In the one-liners last month, we linked to a story about what the Browns were trying to do to cut down on the amount of passes that quarterback Brandon Weeden had knocked down at the line as a rookie.
There was talk of more five-to-seven step drops with Norv Turner calling the plays in 2013 as a way to create more space between Weeden and the defensive lineman as well as a mention of the need for Weeden to get rid of the ball more quickly after ProFootballFocus.com pegged him as the league leader in batted balls last season. Weeden would like to cut out his habit of patting the ball before he throws it because it gives defenses a clue about when he’s throwing, but he’s unconvinced that spending a lot of time trying to fix the problem will lead to positive results.
“You really can’t work on it. It’s something that if you think about it all the time, it will probably create more problems,” Weeden said on the NFL Network. “I think there are a lot of reasons they happen. One being me patting the football … It’s just a part of taking three-step drops from under center, as well. When you are under center you are not very far from the line of scrimmage and you are trying to throw over guys that are 6-4, 6-5, with long arms. You got to throw it through the windows. Unfortunately, it happened last year. I don’t know why, but I’m going to do my part, whatever I got to do to throw around those guys to make it happen.”
Whenever thoughts turn to how Weeden will fare in his second season, Turner’s name comes up and with good reason. Plenty of quarterbacks have thrived in his system and Weeden’s skills should be a good fit with what we’ve seen from Turner in the past, including the kind of deep throws that are unlikely to be knocked down at the line of scrimmage. An improvement in that area should be part of an improvement across the board for a quarterback who appears to be well positioned to succeed thanks to the changes on Cleveland’s coaching staff.