Reporting Daryl Ruiter
BEREA (92.3 The Fan) - Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur delivered a succinct message to rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden Wednesday.
Stop throwing picks.
Profound, no. Pointed, yes.
“Don’t throw interceptions,” Shurmur said of the most important thing Weeden must improve upon. “Done. End of story. I want to be right to the point.”
Weeden has thrown 12 interceptions, which is tied for second most in the N FL this season, in 9 games.
“That’s kind of been my priority since I played pee-wee football,” Weeden said. “We never want to throw interceptions. My aggressive manor and mindset sometimes gets me in trouble, and you guys know that. I’m not going to take that away from myself.
“I agree, I have to take care of the football. I have to cut down on them.”
The 29-year old rookie has a passer rating of 67.9 – third worst in the league.
While it’s important for Weeden to be smart with the football, he also can’t become tentative. It’s a very fine line – be careful but not too conservative.
“I think the essence of a quarterback is to be a good decision-maker,” Shurmur said. “You have to decide when it’s important to try to be aggressive with a throw and also important to be smart with the football. I’ve looked at all those interceptions and there were times [Weeden] could have made better decisions. There’s, of course, things that happen where a ball bounces off a guy’s chest, so you look at all those things.
“You don’t want to play anxious football, but you also have to be smart.”
Weeden, who did not throw a pass into the end zone during 5 trips inside the red zone in a 25-15 loss to the Ravens, has also completed 185-of-336 passes (55.1 percent) for 2,088 yards and 9 touchdowns this season.
“Sometimes, making that aggressive throw, sometimes it catapults you and gets you momentum,” Weeden said. “You get a big throw and kind of spark a drive or something. I agree with what he’s saying.”
Despite the picks and the ups and downs Weeden has experienced, Shurmur isn’t down on his rookie and see’s plenty of potential.
“I think he’s got a chance to be an outstanding player,” Shurmur said. “I don’t think there’s any question about it. That’s it. He’s got to lead us to victories and don’t throw as many interceptions.”
For quarterbacks interceptions come with the territory. Those picks also come with inexperience. Although 29, Weeden is still a rookie.
“I think guys that are aggressive like that, sometimes that’s one category they unfortunately may have a couple more than they’d like,” Weeden said. “It’s not good, but we’re just being aggressive.”
The Browns travel to Dallas Sunday to take on the Cowboys.
Dallas’ defense has come up with just 4 interceptions this season while Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo leads the league with 13 interceptions.