Sunday, May 20, 2018
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Weeden not afraid to use his strong arm to take chances



Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden strode into camp with his gunslinger mentality, and he's offering no apologies.

Sure, you'll see some interceptions in camp -- like the one safety Eric Hagg made in a seven-on-seven drill Sunday -- but this cannon-armed risk-taker explains that you have to take a little bad with a whole lot of good.

Besides, isn't training camp the time to throw some caution -- and a few balls -- into the wind?

"No doubt about it and you've got to pick your spots," said Weeden after the first full-pad practice. "For me, that's seven-on-seven. Just take your shots. Take shots down the field."

The seven-on-seven was a case in point. Weeden, never one to shy away from the deep ball, flung one down the left seam for Mohamed Massaquoi, and Hagg stepped in and picked it off. Granted, Massaquoi was chewed out afterward by vocal senior offensive assistant Nolan Cromwell for botching the route, but the pick still falls on Weeden.

"Hagg made a great play," Weeden said. "It was really the right read. He just made a great play. But what can you do? Move onto the next play."

Usama Young almost swiped one during the same drill, which earned Weeden a little coaching up.

"Coach Shurmur told me after practice, 'I don't want to take away any of your aggressiveness, but there's some things if it's not there, you've got to check it down.' And I understand that," Weeden said.

Shurmur isn't the only one schooling Weeden on his inevitable rookie mistakes. Browns cornerback Joe Haden, who smacked down a mid-range pass to Massaquoi in team drills, warned the rookie that he's staring down his receivers.

"There are some things being a rookie that you have to teach him," Haden said. "I've just got to make sure, when he does his three-step, he doesn't just look at the receiver -- and lock on."

Haden said Weeden's been receptive.

"He takes coaching," Haden said. "He comes and asks me, 'Joe, why'd you break on this route like this?' I was like 'because you looked here or did that.' So him wanting to know and get better this fast is definitely helping out."

Despite the pick and a fumbled snap, Weeden had a better day Sunday than Saturday, the first practice open to the public. Armed with new plays that he was still processing, Weeden struggled to find his man.

"Day one my timing was just a little bit off with the guys," he said. "It's just getting back into it."

Weeden, who's set to be named the starting quarterback soon, wasted no time expunging Saturday's clunker.

"I went straight to the film room, watched the practice, and repeated the mistakes and pushed rewind to see where I went wrong," he said.

The homework paid off, with Weeden zipping passes in to Greg Little and Massaquoi, and putting a deep ball on the money to Alex Smith, who dropped it.

The good thing about Weeden, Shurmur said, is that he's not making the same mistakes twice.

"He hasn't been involved in a padded, physical practice here," said Shurmur, who gave Weeden one team period Sunday against the second-team defense. "Even though he's not getting banged around, there's certain things to learn from that. That's what I've seen from him: if he hasn't done something right, he's in there right now looking at it and that mistake won't happen again."

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