Cleveland Browns 2012: Why Fans Should Sit Tight on Brandon Weeden

Jonathan Munshaw@@jon_munshawCorrespondent ISeptember 17, 2012

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 09:  Quarterback Brandon Weeden #3 of the Cleveland Browns throws to a receiver over safety Nate Allen #29 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the season opener at Cleveland Browns Stadium on September 9, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

After Week 1 of the NFL season, Cleveland Browns fans were furious at rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden for throwing four interceptions and walking out of the game with a 5.1 passer rating.

After Week 2, those same fans were overwhelmed with joy at the fact that Weeden had thrown for 322 yards and a touchdown—almost leading the Browns to a come-from-behind win. 

As the rest of the season approaches, fans should not allow their emotions to take over like this, especially when it comes to Weeden.

Even though Weeden is 28 years old, he is still a rookie, and has only played in only two regular season NFL games, and he is going to have games where he struggles and brings down the offense, and games where he carries the offense and shows off his arm strength. 

Cleveland fans were calling for backup QB and former starter Colt McCoy after the Week 1 loss to the Eagles, and that isn't going to get the team anywhere.

Even if McCoy was to start, he isn't going to start setting the world on fire and winning games for the Browns. Fans should keep in mind that in 13 games last year, McCoy only threw 14 touchdowns in 463 attempts and 12 interceptions. 

When McCoy was in college, I never saw him play a game for the Longhorns where I went away thinking that they won that game just because of Colt McCoy, as opposed to Weeden—who ran Oklahoma State's offense along with WR Justin Blackmon.

Weeden's ceiling is much higher than McCoy's is, and fans might as well hold the line this season and see what the Browns have.

If Weeden is pulled after—let's say—six games, and the Browns still only win four games with Colt as QB, then what did the team learn from that?

At least if the team wins four games and looks awful doing it, then General Manager Tom Heckert and President Mike Holmgren will know what to look for in the 2013 draft, another QB. 

Sure, McCoy could have done better in his two years as starter if he was surrounded by some better receivers and running backs, but even when Peyton Hillis had his breakout season at RB, the entire offense had to run through him because Cleveland had little to no passing game.

Even if Weeden doesn't pan out, and he just wasn't made to play in the NFL, at least we know what the Browns have going into next season.

I don't know a single Browns fan who honestly believed at the beginning of this season that the team had a chance to make the playoffs, especially in the AFC North.

So why does it matter where the team finishes?

It can be frustrating at times, but fans have to sit tight and live with Brandon Weeden this season, no matter how bad or good it gets. Even if Weeden throws for 300 yards again next week against the Bills, fans cannot get too excited about it, because he is likely to struggle at some point again this season. 

Fans don't like to hear the term "rebuilding," especially in Cleveland where it seems like the Browns have been rebuilding for the past ten years. However, fans need to examine the team as a whole, and see if Weeden can lead this team for the next five years.