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Some may say that arguing that Brandon Weeden is a rookie is the same as arguing that Colt McCoy has more experience.
I will grant that these two factors do circulate around the same coin, but with every coin there are two sides.
Do you know what Troy Aikman, Peyton Manning and Warren Moon all have in common? Besides being Hall of Fame-caliber quarterbacks, all of them also started their rookie seasons.
Their combined total record as rookies: 6-24.
Their touchdown-to-interception ratio: 47-60.
The common counterargument I hear when raising the rookie issue centers around the early success that quarterbacks like Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger had when they started as rookies in the NFL?
I understand that Flacco and Roethlisberger had a combined record of 24-5 during their rookie seasons.
But how much of that success should really be attributed to the two rookie quarterbacks?
Flacco and Roethlisberger also combined for 31 touchdown passes and 23 interceptions. Those statistics look far less impressive than their joint winning percentage of 83 percent as rookies.
This is especially the case when you consider the offenses and the offensive talent that surrounded them. I would doubt even the most diehard Browns fans would consider comparable the talent Flacco and Roethlisberger were blessed with as rookies to what Weeden would have surrounding him in 2012.
Again, the speed and physicality of the NFL cannot be underestimated. Rookies need time to adjust.
The last thing the Browns want is a David Carr, Joey Harrington or Tim Couch situation to derail the career of Brandon Weeden. The Browns cannot rush Weeden into the starting lineup because of his draft position or age. Aikman, Manning and Moon all struggled in their rookie seasons as NFL starters.
What makes anyone think Brandon Weeden will do any better?
No matter what headlines you read, you can be assured that Weeden is not an NFL-ready quarterback right now. He is still a rookie quarterback who is trying to adjust to the style of play associated with the West Coast offense.
No one is trying to argue that McCoy is the better long-term solution at quarterback. But if the Browns truly want to win right away, they have to grasp that Colt McCoy—with his NFL experience and familiarity with the Browns’ coaching staff, organization and other offensive players—gives them the best possible chance to do so.