Reporting Daryl Ruiter
BEREA (92.3 The Fan) - With a quarterback rating that required the Hubble telescope to read – 5.1, many are already questioning if Brandon Weeden is ready to start in the NFL.
But not offensive coordinator Brad Childress.
“I don’t feel that way,” Childress said. “I don’t think he cowered in the face of it. I thought he had a good demeanor during the course of the game.”
Weeden threw 4 interceptions and completed just 12 of 35 passes for 118 yards in the Browns’ 17-16 season-opening loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Childress was more than willing to break down each of the 4 picks thrown by Weeden and clearly 3 of the 4 were not entirely his fault.
Despite the picks and incompletions, Childress isn’t discouraged by Weeden one bit.
“I don’t feel like it’s too big for him,” Childress said. “You’re gonna throw interceptions. I think the first pick in the draft [Colts quarterback Andrew Luck] threw 3.”
Ball security is a major issue with Weeden.
He fumbled twice against the Eagles but fortunately the Browns recovered them both. Combine that with 3 more in the preseason and that’s a total of 5 fumbles in 9 quarters.
“You have to treat it like it’s a sack of gold,” Childress said. “You’ve got to lock it up in the pocket now.”
Childress added that it’s on the coaching staff to help Weeden bounce back from a tough week.
“That’s usually the quarterback coach’s job, that’s usually part father confessor, part psychiatrist, hug him, help him up off the floor,” Childress said. “You just prop him back up. Getting him back on the horse – I think that’s the biggest thing. I’d worry about him if he didn’t keep shooting. You’ve got to keep shooting.
“You can’t all of the sudden kind of go into the fetal position.”
Thomas’ Knee: Left tackle Joe Thomas has been limited this week due to a left knee injury.
The limited reps aren’t that big of a deal according to Thomas.
“When you get a little bit older, sometimes you just need to reduce the reps a little bit in a week so you can feel good on Sundays,” Thomas said.
Thomas has worn a brace and wrap on his left knee the last 2 days at practice but looks fine. He also wears a sleeve on his right knee for protection as well.
Thomas has been a rock at left tackle since the Browns drafted him No. 3 overall in 2007 and has started in all 81 games of his career while making the Pro Bowl in each of his first 5 seasons.
“I think it’s important every day and every week you go out to challenge yourself in some respect and keep it fresh and interesting,” Thomas said. “You’ve always got to find something to work on, and some way to keep it fresh like a rookie in your own mind.”
Friendly Reminder: On the heels of Browns’ cornerback Joe Haden’s 4-game suspension, the NFLPA sent a memo to players reminding them of the rules for the use of Adderall/Ritalin according to agent Scott Smith of XAM Sports.
Smith said that the memo told players the use of both drugs requires both a prescription and Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) or players face a minimum of a 4-game suspension – no questions asked.
An NFL player can obtain a TUE by applying to the NFL and proving that the drug is medically-necessary.
Haden did not, thus he sits for the next month.
“It’s never a good thing [to lose a player],” defensive coordinator Dick Jauron said. “The guys who’ve been here will get a chance to go out and compete. We’ll be O.K. It’s a challenge to go against their skill people.”
The plan is to have Dimitri Patterson start at corner in place of Haden, then move inside on nickel packages with Buster Skrine outside.
“They only know one way to play and we like how they play,” Jauron said.
Saga Continues: Linebacker Scott Fujita still isn’t sure what will come of his suspension issued by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
“There’s a lot of things being discussed right now, so I’d rather not get into it,” Fujita said.
He returned to practice Wednesday and has been fully participating even though he’s recovering from a knee injury.
“That I can talk about,” Fujita joked. “It feels great. Since I got the news last Friday, I couldn’t get in the building soon enough so it’s good to be back with all the guys.”
Fujita expects to play Sunday against the Bengals.
“It’ll be a lot of fun, I’m excited about it,” Fujita said. “Just to get back on the field since it’s been a weird, long offseason. Finally we’re here, my chance to step back on the field with all my boys.”
He better enjoy it because odds are he’ll have to sit once Goodell rules again.
Injury Report: OUT: LB James Michael Johnson (ribs/oblique), DB Ray Ventrone (hand); LIMITED: OL Oniel Cousins (ankle), OL John Greco (calf), LT Joe Thomas (knee), TE Ben Watson (thigh); FULL: CB Sheldon Brown (neck), TE Jordan Cameron (groin), LB Scott Fujita (knee), C Alex Mack (knee), RB Chris Ogbonnaya (ankle) and RB Trent Richardson (knee) KR/PR Josh Cribbs (knee) and WR Josh Gordon (knee).