The way Brandon Weeden sees it, nothing’s changed. He’s still Cleveland’s starter.
And he plans to keep it that way.
Sure, Weeden was aware the Browns worked out several top college quarterbacks leading into April’s draft, but the team didn’t pick one. He’s also mindful that veteran Jason Campbell can beat him out if he’s not on his game. Weeden also knows there are those who doubt he’ll be an NFL success.
It’s up to him to prove them wrong.
“I want to be the guy,” he said.
Weeden spoke Thursday after the Browns wrapped up their third and final day of organized team activities (OTAs), where all eyes were on the second-year QB, coming off an uneven rookie season. During a 10-minute session with reporters, Weeden talked about his improvement, his growing confidence in coach Rob Chudzinski’s offense and his comfort in working with new coordinator Norv Turner.
As for the draft, Weeden said he didn’t worry about whether the Browns would take a quarterback to challenge or replace him.
“I didn’t really read into it one way or the other,” he said. “I wasn’t too concerned with it. I was up here the days before the draft and the days after preparing just like I have every other day. That was probably my least concern. I was worried about this team getting better and getting back to work.”
Weeden, who passed for 3,385 yards with 14 touchdowns and 17 interceptions last season, has been working hard on his craft.
He’s spent extra time in the weight room, and these days, evenings at the Weeden household include he and his wife, Melanie, breaking down film and the Browns’ playbook.
“I know how to relate to guys,” he said. “As far as an offense, even though we’re in Day 3 now versus Day 3 last year, I’m way ahead of the curve. This offense kind of makes more sense to start with. There’s a lot more up front as far as formations and stuff. But once you get it, you can hear a play and kind of piece it together by the verbiage, plus me and my wife have spent too many hours studying. It’s been crazy.”
Weeden believes he’s showing Cleveland’s new coaching staff that he can be a franchise QB, the one to finally end more than a decade of turmoil at the game’s most important position. The Browns have had a different quarterback start the opener in each of the past five seasons, and they agreed to terms with Brian Hoyer on Thursday.