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Big 12 coaches skeptical of Weeden’s poise under pressure

Brandon Weeden Pic Getty Images

The Browns are expected to start No. 22 overall pick Brandon Weeden as a rookie, but they won’t get a good feel for Weeden’s pro readiness until the bullets start flying. While Weeden draws high marks for arm strength and accuracy — which surely will translate beautifully to the practice field — the 28-year-old’s ability to sustain effectiveness under pressure is a potential stumbling block.

NFL Films guru Greg Cosell saw some struggles under pressure on Weeden’s game tape, and in interviews with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Big 12 coaches who faced Weeden in college said they noticed the same thing.

He got quick feet. He got nervous,” observed Iowa State defensive coordinator Wally Burnham, whose Cyclones defeated Weeden’s Oklahoma State Cowboys in the 2011 regular season finale. “He really threw the ball away in a hurry. I’m not saying he was scared, he just wanted to get the ball out to his hot receiver.”

Former Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables, now on Clemson’s staff, faced Weeden twice in college and similarly surmised that Weeden’s ability, or inability, to improve under duress will indicate his career path.

“The challenge in the NFL,” said Venables, “will be when the pocket’s collapsing.”

Weeden played behind a solid offensive line at Oklahoma State, and in a Big 12 conference that generated inconsistent to poor pass rush. His highlight reels largely consist of throws made from a clean pocket.

Weeden may be in for a rude awakening in the NFL.

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68 Responses to “Big 12 coaches skeptical of Weeden’s poise under pressure”
  1. dkeyser says: May 6, 2012 4:52 PM

    Yeah take Venables word for it.. His D only gave up 85 points in 2 games vs Weedon….

  2. thefreaksfg says: May 6, 2012 4:54 PM

    His numbers when under pressure also back this up. I’m really not sure what the Browns see in him, or why they believe he can be ready from Day 1. Being 28 years old might make him more mature than others, but it doesn’t make him more NFL ready.

  3. fumblenuts says: May 6, 2012 4:56 PM

    “Weeden may be in for a rude awakening in the NFL.”

    Good luck dude…………hahahaha!!!

  4. notmanning says: May 6, 2012 4:56 PM

    So, let me get this straight. He’s BETTER in a clean pocket, than in a pocket that is collapsing? Awesome news flash.

  5. thehatefulnerd says: May 6, 2012 4:57 PM

    No one was more excitable than Favre. Yet Holmgren turned him into a triple MVP. He’s in good hands.

  6. vmannj says: May 6, 2012 4:57 PM

    Should have asked Mac Brown. He can tell you about a Big 12 that can handle pressure. Oh wait, Cleveland already gave up on that guy.

  7. joemammy says: May 6, 2012 5:02 PM

    Go ahead and concentrate on Weeden’s happy feet, and T-Rich will make those blitzing defenses pay.

    Nothing but daylight, baby. Nothing but daylight…

  8. nflsucker says: May 6, 2012 5:02 PM

    If he panics he’s only mirroring the organization that drafted him, and they had a lot more time to react.

  9. juanweiner says: May 6, 2012 5:02 PM

    ……….and he gets to face the top 2 defenses(Pittsburgh, Baltimore) in the NFL 4 times every year, good luck bro!

  10. outlawshark says: May 6, 2012 5:02 PM

    thefreaksfg says:May 6, 2012 4:54 PM

    His numbers when under pressure also back this up. I’m really not sure what the Browns see in him, or why they believe he can be ready from Day 1. Being 28 years old might make him more mature than others, but it doesn’t make him more NFL ready.
    ———————————————-
    Like it or not, being more mature actually DOES make him more NFL ready. If only the rest could understand…

  11. gmen4life33 says: May 6, 2012 5:04 PM

    I think he will be fine, but what I still dont get is why the Browns didnt trade down or wait till the second round to get him. Nobody was going to take a 28 yr old QB unless he was going to start right away, and besides CLE that wasnt going to happen. Players like Cousin were there in the 4th, nobody was going to use a 1st on Weeden.

    Like CLE picking him up, but doesnt make sense how they did it.

  12. micker716 says: May 6, 2012 5:05 PM

    Pretty sure this was the same criticism McShay had concerning Weeden’s game.

  13. nje22 says: May 6, 2012 5:05 PM

    So Weeden is a “who knows” right now and his success will be how he reacts to the NFL rush?
    Well every QB’s success in the NFL is pretty much determined that way and…
    Everybody that’s been drafted is a “who knows” right now
    Let’s have a few practices before we start dumping on these guys-I know its light news time but if we’re doing this now give us little more-what type of rush is his problem-any pressure at all-up the gut heat-zone blitzes etc
    Just me spewing on a sunday

  14. killerron says: May 6, 2012 5:05 PM

    I think it should be changed from “being under pressure” to “actually facing a defense.” I’m not too sure about the ability to translate from the Big 12 to the pros. Gaudy numbers but we’ll see. McCoy and Young have flamed out. We’ll see how RG3, Tannehill and Weedon fare.

  15. stairwayto7 says: May 6, 2012 5:06 PM

    Browns will be picking another QB in the 1st round in 2 or 3 years

  16. bchapman2011 says: May 6, 2012 5:12 PM

    thehatefulnerd says:
    May 6, 2012 4:57 PM
    No one was more excitable than Favre. Yet Holmgren turned him into a triple MVP. He’s in good hands.

    ———————————————-
    Holmgren is an executive with the Browns not a coach. He didn’t even play a big role with Favre. His position coaches in GB did.

  17. rameyag says: May 6, 2012 5:16 PM

    Another Blaine “Chuck and Duck” Gabbert style quarterback. How’s that working for you Jags’ fans? Same thing here.

  18. yojoemama says: May 6, 2012 5:28 PM

    Count on the Browns to draft another bust QB. How many is that in the last decade?

  19. guy84 says: May 6, 2012 5:33 PM

    Learn your material. OU vs OSU was OSUs regular season finale. Great job.

  20. warrenmoon says: May 6, 2012 5:49 PM

    The question is, will he be the best ginger in his division?

  21. rodgers419 says: May 6, 2012 5:50 PM

    “Weeden may be in for a rude awakening in the NFL.”

    Well yeah, Cleveland drafted him.

  22. KIR says: May 6, 2012 5:59 PM

    Well, at least these aren’t unnamed sources.

  23. realitypolice says: May 6, 2012 6:05 PM

    Yes, because the last thing you want in the NFL is a QB who gets the ball away quickly under pressure.

  24. jenniferxxx says: May 6, 2012 6:07 PM

    Whether true or not … these coaches are pretty low rent.

  25. realitypolice says: May 6, 2012 6:08 PM

    Brandon Weeden’s line against Iowa State:

    42/58, 476 yards, 3 TD’s, 148.1 QB Rating

  26. steelhammer92 says: May 6, 2012 6:12 PM

    We’ll find out how he fares under duress soon enough. He only has to deal with James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs four times a year.

  27. latchbeam says: May 6, 2012 6:24 PM

    Considering Weeden absolutely TORCHED Choaklahoma, that doesn’t mean much. That dude was embarrassed by what happened vs Oklahoma State!!!

  28. jluns275 says: May 6, 2012 6:27 PM

    While Blaine Gabbert was admittedly an expensive reach for Jax, who moved up to get him last year, there was also virtually noone to throw it to but MJD – who cannot run it every play, catch it every play, & pass block every play, much less all 3 at the same time on every play.
    Even Pocket Hercules has limits.
    Let’s see how effective Gabbert to Blackmon can be with 8 or even 9 in the box – or better yet, how much MORE effective MJD will be WITHOUT 8 or 9 in the box.

    Btw, Wheeden will need more to throw to besides Cribbs & Massaquoi, regardless of pass blocking. Those 2 receivers would be, at best, special teams contributors on virtually any other NFL team.

  29. rastacc says: May 6, 2012 6:32 PM

    It’s pretty interesting how you snagged two or three little tidbits out of those articles and made it melodramatic.

    It’s really pretty inappropriate to just snag a sentence out of an article and then write an entire misleading post about it.
    Where’s the article with based on these quotes:
    “Because he’s so accurate, it was hard to defense everything he did,” said Burnham
    “Venables said Weeden picked up defenses quickly, was deadly accurate and made all the throws”
    “When Weeden has time and functional space to deliver the ball comfortably, he’s the purest and best pocket passer in this draft class.”

  30. muckfodell says: May 6, 2012 6:36 PM

    So let’s review.

    Two coaches who got scorched by Weeden question his ability to handle pressure and that he has “happy feet.”

    Based on the stats, it looks like he had a happy arm to me.

    So either they are horrible coaches that failed to exploit these weaknesses, or there are some sour grapes based on their defenses getting embarrassed by him.

    And Steelhammer, the Browns will be facing Terrell Suggs ZERO time this year, so you can cross him off the list.

    I would think teams in the AFC North probably have a little concern about getting smashed in the the mouth by TRich as well…

  31. ihateclevelandandphillyandbaltimore says: May 6, 2012 6:39 PM

    This guy will be out the league in 3 years

  32. clw1906 says: May 6, 2012 6:42 PM

    steelhammer92 says:
    May 6, 2012 6:12 PM
    We’ll find out how he fares under duress soon enough. He only has to deal with James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs four times a year.

    Suggs won’t be pass rushing much this season

  33. rexismybff says: May 6, 2012 6:43 PM

    When James Harrison crushes him like an empty beer can, will pappa Weeden complain to the press about Holmgren and crew??

    If so, don’t expect to be in Cleveland for long, Brandon.

  34. muckfodell says: May 6, 2012 6:53 PM

    “Pretty sure this was the same criticism McShay had concerning Weeden’s game.”

    If so, I feel better about Weeden already…

  35. muckfodell says: May 6, 2012 6:56 PM

    “When James Harrison crushes him like an empty beer can, will pappa Weeden complain to the press about Holmgren and crew??”

    Incorrect assumption. Mongoloid Harrison leads with his helmet up under the chin.

    Nothing as clean as a beer can crush for him.

  36. td40 says: May 6, 2012 6:58 PM

    You know what other goofy looking ginger looked really bad under pressure and panicked for the first several games? Andy Dalton. Oddly enough, Bengals fans now seem to think he’s the second coming of Ken Anderson. Go figure.

  37. ohnothatguy says: May 6, 2012 7:01 PM

    Waste of a round 1 pick! Horrible drafting by Holmgren! He is 28! They could of risked seeing if he fell in a later round! Would of been better off trying to get an offensive line to help Thomas and that guy they took #3 overall!

  38. Mike Holmgren's Chins says: May 6, 2012 7:03 PM

    He may have had “happy feet” but I bet he had an even bigger smile on his face when he helped beat the likes of Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas A&M and Stanford.

  39. zinn22 says: May 6, 2012 7:05 PM

    I watched 2 of Weeden’s games prior to the draft. I noticed a number of things. Quick release, good accuracy, good pocket awareness and good feet in getting out of pressure. But I also noticed a few bad things or at least traits that made me question. He forced a lot of balls into coverage. He took a few interceptions on bad decisions. I also noticed he throws a ton of sort 4-5 yard passes that he will not be able to do in the NFL.

    He has the feet, pocket awareness, and accuracy to survive in the NFL. But he needs to make better decisions. He is no Mark Sanchez who crumbles under any pressure.

    Richardson should help him quite a bit. he has the tools to succeed but I think he will be dependant a lot on the how well the Browns do. If he is constantly playing form behind he will likely get hammered, make a lot of mistakes and lose confidence. If the Brows are competitive and play well on both sides of the ball Weeden can win games for them and progress as a QB. So much of QBing is not the QB but simply confidence and the ability to survive long enough to get better.

    I love the Browns pick of Richardson and to a lesser extent I like Weeden although they may have taken him about 10 spots early. It will be interesting to see how well they do. Playing the Steelers, Ravens and improving Bengals 6 times a year is going to be rough. Those are some good defenses.

  40. fdugrad says: May 6, 2012 7:06 PM

    Don’t understand the ” pappa Weeden ” comment. Would somebody please explain.

  41. browns627 says: May 6, 2012 7:24 PM

    we had kosar, that foot stuff is over rated, more interested in what’s between his ears

  42. Mike Holmgren's Chins says: May 6, 2012 7:33 PM

    This article and its timing are as disgraceful as the mock draft that this same author posted a month ago.

  43. slowclyde86 says: May 6, 2012 7:35 PM

    ohnothatguy says:
    May 6, 2012 7:01 PM
    Waste of a round 1 pick! Horrible drafting by Holmgren! He is 28! They could of risked seeing if he fell in a later round! Would of been better off trying to get an offensive line to help Thomas and that guy they took #3 overall!

    ————————–
    Don’t feel too badly, ohno. English is hard. “Of” is a preposition, not a verb. It is also great to use exclamation points on every sentence! It makes it so much more exciting!

    As to the point you were trying to make, no one really knows when Weeden would have been drafted. If he plays well, it will not matter. If he does not, then it was a terrible pick regardless of where, be it at 22 or 38. If they believed that Weeden was their guy, it would have been foolish to risk losing him at that point.

  44. slowclyde86 says: May 6, 2012 7:41 PM

    Fdugrad—colt’s father publicly complained last year when his son was put back into a game last year ( quite understandabley in my mind) after getting a concussion. In so doing, the browns looked bad as a result (again, justifiably in my mind). It is rumored (just that, rumored) that played a roll in Colt’s potential way out of Cleveland (whereas many simply point to his lack of arm strength).

  45. hedphurst says: May 6, 2012 8:07 PM

    Scouting reports vary widely for almost all prospects. You can find reports that will say that Weeden had to diagnose defenses, adjust plays in the huddle, and even helped teach his new O-Coordinator the offense. You can also find reports that say he played in a simple one-read system that required very little adjustment, mostly short passes, and that his stats are largely a product of facing weak defenses in his conference. You can find articles stating that his age is a huge disadvantage, that he’ll break down quickly, that his baseball arm problems will haunt him, and that he’ll wash out quickly. You can also find articles talking up his maturity as a huge asset, that he’ll be able to handle the pressure of the NFL better, that his football throwing motion is completely different than his baseball pitching motion, and that his arm problems in baseball have absolutely no bearing on his mechanics when throwing a football. The simple facts are that he is a rookie QB in the NFL, he will be the odds-on favorite to start every game this year for the Browns, and he SHOULD have an improved supporting cast to work with (compared to what McCoy had last year). Nobody knows if he’ll succeed, and nobody on this site (authors and commenters alike) has as much football expertise as the coaching staff of even the worst NFL team (which the Browns may or may not be). Talk all you like, but nobody’s going to get an award for predicting what will happen with his career.

  46. crumpledstiltskin says: May 6, 2012 8:12 PM

    When James Harrison crushes him like an empty beer can, will pappa Weeden complain to the press about Holmgren and crew??
    —————————————————-

    Since 2007, Harrison has 2 sacks vs Cleveland. More specifically, vs Joe Thomas. He is more adept at blindside head shots past the line of scrimmage. So I guess he can get Weeden there.

  47. fdugrad says: May 6, 2012 8:17 PM

    slowclyde86–Thanks for clarifying. I thought perhaps that the new QB’s dad was talking to reporters about his son’s treatment by Brown’s front office or something. I surely do not blame Colt’s dad for voicing his concern. That situation regarding the concussion was handled very poorly, regardless how it came about. Thanks again for explanation.

  48. iplay4keeps says: May 6, 2012 8:23 PM

    Yeah that powerfull Iowa state defense was so unbelievable all year.

  49. clevelandschronic2 says: May 6, 2012 8:59 PM

    As a browns fan i thought drafting weeden 22( or at all In my opinion) was the dumbest move since drafting couch. Any qb in this draft besides luck n maybe griffin if shanahan doesnt mess him up were a reach. All we had to do was get some more weapons. A damn WR to b specific n let mccoy have a chance but no they thought it was agreat idea to reach for this scrub instead of trying to go all out for barkley next year if mccoy fails. Now we r stuck with this 3rd string qb in weeden because they had to waste a 1st rd pick on him. We are beyond screwed. Hope he can at least handoff to richardson

  50. ballboy48 says: May 6, 2012 9:06 PM

    Didn’t Weeden beat the likes of Baylor, Stanford, OK, etc! He tore up the Iowa State D, so I am not sure what is trying to be proven here! I guarantee you when any of these QB’s start to see the pocket breakdown, they start getting some happy feet!

  51. pacodawg says: May 6, 2012 9:07 PM

    All I know is he moved his team I to the end zone, like McCoy didn’t. Huge upgrade

  52. nickster31 says: May 6, 2012 9:09 PM

    Cleveland is in a division with Pittsburgh and Baltimore, so he is going to have 4 incredibly difficult defensive games per year, and don’t sleep on the Bengals, who are getting better.

    What sucks for Cleveland is, they are in one of the best divisions in football, and they are in a MASSIVE hole talent wise.

  53. Subadai says: May 6, 2012 9:34 PM

    If the Browns drafted Jesus Christ himself, Florio’s lackey’s headline would be “Romans say Brown’s Draftee not Savior.”

    If the Steeler’s drafted Stalin Florio’s lackey’s headline would be “Steeler’s ignore draftee’s “minor” character issues… get bloodthirsty dictator they have been looking for since getting bounced form playoffs.

  54. belfastelf says: May 6, 2012 9:52 PM

    So you beat RGIII, Ryan Tannehill and Luck all in the same season – and YOU are considered a questionable NFL pick????? Weeden may be the steal of the draft!!!!!!!

  55. hitdog042 says: May 6, 2012 9:56 PM

    thehatefulnerd says:
    May 6, 2012 4:57 PM
    No one was more excitable than Favre. Yet Holmgren turned him into a triple MVP. He’s in good hands.

     ——

    Funny. Last time I checked Holmgren isn’t coaching. He also didn’t draft Favre. Another GM traded for his talent. This qb guru thing has taken a life of its own. And is so false. Favre was going to be a winner wherever he went.

    Holmgren signed Dilfer. A FA. He traded for Hasslebeck.

    Point? All were already in the NFL. Holmgren has developed nobody. He has never drafted a qb that has succeeded on his watch. Never.

    He has never traded for a rookie who succeeded. Never. He has never been handed a rookie who succeeded. Never.

    Next……

  56. poison66 says: May 6, 2012 10:02 PM

    Weeden will end up being a great NFL Qb, wait and see!!!!

  57. poison66 says: May 6, 2012 10:04 PM

    I can see him taking the Browns to an outside shot at a wild card!

  58. mikebrownistheworstownerinprosports says: May 6, 2012 10:11 PM

    So he can’t handle pressure? In the AFC north, he will have to face the 7th ranked defense twice a year…a team that sacked the QB 48 times last year.

    Then he has to worry about the Ravens and Steelers too.

  59. blantoncollier says: May 6, 2012 10:37 PM

    Looks like Brad McCoy, his team, Jim Brown and Tony Grossi are back posting tonight. Just call them the He-Man Cleveland Browns Haters Society. Maybe the kids from the Our Gang Comics can join in…(the He-Man Woman Haters Society)

  60. coachbeck says: May 6, 2012 10:46 PM

    Wrong division for a scared qb. Ravens, bengals, steelers will kill him. Trich enjoy that 2.9 ypc with no speed WR and a scared qb. Hey they will get to draft Barkley in 2013 lol

  61. sean222 says: May 6, 2012 11:00 PM

    These articles are great. Jaws would say that EVERY QB is worse under duress than in a comfortable pocket. What is nice are the blazing numbers Weeden has put up, period.
    Its a shame the Browns have the best left tackle in football and a pro bowl center. This article makes no sense. I wonder what the coaches who watched Richardson tear up their defence think about his ability at the next level. Maybe they will say he didn’t get in the end zone enough. Losers.

  62. pturner81 says: May 6, 2012 11:03 PM

    So when he’s not handing the ball off to Trent… he might throw it early under pressure.

  63. beeronthefridge says: May 7, 2012 12:15 AM

    Weeden is an old bust!

  64. butteredsanta says: May 7, 2012 6:50 AM

    Isn’t this the case with every quarterback? Isn’t that the purpose of a pass rush?

  65. brownsclown says: May 7, 2012 7:14 AM

    It must be the off season. Everyone is concerned about Brandon’s Wee Wee!

  66. audient says: May 7, 2012 7:59 AM

    Where were these coaches and their comments BEFORE the draft? Oh, it must have been the total lack of coverage of the draft in the weeks/months leading up to it.

  67. toolkien says: May 7, 2012 9:10 AM

    Holmgren is an executive with the Browns not a coach. He didn’t even play a big role with Favre. His position coaches in GB did.

    ————————————–

    Holmgren is the one who designed the offensive scheme and called the plays. I’m also very certain that Holmgren had much to say on the development of Favre and how it occurred as to how he was supposed to interface with Holmgren’s designs.

  68. beeronthefridge says: May 7, 2012 2:15 PM

    Weeden is too old to learn!

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