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 1 1 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]