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."
"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."
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When you are chasing three playoff teams in the AFC North, you have a lot of needs. While the Cleveland Browns had two first round picks, they had to hit on not just those, but needed to find starters in the second and contributors in the third and fourth.
Well I can tell you, the Browns made it interesting, let’s see how they did with my 2012 Cleveland Browns Draft Grade.
@rodofdisaster is the author of our in-season “Xs and Os with the Bros” feature. Here he is with a pick-by-pick review of the 2012 Browns draft. Enjoy.
Trent Richardson, RB Alabama (#3 overall):
When you’re drafting #4 overall, you need impact players. This is an impact player. I like him better than a receiver here as he’ll touch the ball more often and help both the running...
The Cleveland Browns may have been better off selecting the late, great filmmaker John Hughes, rather than the defensive tackle.
I did not have a draftable grade on John Hughes and, to be honest, did not even bother scouting him in depth. I saw him while studying teammate Derek Wolfe and absolutely nothing about his game stood out. I assumed Hughes would be picked up as a free agent...
The Cleveland Browns turned some heads during the NFL draft, especially in the first round. Some of their critics think they've taken a big step in the right direction while others think they buried themselves for years to come with another poor draft.
The Browns' draft class is centered around their first round selections of Trent Richardson at 3rd overall and Brandon Weeden...
I actually like the fact that the Cleveland Browns didn’t feel compelled to draft a receiver simply because it’s their most glaring need. However, they missed the boat with Mitchell Schwartz.
Schwartz can be a reasonably effective starter, but he’s the type of player you can find in free agency every year without having to break the bank. In essence, he’s a younger Tony Pashos...
Two more reported UDFA signings. The first is Florida State WR Bert Reed, and the second is UCF LB Josh Linam.
The Browns of course haven’t confirmed any of the UDFA signings as of yet.
[Related: Browns sign Andrew Sweat]
Yeah, the selection of John Hughes surprised a lot of Cleveland Browns fans at No. 87 in the third round. But, wouldn’t you know it, the announcement also surprised Hughes himself.
The University of Cincinnati defensive tackle said he initially decided against inviting his family over Friday night, since he had presumed he’d be taken in the fourth round or later. After the call...
Albert Einstein said that the definition for insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results! How is having a new starting quarterback every two to three years not insane! Consistancy is the sign of greatness! Look at the Patriots, Giants, Steelers, etc. Consistancy all the way down the board. Owner, Team President, GM, Head Coach, quarterback...
When the Cleveland Browns selected 28-year-old QB Brandon Weeden with the #22 overall pick in last night’s NFL draft, it shocked a lot of Browns fans everywhere. Leading up to the draft, the Browns front office had been assuring everyone who would listen that they were comfortable with Colt McCoy under center, and were expecting him to take a big leap forward this year.
Life is unpredictable. Eat dessert first.
This is a very appropriate quote when dealing with a multiple sclerosis diagnosis. The Baseball Prospectus family has been touched by multiple sclerosis and is motivated to bring an end to MS. BP needs your help, too.
On Saturday, April 14, 2012, Baseball Prospectus made a public show of support with the National Multiple Sclerosis...
4. RB Trent Richardson B+I would have given the Browns an A for taking Richardson at 4 because he was the 4th rated player on my board, but I’m giving them a B+ for moving up to 3 and taking him for two reasons. For one, I don’t think they needed to move up to get him. I think Minnesota was bluffing. Kalil was their guy and they didn’t want to move any further down than 4....
The good news is that there is nothing to talk about with regard to the Trent Richardson pick at three. The Cleveland Browns paid a price and they got a guy they absolutely wanted and needed to help kick-start a mostly dead offense from 2011. Yes, the Browns paid with some lower round picks to make it happen, but this is Heckert’s M.O. to a large extent. It is a strategy that I...
While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Very strong arguments made in this recap of the Browns drafting so far: “Do you know what we found out today? The front office must be pretty content sticking with the...