Reporting Daryl Ruiter
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden is a competitive person and he has no problem fighting to keep his job this offseason.
Weeden, who spoke for the first time in Cleveland this offseason while appearing at the Cleveland Auto Show at the IX Center Monday night, expects to keep the starting job as well.
“I completely expect to be the starter,” Weeden said. “That’s my mindset going in. I’m confident in my ability to be the guy, to lead this football team.”
The former Oklahoma State Cowboy isn’t surprised at the changes this offseason within the organization. Or the fact that he is being asked to compete for his job coming off a 5-11 campaign because he realizes he has to prove himself this year.
“As a competitor you want to compete you know whether it’s at quarterback, safety or wherever,” Weeden said. “You want competition because, one, it makes you a better player and it also makes the team better. I’m open to it.
“I think…had we won 10 or 11 games it probably wouldn’t be the case but we didn’t. We won 5 and it’s my job to get better and it’s my job to make this football team a better football team starting week 1.”
Weeden completed just 57.4 percent of his passes and struggled at times last season running the west coast system which focused primarily on short timed crossing routes and it resulted in lots of batted passes at the line of scrimmage.
Despite the issues, he stopped short of saying that he was a round peg trying to fit into a square hole.
“I can’t say that because that was only my first year playing in that offense so I can’t really say it didn’t fit me well,” Weeden said. “We tried to dial up plays that fit me well, fit receivers well and tried to do what we could to score points and we didn’t get completely there as an offense. We never really felt like we were rolling for 4 quarters.”
Weeden, who threw for 3,385 yards, 14 touchdowns and 17 interceptions last season as a rookie, is excited to learn new offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s system, which focuses on getting vertical with the football – something that he’s familiar with.
“That’s what we did at Oklahoma State,” Weeden said. “We threw the ball down the field and just playing against Philip Rivers last year, he’s bigger than I am, but they were in the shotgun a lot. They did a lot of stuff that, you know, even 5 step drops from under center and they do a lot of stuff to fit the skill sets of the guys they have around him. And I think my skill set is throwing the football down the field and throwing the ball and giving our receivers a chance to make plays vertically so I’m excited about that.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Unfortunately league and CBA rules prohibit Weeden from getting his hands on the new playbook but he plans be back in Cleveland on April 1 for the start of the offseason program.
“I’m going to challenge myself,” Weeden said. “I know what to expect. I’m not going into my first camp anymore [and] kinda know how it all works. So now…I can dial in, get focused on what we’re trying to do and I’m going to learn a whole new offense so there’s no time to sit back and relax. It’s full steam ahead once I get my hands on the playbook and I’m ready to get challenged.
“They’ve already said they’re going to challenge me and as a player that’s what I want.”