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NFL News: Brandon Weeden is not on a “short leash” after loss

Despite completing just 49.0 percent of his passes and throwing three interceptions in a Week 1 loss to the Miami Dolphins, and the flurry of national pundits writing to the contrary, second-year quarterback Brandon Weeden is not on a “short leash” when it comes to being benched by Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski.

“These guys are developing players and they’re learning how to play in this system and I expect us to keep getting better and improving,’ Chudzinski said of his bed-wetting offense which managed to convert just one third-down play during a fan-filled Opening Day.

In addition to the three interceptions, Weeden, who was pressured on more than half of his 53 pass attempts, was sacked six times, hit on 16 others, and completed just five passes. Third-string guard Oneil Cousins, who was forced to start after several injuries to fellow offensive linemen, was charged with four penalties and graded out as the third-worst guard in the NFL during Week 11 Browns right tackle Mitchell Schwartz graded out as the wort right tackle in the NFL during Week 1; the worst blocking fulback in the league during the opening week was Browns fullback Chris Ogbonnaya. When not under duress, however, Weeden completed 21 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown to tight end Jordan Cameron, compiling a QB rating of 90.2.

“I thought Brandon had some ups and downs,” said Chudzinski. “I know there are some throws and some reads he’d like to have back. I think the one thing you saw yesterday, you saw his resiliency and toughness. If anybody had questions about that prior to this game, you look at the game and he’s pretty tough and kept bouncing back.”

[Related: Scott Raab on the Browns loss, fan shaming over attendance and beat reporting]

  1. Per ProFootballFocus. []

  • Bry

    The naitonal idiots probably didn’t even watch the game. 1 interception was his fault. 1 was throw behind the receiver and tipped and the other was a tipped pass. I really hate lazy media members who don’t actually analyze the game but just look at stats and think they know what happened.

  • Kildawg

    In defense of Schwartz, Wake is a pretty good pass rusher. Barnidge failed to help out when he was in the game. I wonder which guards were worse than Cousins (who should have been cut). Plus, Weeden was close to whoever was supposed to catch the ball on at least 2 of those picks (Benjamin whiffed one and Little had a drop that led to another). Something that would have helped the offense is balance; in this case RUN THE FOOTBALL! Even though Obi is NOT a FB, he’s a RB that excels with 3rd down. It’s clear that the Browns need a legitimate FB; there are plenty available.

  • Harv 21

    Do not be afraid to invoke His name.

  • That pass to cameron that was tipped is 100% Weeden’s fault. That pass is an example of what separates bad, good and great QB’s. Bad= you throw it behind your receiver, tipped and picked. Good= you throw it at your receiver, modest gain and tackled immediately. Great= lead your receiver, he has the opportunity to make a football move and make a big play. Weeden made a lot more Bad throws than Good, and not too many Great ones.

  • mgbode

    it was largely Weeden’s fault. but notice how the media blames Scott (NYG-RB) for the pick-6 in the Giants game on a throw that was behind him. it is partially the receivers job to judge the ball and catch it in a way that it won’t become a pop-up (as those tend to go to the defense).

  • Harv 21

    Chud “denies” the short leash, which means … Wait, who even mentioned a dog, Chud? Is Brandon the dog, Chud?

    Also, right after puppy Brandon was born pretty sure Mom Breeden said “I’m sure there were some contractions and pushes he’d like to have back, and he’s got to make better reads down the canal. And he’s going to continue working on that.”

  • BenRM

    No short leash, just the short bus!

    ba-dum-tsh
    I’ll be here all afternoon.

  • BenRM

    LARRY!

  • Harv 21

    amen

  • C-Bus Kevin

    What’s that handle called that is attached to a dog collar? Is it just part of the collar? What ever THAT thing is…Weeden’s on that.

    I’m ready to say it’s over for this guy. He’s not making the throws. Even in the glass-half-full analysis provided above, Weeden only had a QB rating of 90 when faced with perfect conditions (no pressure). The tipped interceptions are at least 50% his fault, which given the weird math some have employed to say that Weeden only threw ONE pick that was really his fault, means that he threw 2 picks (1+1/2+1/2) to one touchdown.

    I cringe at all the excuse-making regarding the pressure. Yes…he was pressured on around half of his attempts, but what’s the best case scenario? Aren’t most NFL QBs pressured on about 1/4 to 1/3 of their attempts. Point is…there will always be pressure. He needs to make plays anyway.

    Finally…I’m pretty sure we got a good look at Weeden’s “resiliency and toughness” when he Brady Quinn’d it out of bounds on 4th down to ice the game. Really Brandon? Were you worried about getting a 4th INT? Really? He didn’t even loft it up for someone to have a chance to catch it.

  • BenRM

    Where two or three are gathered in his name, he is with us

  • C-Bus Kevin

    Also, let’s not forget that the reason Weeden was facing a lot of pressure late in the second half was the fact that poor offensive play was partly responsible for the fact that they fell behind and eventually were forced to pass on every down.

  • Du

    “A man in the jungle at night, as someone said,
    may suppose a hyena’s growl to be a lion’s; but when he hears the lion’s growl,
    he knows damn well it’s a lion.”

    When we have our franchise quarterback, there
    will be no doubts as to if he is or isn’t the man.

  • Harv 21

    But where shall we find him, master? We’ve macheted half the Amazon whilst I grow gray.

  • CB Everett

    Although Weeden’s play was by no measures even average this week, there’s no way he’s on a short leash after the horrendous support he got from his line and wide “receivers.” Whether or not conspiracy theorists are right that this is all one big tank job, people would still justly clamor that he didn’t get a fighting chance if he’s not given at least 8 games. And as for evaluative purposes, the jury is still out. Ok we could safely rule out “franchise QB,” but the realistic best case if we play out the season is he proves that he could be an average starting QB or at least a tradeable commodity. To give up on him now would be to drop his value to the lowest level.

  • Du

    Our next contestant on “The Browns Next QB” issssss:

    Teddy Bridgewater
    Tajh Boyd
    Johnny Manziel

  • mgbode

    this is either the absolute worst or best place in the world for Manziel. we would either rip him to shreds or his unstoppable confidence would overcome the cloud of pessimism.

  • Denny

    “Nah, he’s not on a short leash. We’re actually OK if he just goes and runs out into traffic, actually.”

  • mgbode

    hughes? he seems to slight of build.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Firstly, what two guards were worse than Cousins?!

    Second – while a number of people keep questioning the two INTs that were tipped in terms of whose fault they were, the presumption is that Weeden was at fault for the first one.

    Take another look at that play call: 3rd-and-8 from the MIA 45 (?), out of FG range, bad punt zone. Throwing the ball up for grabs at best is a TD and at worst is an INT, except an INT deep in MIA territory is as good as a punt there. In fact, it was the best possible result, with MIA getting the ball at their own 1. While it wasn’t the best throw, and Benjamin can’t out muscle any NFL CB, the whole point of that call is to take a shot, with “worst outcome” being exactly what happened: A favorable result for the Browns. I don’t know why people keep picking on that one.

  • Du

    You are right and it would scare me greatly.

    However, I really believe that getting someone like Johnny Manziel could radically transform this franchise. The kid is young and immature, yes, but there is no denying both his ability and will to win.

    Not to mention, Kirk Herbstreit loves him and says Johnny Football reminds him of a young Brett Favre.

    His shoulders are big enough for this town and team right?

  • Harv 21

    Re the first INT, I said as much during the game thread. That was much better than a third down throwaway when no one’s open – it was like a perfect pin down punt. But with the safety and CB deep in the corner with Benjamin, was there a secondary receiver wide open for a potential first down? That’s where you can’t assume it was the best possible result.

  • mgbode

    there is alot of denying his ability to win in the NFL though. he’s not receiving high marks for alot of the NFL throws. we’ll see as I think he has a stronger arm than some of the scouting reports I have read seem to suggest.

    i’m definitely paying attention though I like others better at this point in time.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I crashed my car into the bridge. I watched, I let it burn.
    I threw your sh*t into a bag and pushed it down the stairs.
    I crashed my car into the bridge.

    I don’t care, I love it. I don’t care.

  • Chris Miller

    Does it really matter 0-16 here we come cant wait to see what everyone has to say after Baltimore smokes us

  • Natedawg86

    Best to keep him off the leash. If he runs away, it was never meant to be.

  • Natedawg86

    Who is The Real Shamrock?

  • The_Real_Shamrock
  • woofersus

    Schwartz and Ogbonnaya grading out the worst in the league at blocking along with Cousins (ProFootballFocus has him as the Browns lowest grade at -6.5) is all we need to know about Weeden’s day on Sunday. 32 pressures, 16 hits, and 6 sacks is epic. Cousins himself combined for 2 sacks, 3 hurries, and 4 penalties – one of which negated a touchdown pass. There were also 4 drops by the WR’s.

    Weeden definitely needs to get through his reads more quickly and get rid of the ball about a half second faster on average. I’ll give him credit for fearlessly staring down the barrel of a gun, but it’s always better if you don’t have to. I think a bigger issue, though, is that Weeden needs to do a better job in pre-snap, recognizing the blitz and finding the single coverage and/or mismatches. If you can’t keep the defense guessing you at least have to keep them honest.

    Finally, I think the lack of a real Fullback was a bigger problem than even the pass protection grades reveal. They couldn’t run a screen to take advantage of the aggressiveness on the defense partially because the blocking from the TE and FB was terrible. They also obviously couldn’t run the ball very effectively. I don’t know if the play option is usually a big part of Norv Turner’s offense, but I’d suggest they start utilizing it if the FB can’t blow up one LB on a run inside the tackles.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Joe Flacco, I know you have better things to do than troll a Cleveland sports site.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I would argue that we can assume it was the best option. Weeden was under pressure during the throw and actually hit the defensive player on his follow through. Taking time to find his next read would have resulted in a sack and a 4th down punt that couldn’t have had a better result.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Centers??