Found April 28, 2012 on Fox Sports Ohio:
The Browns drafted 11 players the past three days, but one of their picks could determine the success of not only the draft but the team. The Browns are "all in" with quarterback Brandon Weeden, and how well he responds to the challenge of starting as a 28-year-old rookie could determine how well the 2012 season goes. "The quarterback play is so important to any team," team president Mike Holmgren said Saturday, "and really in this business your team is probably going to be as good as how your quarterback plays and the play at that position." The Browns management has cast its lot with a new one, so in all likelihood a new starter will be under center for the fifth time in five years. There will be rookie growing pains, rookie mistakes and a learning curve. The Browns live with it. They made their statement on Colt McCoy and the team's future by selecting a 28-year-old quarterback in the first round. "We have high expectations for (Weeden)," Holmgren said. "Is he being handed anything? No. We're not going to give him anything, and we've told him that." Weeden understands. "I am going to be learning a whole new system," he said, "but it is something that I have a passion for and I will do everything in my power to help this team win football games." Yes, running back Trent Richardson will have a lot to say about how this draft plays out. Holmgren said the Browns top offseason focus was to better establish the run, and Richardson was far and away the best back in the draft. "Every team is better when you have a great runner," Holmgren said. But as the third overall pick, Richardson should be a great player. It would be bigger news if Richardson were not good. Weeden is the touchstone. The Browns eschewed a receiver in the first three rounds, which caused some consternation. But coach Pat Shurmur said he believes Weeden can make the receiving crew -- Jordan Norwood, et al -- better by himself. "I think an outstanding quarterback brings synergy to the whole team," Shurmur said. "Just like the addition of a running back helps the quarterback. A quarterback that throws the ball accurately on time makes the receivers look good. Receivers that make circus catches or make the hard catches make the quarterback look good. When the quarterback has a little bit more time to throw it because the line is doing their job, it makes everything look good. "I think it's all connected. It's hard on offense to talk about one specifically, not connected to the other. But I do know this, when you have outstanding quarterback play, all the players on offense and all the people in this room, we all look good." Holmgren said Richardson also will help the receivers. "He will make everybody look better," Holmgren said. "And the receivers, what will make them look good is if they catch the ball better than they caught it last year. We dropped way too many balls, and that wasn't the quarterback's fault. I don't care, bring back Otto Graham, receivers got to catch the ball. So we will be better, for a lot of reasons. That's why no one's in a panic about how the draft went as far as our receivers go. We will not drop the ball like we dropped it last year. We will have a running game to go with our passing game. Just those things by themselves, we will be better." It can work. A more accurate passer could increase the completions. More experience might reduce the drops. A running back makes all of them better. But it won't be easy. The quarterback making all those improvements is a rookie who has never lined up against Pittsburgh, and six of the Browns games are against the Steelers, Ravens and Bengals. But the Browns believe age will benefit Weeden. He has pitched in minor league baseball, he is 28 and he has been through more than any other rookie. "He has the potential to play well sooner because of that than other quarterbacks in the draft," Holmgren said. "I think he's crossed a lot of bridges that will give him an advantage if it happens quickly," Shurmur said. Both downplayed the possibility of immediately trading McCoy. Holmgren said he is very fond of McCoy, and he does not see either McCoy or Weeden splitting the team if both are on the team competing to start. With Richardson, Weeden and a right tackle, the Browns feel like they added three new starters to an offense that badly needed a infusion of talent. "We'd all like to see a big jump this year," Holmgren said. "That's our hope. And we think that's possible. We think that's reasonable."
1 Comment:
  • Ok folks-- cut the crap on Weeden and McCoy-- THAT is NOT what ya'll think. You keep both of them and get rid of Wallace. As for the receivers, you may want to see just who they sign from the UFA ranks. Any of Weeden's guys from OSU available other than Blackmon?

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