that has a large jump in talent and athleticism. Not everyone comes into the league and excels right away. Some of the best players in NFL history struggled in their rookie seasons. Others didn’t even get the chance to play in their first few years. In my opinion, his age and maturity might have meant that he had the mind to deal with making the jump and dealing with the pressures, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to the physical adaptation of being an NFL QB. Sometimes that takes more time and a guy can “get it”…other times he can’t. But I don’t think we’ve had enough time to see which way Weeden is gonna fall. He has the physical talent though, the arm, which is the first step. We knew right away that Colt didn’t have that.