Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Puzzling and baffling

Well, that didn’t take very long.

Pat Shurmur has declared that Brandon Weeden is ready to start the 2012 season and will not play in Thursday night’s final exhibition game against the Chicago Bears in Cleveland.

How ready? “I think he’s very prepared,” said the Browns head coach of his rookie quarterback . “I think he’s had an outstanding (training) camp. I thought he had an outstanding offseason and really he’s kind of improved every day. So for a guy that’s going through that for the first time as a pro, I think he’s ready.”

Outstanding training camp? In what way? Outstanding offseason? Really? Completing less than 50% of his passes is outstanding? No touchdown passes outstanding? Is he serious? Three fumbles and four sacks in three games are outstanding? C’mon.

Weeden is ready, all right. He’s ready to be led to the slaughter, figuratively speaking. He’s not anywhere close to being ready for the regular season.

For Shurmur to blow that kind of smoke at Browns fans is somewhat insulting. I’d like to think the pure football fans of this team, not the sycophants who will believe anything the coach says, those who understand the game know Weeden is ill prepared for what awaits.

Colt McCoy will start and play the better part of the first half against the Bears with Seneca Wallace and Thad Lewis dividing the remainder of the game.

The big news here is whether McCoy or Wallace will back up Weeden. McCoy has played very well thus far in the exhibitions and Shurmur has been effusive in his praise for the third-year pro.

If the Browns are intent on moving McCoy, Thursday night’s game against the Bears will serve as a showcase for other teams looking for help at the position. Then again, if McCoy continues to play well, the Browns might decide to keep him no matter how well Wallace plays.

It’s an interesting situation that probably causes McCoy to wonder what he has to do to get away from Cleveland because he knows Weeden is the man and holding a clipboard is in his immediate future.

Weeden, on the other hand, must feel awfully good when he hears his head coach speak in such glowing terms about him. The danger there, however, is all that praise does is give him a false sense of security.

Now I think Weeden should be the club’s starting quarterback. But by limiting his reps in the practice games, Shurmur and offensive coordinator Brad Childress have done him a disservice.

When Weeden lines up under center against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 9 at Cleveland Browns Stadium, the speed and quickness of the game he sees will be nowhere near what he saw in the exhibitions.

The game will speed up in his mind so quickly, he will be overwhelmed unless, of course, I have seriously misjudged him and Shurmur and Childress prove to be correct in their assessment.

Word is Shurmur is making this decision because he intends to give the offensive line the night off and doesn’t want Weeden working with the second unit.

However, that starting unit has performed rather poorly thus far and needs the work. And it is getting the night off as a reward.

Some coaching decisions puzzle. This one totally baffles.

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