By Jay Skurski
The Buffalo Bills get the first of the rookie quarterbacks on their schedule Sunday when they visit Bradon Weeden and the Cleveland Browns. Weeden, though, isn't your typical rookie. He's a 28-year-old (Ryan Fitzpatrick is 29) Oklahoma State product who previously played minor league baseball.
So does Weeden carry himself different than a "normal" rookie? I asked one of the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Browns beat writers, Tom Reed, that and more today.
Reed also talked with me about rookie running back Trent Richardson, the impact former Bills coach Dick Jauron has had on Cleveland's defense and whether rookie linebacker Tank Carder has made a difference for the Browns. Some highlights are below, and the complete audio of the conversation can be found at the bottom of this post.
Q: Given his age, does Brandon Weeden carry himself different than another rookie might?
A: I think a little bit. He's been around professional sports being a minor league pitcher. The players seem to have confidence in him and he seems to carry himself with a -- I don't want to say a swagger -- but certainly he's confident in his abilities. The players seem to be very confident in him, but I'm sure a little bit of it was shaken after the first game.
Q: What has Dick Jauron's impact been on the Browns?
A: l would call him, certainly last season, the coaching MVP on the team. They really have a lot of confidence in him. He's a night-and-day change from Rob Ryan, who was here and is now with the Cowboys. He was a bombastic type of coach and they gambled all the time with crazy blitzes and stuff. He had success here, but Jauron has been a little bit more conservative style of defense. They don't dial up the blitz that often, they don't take a lot of chances. They give up a lot of yards. Last year, they finished fifth in scoring defense, despite being I think 30th in the league in rushing defense. They basically would give you field goals."
Q: How is Trent Richardson? Have we seen the type of player a lot of people think he can become?
A: "He missed all of the preseason games. That first game, it was almost kind of unfair. He really didn't have the burst that we saw a little bit last week. ... I think we started to see a little bit about what he can mean to this team, and what he can mean to Brandon Weeden. I think a lot of Weeden's success will be having Richardson back there as that serious running threat. It will take some pressure off him. I don't think [Richardson] is 100 percent. It's take a few weeks for him to get up to speed. But he certainly looked a lot better last week."
Cleveland Plain Dealer's Tom Reed on the Browns