Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden threw in the towel on his baseball career because he had an ERA of 5.02 as a minor league pitcher.
That looks uncomfortably like the 5.1 quarterback rating he posted in his start against the Eagles on Sunday, which obviously wasn’t what the Browns were hoping for when they handed Weeden the starting job this summer. Weeden didn’t get much help from the running game or receivers who couldn’t hold onto passes, but he still threw four interceptions and fumbled twice, both recovered by Cleveland, in a messy performance. It gave the impression that Weeden wasn’t quite ready for prime time.
Weeden couldn’t argue that his play was up to snuff in a game that the Browns might have won with one or two fewer mistakes from their quarterback. He did dispute the idea that he couldn’t handle the moment, though.
“The outcome wasn’t what I wanted, but I wasn’t overwhelmed,” Weeden said, via Bud Shaw of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
With the notable exception of Robert Griffin III, it wasn’t a good day for rookie quarterbacks. Weeden, Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck and Ryan Tannehill all struggled on their way to losses, a reminder that the life of a rookie quarterback is often fraught with early stumbles. There have been plenty of guys who went on to be great after messing the bed their first time out of the gate.
The Browns have no choice but hoping that Weeden follows that track. Going back to Colt McCoy isn’t a realistic option and growing pains had to be part of the equation when they made their decision in the first place. They might not have expected a day quite like Sunday, but they’ve got to deal with it all the same.