If Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden felt pressure to be a hit right away, it would be hard to blame him.
At 28, he’s older than just about every other rookie quarterback in history, which would seem to give him a shorter window to prove himself than some of his peers got coming out of college. He was a first-round pick for a team that’s been desperate for a long-term starting quarterback since re-entering the league in 1999. They’ve also made just one postseason experience in that span, a stretch of futility that doesn’t do much for acceptance of growing pains.
And, on top of everything else, the team just got sold to an owner who might shake things up after Weeden’s rookie season. A new coach and new front office could mean a change in direction at quarterback unless Weeden makes it clear that the team doesn’t need a change at that spot. That feels like a pressure-packed situation, but Weeden said in an interview on the NFL Network’s NFL AM morning show that he isn’t feeling any at this point.
“It’s already hard enough to play this position in this league, and so I don’t really try to put any added pressure that doesn’t need to be there on myself because, like I said, that’s the last thing I need,” Weeden said. “I understand the history, I understand how many quarterbacks have played here since ’99 and the whole deal. But I think that if you look at the guys around me, we’ve got some really good pieces in place and I think, being a quarterback, that makes you a better player.”
Anything Weeden can do to make his job just about the football is going to help him. The history and the ownership situation aren’t going to change, so all Weeden can worry about is his own performance and let everything else fall as it may. Easier said than done, to be sure, but Weeden’s head appears to be in the right place.