Kurt Warner didn’t start an NFL game until he was 28 years old, but when he finally became a starter he made the most of it, winning the MVP in 1999 and the Super Bowl MVP that postseason. That sounds like a good path for Brandon Weeden to follow.
Weeden, the Browns’ second first-round pick on Thursday night, knows he has a very long way to go before anyone will compare him to Warner for any reason other than the late start to his NFL career. But in a conversation with Warner on NFL Network, Weeden said that as a 28-year-old rookie, he’s using Warner as a role model.
“As you know, maturity, leadership, how you go about business in a locker room, I think that goes a long way — especially playing this position,” Weeden told Warner. “I use you as an example all the time. You had a tremendous career, won a lot of games starting at 28, all the way through your 30s and had a fantastic career. I’m not comparing myself to you — I hope to be mentioned in the same sentence as you — but longevity-wise, I think I’ve got a lot of football left in my tank. If I can play for eight, 10, 12 years, that’s a heck of an NFL career and something I would take a lot of pride in.”
Weeden referred to Browns quarterback Colt McCoy as “a great player,” but he said he’s looking forward to competing with McCoy. The Browns will have a good pick if Weeden is better than McCoy. If Weeden can become anything like Warner, they’ll have a great pick.