Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 5/12/12
BEREA -- Significant judgments from a rookie minicamp can be dangerous. But preliminary thoughts on how a guy throws, catches or runs are possible. And Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden has provided some positive vibes for the team that drafted him and its long-suffering fan base. It does not translate into success with James Harrison or Geno Atkins bearing down on Weedens chin, but it does show why the Browns thought him worthy of the 22nd overall choice in the draft at age 28. Two plays from Saturday stand out. On one, he dropped and threw an out to Travis Benjamin. The ball left Weedens hands before Benjamin made his break and arrived on a line at Benjamins hands just as he turned to look back. Benjamin almost had no choice but to catch the ball, and he did just as his two feet landed before going out of bounds. On another, Weeden faked a handoff right and rolled left. As he ran left he threw against his body with his feet off the ground. The ball flew down the field a good 20 or 25 yards, over linebackers and into the hands of tryout tight end Joseph Halahuni. The throw was without a rush, and without pads, but it was still a nice combination of athleticism and arm strength. I like what Ive seen from him just in terms of throwing the football, for sure, coach Pat Shurmur said. Nobody wants to gush over a minicamp day. When heading that way, its always wise to recall that it was this event that made Spergon Wynn into a folk hero of sorts way back in 2000. Wynn fired passes all over the field, one that went 50 yards down the field on a line and dropped into a receivers hands. His career quarterback rating turned out to be 13.1. Keeping that perspective is healthy. A quarterback should look good in a minicamp. As Shurmur said, when an offense is going against air it should not have an incompletion. Until Weeden performs in games under pressure with the crowd rattling his earlobes, nobody knows what he is. But a quarterback can demonstrate skills that allow him to succeed. Weeden seems to bring a certain something to the position the Browns have lacked. His size alone makes him stand out. At 6-foot-3 he stands a lot taller than the Browns recent starters. He throws the ball effortlessly, and thought he doesnt throw with the strength or speed of a Dan Marino or John Elway, he has plenty of velocity. He also can put touch on the ball when needed. Hes naturally accurate, Shurmur said. Thats a natural component to his game. Its just a matter of him getting used to how we do things, and I think that accuracy will show. Accuracy comes in more than just completion percentage. Its hitting a guy in stride so he can make some yards after the catch, and hitting him in stride so the receiver doesnt get lit up by a defender. I think thats kind of a natural thing, Shurmur said, that (some guys) just know when to take a little off it because the guy is five yards away. And whether to put it on the right or left shoulder depending on where the defender is so he can turn away from (him). All things that we teach and we emphasize, but some guys kind of naturally get it. Shurmur also said that Weedens arm strength might allow the offense to do more than it did a year ago. He throws the ball easy, Shurmur said. A guy that can throw the ball with a smooth motion, that ball presents itself to the receivers well, and I think that helps them be more efficient catching it. Shurmur isnt the kind to blatantly criticize a player, so his comments probably arent directed at Colt McCoy. But its clear what he sees in Weeden has him smiling -- and excited to see more in training camp.
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