Catching up on the Browns moving to 2-0 (juggernaut!) in the preseason:
–Brandon Weeden said he definitely saw cornerback Casey Hayward coming clean on a blitz in the second quarter, and he definitely felt it when Hayward put his helmet right into Weeden’s breastbone as he threw.
Weeden obviously felt that one.
“I just lost my breath,” Weeden said. :I tried to call the next play in the huddle and I couldn’t even spit out a word. I’d try to imitate it but i’d make a fool out of myself. It was bad.
“My offensive line was laughing at me. I called the wrong direction.
“I was hurting there for a play or two.”
The play was just one of 40 when Weeden was quarterback, but it addressed one of the main knocks on him coming out of college. That knock said he did not perform well when faced with the blitz in his face.
For one night in one game, he stood in pretty well.
“That’s just part of playing the position,” Weeden said. “You don’t want to put yourself in that position but every once in a while you have to make a throw like that.”
Coach Pat Shurmur said he feels like Weeden understands what he’s supposed to do, but adjusting to the team’s progression remains a challenge.
That being said, Weeden got good reviews from almost everyone for the way he played in Game Two. He looked poised and chuckled that there was no way to get into a rhythm in the first game because he only played 15 plays.
“The more reps I get,” Weeden said, “the better I’ll continue to feel.”
“As you work your way through the preseason, training camp and the games, you just want to see steady improvement,” Shurmur said. “And I think I saw that from him.”
–Weeden said he doesn’t listen to outside criticism — he didn’t do it in baseball, he didn’t do it in college and he won’t do it here.
How did he know there was any outside criticism, he was asked?
“I do read my Twitter,” he said.
He laughed when it was pointed out that might not be the best thing to admit, what with Shurmur’s feelings on Twitter and all.
“It’s comical, some of the stuff I hear,” Weeden said. “It can get comical.”
–Josh Gordon caught a couple passes, dropped another and ran a lazy route when his failure to come back to the ball almost led to an interception.
Weeden said Gordon ran the route a couple yards too deep, which threw the timing off. Despite his obvious struggles and learning curve, Weeden said the coaching staff will keep throwing Gordon “into the fire.”
“He’s going to be out there,” Weeden said. “He’s got way too many tools and he’s way too good of a player not to be on the field.”
–Shurmur was if he pointed out to the replacement officials that the Packers could not throw the challenge flag on a change-of-possession.
“The officials did a nice job with that,” he said smiling.
Whoever caught it — and it sure looked like it was the coach — got the Browns 15 yards.
–To hear Shurmur, this almost seemed like the perfect preseason experience.
It was in Lambeau Field, where his uncle coached for a long time.
It was a win.
And there was considerable improvement from week one to week two.
Those are all things coaches like and/or appreciate.
The other factor: There were a lot of plays. Because of turnovers and short field, the Browns first-team offense was on the field for 40 plays, which is a healthy amount for preseason.
Those are all not-so-small items that, to a coach, add up to a good night of football. For the second preseason game.