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Who Is to Blame for Cleveland Browns Poor Offensive Performance in Week 1?

Sep 8, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden (3) has his face mask grabbed by Miami Dolphins defensive end Jared Odrick (98) as Cleveland Browns tackle Joe Thomas (73) and Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson (33) try to block Miami Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon (50) during the fourth quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Will BurgeContributor ISeptember 8, 2013

Critics say Brandon Weeden is not the quarterback of the future in Cleveland. He didn’t do much to deter the naysayers on Sunday.

Weeden finished his day 26-53 with 289 yards passing and 1 touchdown. The most glaring stat of the day, however, was his three first-half interceptions.

The Browns first drive, which heavily featured Trent Richardson, was derailed by Weeden delivering a pass late and then an interception, which he threw up into double coverage.

To be fair, Weeden was not the only culprit.

The offensive line turned in their worst performance since 2011. There was zero push off the line and Richardson rarely had room to maneuver after receiving a handoff. Mitchell Schwartz was repeatedly dominated by Cameron Wake who had 2.5 sacks, 2 tackles for loss and 6 QB hits.

Oniel Cousins, who filled in at right guard, may want to look into an acting career. He delivered an Oscar worthy performance for his role as a matador. When he wasn’t allowing defensive linemen to waltz into the backfield he was passing the time by holding and grabbing facemasks.

Weeden was also hurt by five drops from wide receivers. One pass hit Greg Little in stride, deflected off his hands and resulted in the second of Weeden’s three picks.

Even Norv Turner, the man who was supposed to fix the Browns’ offense and elevate Weeden to the next level, had a sub-par game. There were questionable play calls, blocking schemes and offensive imbalance all game long.

How does Richardson only get 15 total touches?

Even though the odds were stacked against Weeden, the failure falls on his shoulders. This organization will be looking for “their guy” in the next draft and Weeden is currently playing for his starting career in Cleveland.

At the end of the season, Joe Banner and Michael Lombardi won’t look at Weeden and think that if they surround him with better talent things will change. They will surround the next guy with better talent and part ways with the 30 year old quarterback if he doesn't impress. It’s that simple.

That’s the business.

So while Weeden tries to climb a mountain of adversity and prove that maybe he has the skill to start in the NFL, the Browns’ front office will need definitive proof. They will focus on Sunday’s hurried footwork, poor pocket presence and tendency to stare down receivers, rather than the lack of help from his offensive teammates.

The front office made this bed and Brandon Weeden has to lay in it.

As fair or unfair as it may be, this is the reality of Weeden’s 2013 campaign.

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