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While We’re Waiting… Brandon Weeden impresses one national pundit

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While We’re Waiting is the daily morning link roundup that WFNY has been serving up for breakfast for the last several years. We hope you enjoy the following recent collection of yummy and nutritious Cleveland sports-related articles. Anything else to add? Email us at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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“Brandon Weeden, QB, Cleveland Browns. After suffering through a bumpy rookie season in which he threw more interceptions (17) than touchdown passes (14), Weeden is working with two very good new coaches in head man Rob Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner — and the difference is like night and day. Retooling a quarterback is Turner’s cup of tea, and it looks like he’s done a great job with Weeden’s footwork. The Browns are saddled with average receivers, but Weeden has worked well with his tight ends and running backs, showing great arm strength and ball-handling skills.” [Brandt/NFL.com]

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Extremely well written piece by a veteran sports writer. “Even as I was enjoying my night, it was clear something was amiss with the Blazers. I never knew how amiss until I answered that call.

“Shawn Kemp will no longer be with us,” the voice at the other end said. “He’s blown his career up his nose.” It was my welcome to the NBA moment.” [Quick/Oregon Live]

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Three reasons why the Ohio State Buckeyes won’t go 12-0 in 2013 [SB Nation]

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“Where is Pestano? Where is the effervescent and confident reliever who has been known to confound hitters with his sharp slider, his sneaky fastball and his meticulous planning for each at-bat? He’s in Columbus, still searching, but not sulking.

“I’ve been a big part of the team the past couple of years, and not being able to do that hurts,” Pestano said before a recent Clippers game. “But I can be upset at the decision or I can go out here and try and get better, and focus all my attention on that.” [Valade/Cleveland.com]

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Kind of a surprise pick to me. “Baltimore Ravens Under 8.5 (-105): The personnel turnover, especially on the defensive side of the ball for Baltimore, is well documented so I won’t touch too much on that. The talent loss itself from Ray Lewis and Ed Reed isn’t really an issue as both were over the hill but I really think the loss in the locker room will be felt more than most expect. Offensively it was bad enough to lose Anquan Boldin but when Dennis Pita went down that really hurt the Ravens.” [CleveTA Dribbles]

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Finally, this video on Anderson Varejao is pretty interesting. [Youtube] (H/T Fear the Sword)

  • JNeids

    It kills me to say this, but I forgot about Vinnie. How has he been doing down in Cbus? Any chance he’s close to coming back? Would love to see him back up here with a return to form for the stretch run.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I read that NFL article, and there was some good insight there from Brandt. What was interesting to me was the video at the top of the page with two pundits talking about Weeden, and the second one brought up a point that always perplexes me. He made an insinuation that because Brandon Weeden is an old rookie, he basically is what he is after last season. I’ve heard that so many times during this preseason and it’s absolutely INSANE to come to that conclusion. In spite of his age, Weeden basically has the same amount of football experience as any other quarterback coming out of college, so why would we not expect him to need to get used to the fast pace of the NFL and reading complex NFL defenses? Why would we think that he can’t improve on throwing into good passing lanes to avoid passes being batted down? Hearing this opinions coming from people who played in the NFL makes it that much more absurd… how can they of all people not understand that he’s no further along in his football career than Andrew Luck, RG3, or Ryan Tannehill? ALLOW FOR GROWTH! /rant.

  • Kunal

    But he’s so old!! You can’t figure out how to play QB after the age of 25 and he’s WAAAYY past that!

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Yeah, I never understand that. I’m able to “learn” certain things better now at 30 than I could at 23. The only issue about his age would be the reverse, if he learns too slowly.

  • WFNY_DP

    I get it only from the standpoint that time is short, so to speak. It’s not that people don’t think he can learn those things, but that he’s got so much less time to do it. It took Joe Flacco basically five years to really “get it” for the most part, and if it takes Weeden that long all of a sudden he’s 35. There’s a ton more pressure for him to get it quickly.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Fair point, but it’s one that I personally don’t think will end up being an issue. Having not played football during his baseball years means that Weeden’s body hasn’t taken the toll that Flacco’s had at this point in his career. Considering Weeden’s size and body composition, I’m betting he’ll have a 10-year career if his performance on the field continues to improve this year and after.

  • Steve

    But your body doesn’t age in number of hits by a NFL LB. 3rd string QBs who don’t see the field enough to take hits don’t age any better than their starting counterparts. 35 year olds are generally less athletic than 30 year olds, who are generally less athletic than 25 year olds. As we all know, as you age, your body doesn’t bounce back from a workout, much less an injury, anywhere as quickly as when you were younger.

    And I think its necessary to point out that while Weeden wasn’t taking hits, he was pitching a baseball, and we know what that can do to one’s elbow/shoulder.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Steve Beuerlein and Randall Cunningham disagree with you 🙂

  • Steve

    No doubt there are going to be guys who break the mold. Not everybody’s body will age the same way, and some guys may figure something out late in their careers and they finish with a flourish. I just don’t like the plan of sitting here wishcasting that Weeden will be one of those guys. But it’s the boat were in now, so I might as well get used to it.

  • Steve

    As the loudest banger of the table last year in regards to this topic, I feel it is necessary to chime in and set the record straight as to my opinion.

    I don’t think Weeden can’t figure out how to play QB, and I don’t think he can’t provide us some solid years.

    I do think, based off some research, that QBs generally peak in talent around 28, and I’d much rather have drafted a QB who is going to develop towards his peak in talent/athleticism as the rest of this roster is. I want a 25 year old QB leading this team for a long time just as they finally get enough pieces around him to make a playoff run, not a +30 guy, where we have to start considering when to replace him.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Get on the bandwagon! That’s what I’m talking about, buddy. I’m really just throwing out something in between a wish and an educated guess, but hey why not make a prediction for the fun of it. With the fact that Weeden doesn’t take many hits and seems to be smart about getting rid of the ball as well as playing behind an excellent offensive line, I like his chances. However, I really don’t know the extent of the taxation that his arm has taken from pitching so many years… will be interesting to see if his rotator cuff can hold up for 10 years (assuming his play on the field warrants him being around that long).

  • woofersus

    I get that Weeden’s age will affect him sooner than a 25 year old regardless of other factors and that guys who don’t play much tend not to last any longer than those who do, but I’d argue that those 2nd and 3rd string QB’s are just more likely to be replaced as new young talent comes into the league and a former starter who wasn’t good enough becomes the new 2nd string, 3rd string, etc. The NFL doesn’t value a competent-but-not-starter-quality 32 year old. Good quarterbacks (good enough to start on a good team) who manage to stay healthy play into their mid 30’s all the time barring severe injury. He won’t last a decade regardless, but if he does turn out to be somebody we want starting for a while I wouldn’t expect him to decline quickly over the next 2-3 years. (due to age, at least)

  • woofersus

    I know the reason the Jason Quick piece was quoted is because of the Shawn Kemp reference, but it was a good read regardless. Beat reporters don’t frequently get to write honestly about what it’s like to be a beat reporter. I enjoyed it.

  • Steve

    Starting QBs in the league at 35+: Manning, Brady.

    33+: Add Brees, Romo, Vick (who is in the process of being replaced), and Palmer (tenuous as well).

    The list of safe bets to stay as starting QBs into their mid 30s is currently at four, and three are HoF talents. That’s not “all the time” in my book.

    I’m on the same time frame. No quick decline over the next 2-3 years. But I think after three decent seasons, we’re going to be looking for a new QB. Which, in the Browns case, I think is poor roster management. I think starting the three year window right now was a bad move, especially when you couple it with the refusal to spend all that cap space. If you’re going for it now, go for it. If you’re saving for those important days in the future, then build the roster accordingly. Don’t sit on the fence.

  • CBI

    I tend to think the mental and experience aspects of the position plays a large roll in determining success.

    The mean and median age of PGA winners is 35. No, these guys probably can’t boom their drives like they use to but their overall game has continued to improve as they aged. Quarterbacks don’t have to be the fastest or strongest players on the field. They need to be able to play smart, be able to make a lot of different types of throws, and stay out of the bunkers. 😉

    And I would argue that the number of hits taken does have an effect on a players longevity. Just look at the one position on the field that doesn’t take a lot of hits, kicker. In 2012 18 of the 30 teams had kicker 30 or older, 12 of those were 34 or older.

  • Steve

    Sure, but that’s not changing the facts, that studies have shown QBs peak before 30, and that the few who do last to their mid 30s were usually the elite of the elite.

    Right, Kicker is a different position, and we see a different aging curve. How that affects the aging curve for QBs is beyond me.

  • mgbode

    the question is if it’s truly QBs before 30 or QBs reach their peak after a certain number of starts in the NFL. I agree that the body doesn’t bounce back as easy in the 30s, but that doesn’t mean that Weeden cannot reach his peak in his lower 30s (considering he had such a late start to his career).

    also, this all is sort of ridiculous to debate IMO. If Weeden is good enough THIS year, then we’ll keep him another year. If he’s not, then we’ll be replacing him with Hundley, Boyd, or whoever we draft in the 1st round.

    if you want to bring this up in January/February, then we can debate if we should look at options to replace (either soon or future). but, it’s August, so let’s see what he can give us NOW first. thanks.

  • mgbode

    how can you not bring up Rich Gannon. He is a staple of these discussions!!!

  • Vindictive_Pat

    My brain can only handle two things at a time!

  • mgbode

    but, Gannon No-Cannon made a Superbowl. So, it’s like talking about the NFL draft and not wanting to draft Locker or Mallet.
    #trump_card