Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  By FRED GREETHAM  |  Last updated 8/18/13
Offensive coordinator Norv Turner spoke with the media before Sunday's practice and covered a variety of topics. However, the No. 1 topic of conversation was Brandon Weeden. "Jason (Campbell) has played a high enough level to say that it is close," Turner said when asked if much of a battle truly existed between Weeden and Campbell. "How you phrase it I dont think that matters." Turner also praised head coach Rob Chudzinski for how he has handled not only the quarterback derby but the entire team since taking over the team earlier this year. "He explained his plan to the quarterbacks from the start, hes stuck with it," Turner said. "Its not an issue in that building. Its an issue outside the building, but I dont think anyone is worried about when an announcement is going to be made. I think weve gotten great production from all three quarterbacks. Whatever the plan is that weve put together, it seems to be working. Weeden has been outstanding in the first two preseason games. He leads the NFL in passing and is 18 of 25 for 229 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Weeden's QB rating in 2012 was 72.6. Against the Rams in the preseason opener, it was 127.7 and against the Lions in game two it was 137.8 More importantly, Weeden has led the Browns to scores on five of the six drives he's been on the field. Against the Rams he was two for two, producing a field goal and a touchdown, and he followed that up by going three for four with a field goal and two touchdowns against the Lions.Im excited about what Brandons been able to do," Turner said. "The thing that weve spent a lot of time working on is trying to find out the things that he does best, and combine them with the things our players do best. And a lot of the things that we do on the practice field, its not experimental, but theres a process you go through to get everyone on the same page. Hopefully when we get everyone in the games, we feature all the things that our guys do best. Through the preseason action that Brandons had, weve been able to do that. And weve had a lot of guys playing well. Hes taken advantage of the way theyve been playing.The Browns have used Weeden in the shotgun much more than he was last year in Pat Shurmur's offense, which is what he had his most success in while in college at Oklahoma State. Turner said Weeden has made great strides in the offense. I think hes done really good. Hes had some tough plays in the preseason," Turner said. "Hes gotten to the third or fourth receiver. Hes made good decisions. Hes throwing the ball well. If he can play a couple games and not have an interception, or not have a ball that shouldve been intercepted, I think youre making progress. One of Weeden's stated goals was to improve upon his accuracy. Last season, he completed 57.4 percent of his passes. Through two preseason games, he has completed 72 percent of his passes. He was an accurate passer in college," Turner said. "When we watched him and when he got set and got his sights on someone and the guy was open, he didnt miss him very often, and thats what hes done here. And, again, I think its about percentages, and if youre trying to throw the ball to guys you shouldnt be throwing to, youre not going to be real accurate. If youre making good decisions, and were throwing the ball to the backs already, and I dont mind that; I like that, in fact, if youre still getting big plays up the field. Turner said that Weeden has been doing the right things in practice consistently and now he has to just keep playing consistently in the games. A lot of his accuracy issues in 2012 were mechanics and he's worked hard to improve those. Its been a process. What happens when you are by yourself working on it, like the driving range, everything is smooth. Then you get out there and its the real deal and then, when Brandon starts thinking too much, he slows down. When he is really confident and sure in what hes doing, hes going a lot faster, his setups are faster, and the ball is going out quicker. Its a matter of him being experienced with everything were doing, so theres not indecision and hes done a good job of getting the ball out fast when he is really sure of what we are doing. Turner does like the way Weeden throws the deep ball and plans on using that to the Browns advantage. Hes got a strong-enough arm to throw it deep," he said. "Its hard because we go out there from the first snap in practice, from individual to the end its about two hours, and theyre just running, running and running. They have to run a lot in the game but they dont really run as much in the game. Sometimes, on the deep balls, its harder to gauge the accuracy. I think Brandon is going to be a great deep-ball thrower.There have been critics of Weeden that say he doesn't have the intangibles to be a successful NFL quarterback. Turner refuted that notion. People always want to analyze that, and when a guys playing well, his intangibles seem to be exaggerated," he said. "And when theyre playing badly, they dont have intangibles. So, to me, its about executing and going out to play at a high level. Those things take care of themselves. Hes worked awfully hard at it. I think the guys enjoy playing with him. I think he does command their respect. Our players have a lot of confidence in Brandon. Turner has been credited with being a great offensive mind, who has had success in developing quarterbacks, but he thinks it's about utilizing the strengths of the quarterback. To me, it starts with a system thats extremely sound," he said. "(This system) has been proven over time. You go back to the 70s with (Don) Coryell, and just keep going through all the different people that have played in the system, whether it was me, Ernie Zampese, Mike Martz, it was the system that was very sound. "My background in terms of teaching and the process you go through to get those guys to play, I think theres some things we believe in, and we try to keep it as simple as possible for the quarterback, and put the burden on some of the other players. I think it helps them sort through some of the things they need to work through. The Browns have some talented young play makers in the likes of Trent Richardson, Josh Gordon, Davone Bess, Greg Little, Jordan Cameron and Travis Benjamin, and Turner said much of Weeden's success will depend on how those guys mature. Well, like Brandon, like a lot of our team, were extremely young," he said. "We see it on a daily basis out here (the practice field) the ups and downs of being young. I think you dont see a lot of those because we have not had extended periods of play. Weve been out there and played a quarter and-a-half, or maybe a half of a game. But there are going to be inconsistencies with young players and were going to have to fight through those things. We do have a talented group, and its shown in our first two games, whether its Jordan Cameron or Greg Little, or the guys you mentioned. Turner thinks Weeden has the ability to be a good NFL quarterback, but his ceiling will ultimately be predicated on the players around him. Thats so hard for me because, as I said when I first got here, its based on the people behind him and how theyre playing," he said. "There have been some really talented quarterbacks that have been put in a position where they didnt have very good players around them, and theyve struggled. And then there have been some guys not as talented that have played at a real high level because they were surrounded by a great supporting cast. "But the thing Brandon has done is make good decisions," he said. "Hes extremely accurate with the ball and hes made some big throws up the field already, so those are the things you look and say those are positives we can build on.EXTRA POINTS -- Wide receiver David Nelson returned to practice Sunday after missing most of training camp in his return from an ACL injury last September. Nelson started training camp on the ActivePUP list but was taken off of it early in camp. However, he tweaked the knee days after his return and has been out since. He missed the first two preseason games. Nelson was signed as an unrestricted free agent from the Bills, where he was a starting wide receiver until he was injured. Also back on the field was defensive back Chris Owens, who missed Saturday's practice with an illness. -- The Browns re-signed RB Jamaine Cook and released DB Kenronte Walker. Cook was with the Browns in the offseason, but he was released before training camp. Cook played high school football at Midpark and college at Youngstown State. The Browns are currently without running backs Montario Hardesty (knee, thumb) and Dion Lewis (fractured fibula). Cook is wearing number 36. -- A full list of those not practicing on Sunday: DT Desmond Bryant (back), LB Barkevious Mingo (lung), TE Gary Barnidge (shoulder), K Brandon Bogotay (groin), P T.J. Conley (groin), RB Dion Lewis (fractured fibula), RB Montario Hardesty (knee, thumb), OL Ryan Miller (head), OL Shawn Lauvao (ankle), OL Jason Pinkston (ankle), OL Chris Faulk (knee), WR Naaman Roosevelt (hamstring), DB Trevin Wade (shoulder) and WR Jordan Norwood (hamstring). Pinkston, who suffered a high ankle sprain last Thursday posted this on his Twitter account. "Treatment, treatment, more treatment. Boring Sunday"
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