Brandon Weeden almost found himself defending his performance in the opening preseason game as he talked Tuesday about playing in his second.
Weeden said his numbers against Detroit were “deceiving.”
“You know,” he said, “when you’re only throwing nine times, it doesn’t look too good when you’re 33 percent. That’s the only negative when you’re only playing 15 plays.
“You don’t have the chance to come in and redeem yourself and do something better the next time out.
“Numbers are skewed sometimes.”
OK … except that 3-for-9 really and truly is 3-for-9.
And 33 percent is 33 percent whether you throw the ball nine, 99 or 999 times.
Were there factors that contributed to the 33 percent?
Of course, and they should be kept in mind.
Weeden was a rookie making his first start in preseason. He only threw nine passes, and that sometimes affects a guy’s ability to get into a rhythm. In addition, Weeden threw a couple screen passes into the ground when the play was covered. As playcalls become more dependent on the gameplan, those screens won’t be called. Presumably.
But if the Browns want Weeden to get more than nine throws all they have to do is play him more.
There’s no reason to get bent out of shape about Weeden’s first game, but there also is no reason to sugarcoat it. Because the Browns were not sharp, and Weeden finished 3-for-9.
This gets to an attitude that seems to permeate the Browns. Weeden actually called his mistakes “so small that they’re easy to fix.” He added that they were “minor things.”
They may be, and credit him for being honest.
But in the regular season if he has turnovers in a quarter, the coaching staff and the fans will make a big deal out of it.
Weeden threw a nice sideline pass, but he and the offense were not crisp.
Andrew Luck looked great in his first start, but he also faced one of the league’s worst defenses.
Weeden gets Detroit and Green Bay and then the Eagles. Luck played a half, Weeden a quarter.
That shouldn’t prevent the offense, though, from having good plays on the number of plays in which it participates. Instead of stressing that, the Browns talk about numbers being skewed.
Weeden also was sincere when he says he saw the zone blitz in the Big 12. He means it. But this ain’t Kansas, or Oklahoma State, anymore Toto.
The Big 12 teams didn’t have the complexities and the quality of players Weeden will see once the regular season kicks on. Dom Capers’ zone blitz will be a lot more challenging this week, and a Big 12 zone blitz really doesn’t compare to the one the Steelers will throw at him in the regular season.
It would just be nice if the Browns and Weeden came out and looked sharp and played well in Green Bay. Which would mean they played better than they did in Detroit.
Weeden doesn’t need to redeem himself from anything, but neither does he need to hide from the reality that his first game had pluses and minuses.
And … 33 percent isn’t skewed.
Consider: If he had nine passes and completed six, his percentage would be 67 percent and that would be a good thing and everyone would be praising him.
The old goose and gander come to mind.