Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns: How Much Can the New QB Help?

Joshua Moeschl@jmoeschl7Correspondent IIIMay 2, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 02:  Brandon Weeden #3 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys throws a pass during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl against the Stanford Cardinal on January 2, 2012 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Taking a QB was a stretch for the Browns, but they needed to do something. Colt McCoy has not worked out as well as hoped, although he has not been a total failure. 

He exhibited some poise and maturity during his concussion controversy. One thing McCoy can give your team is that element of leadership. He easily could have thrown his training staff and coaches under the bus for failing to administer the standard concussion tests after he had his bell rung, but he didn't. 

McCoy could have taken to Twitter or other social media outlets after the Browns drafted Weeden, but he didn't. Maybe that says a lot about the young QB. Weeden is older than McCoy, but he does possess some tangibles that McCoy can't learn.

Weeden is taller, standing 6'4", whereas McCoy is 6'1". Weeden has huge hands, whereas Mccoy is a bit smaller. Weeden beats McCoy in the arm strength category too, being a former major league pitcher. That could be viewed as a minus though, Weeden did have some arm injury issues as a baseball player.

Colt had a great career at Texas, and his stats are in line with the stats Weeden put up his senior year. Weeden passed for almost 1,000 more yards than McCoy did in his best season as a Longhorn, but you could argue that when McCoy was in college, the Big 12 conference was much tougher than it was for Weeden. 

McCoy also rushed for 11 touchdowns that year. Not to mention he was a four-year starter.

So will the Browns improve with Weeden under center? I think they might. He has the physical tools you look for in a franchise QB, and he certainly should have the maturity at 28 years old to stay poised in his rookie campaign. I'm not sure if he will wow the league and fantasy football owners alike as Cam Newton did, but he doesn't have to be that good. 


The Browns need a QB to run their offense. New running back Trent Richardson will be the focal point of the offense, so Weeden needs to hand the ball off, and when he does pass, he needs to make smart decisions. A lot of what successful quarterbacks do in the NFL is limit their mistakes. Weeden has the arm to make every throw necessary in the NFL, so his decision-making will be a big focus coming out of training camp.

Maybe a QB controversy is exactly what Cleveland needs. No one says you need to trade McCoy just because you have Weeden. I mean, you could trade him, but why? You won't get equal value in return, and clearly, McCoy is a fan favorite. Why not let him and Weeden fight it out in training camp?  

Weeden passed for 34 touchdowns and just 13 picks, so his decision-making ability looks solid. The negative thing about Weeden is surely his age. If he blows up and becomes a great QB, you have maybe five years with him before he declines.

The Browns likely could have traded back and still picked Weeden, but they thought there was at least some chance they would lose him, so they acted. Much like the Vikings reaching for Christian Ponder last year with the No.12 overall pick, the Browns had a need and saw their opportunity. Maybe it will work, maybe it won't.

At least the Browns' front office is trying to win and is committed to finding the team a franchise QB. That's a positive sign for any Browns fan.

If the Browns make the playoffs this year, I would be surprised. They are in such a tough division, and the AFC is loaded with talent in general. With some good play-calling, they might be able to make a difference. Who knows, maybe Brandon Weeden is the next Kurt Warner