It’s been a while since Brandon Weeden has worn anything other than the familiar Oklahoma State logo on the side of his helmet. But like the Cleveland Browns’ logo-less orange helmet, Weeden hopes to re-write his slate in Cleveland.
“It’s your first day of minicamp and you are putting on a new uniform, a new helmet, there’s just a lot of excitement,” Weeden said. “You are out there with guys that you are really just meeting on the field for the first time. When you turn and hand it to a Trent Richardson, you are like, ‘This dude is the real deal.’ It’s kind of surreal. It was a lot of fun.”
Weeden may have enjoyed the first day in Cleveland’s rookie minicamp, but he also realizes how important this camp is if he wants to win the starting job for the Browns in the fall.
“I thought he actually operated pretty well, especially for our first time through it,” Cleveland coach Pat Shurmur said. “I saw all of the same things that we saw when we drafted him. He’s just like the rest of the guys, I think he’s going to learn from some of the things we did today and come out and be a little bit better. He is working through it and I think he did well.
“I think he responded in a way that I thought he would,” Shurmur said. “Again, we just had a little more than an hour on the field with him and the way that he operated in the meetings and in practice is what I would expect.”
One of the biggest things Weeden had to learn was how to take a snap from under center.
In Oklahoma State’s offense, Weeden worked primarily from the shotgun his two years as the starting quarterback. The last time Weeden was under center he ruptured a tendon in his thumb.
“I don’t want to talk about the last time I was, but it was my junior year and I had hurt my thumb,” Weeden said in a joking manner. “I just couldn’t take a snap, fumbled the snap against Troy with like two minutes left with the lead. Like I said, I don’t want to talk about that. But that was the last time and we just stayed in shotgun because of my thumb. My senior year the center we had liked being in the shotgun so we kept it that way. So two years ago, my first three years of college I was under center 50 percent of the time.”
Even so, Weeden said he would rather be under center than in the shotgun.
“I feel really comfortable under center,” Weeden said. “Every center is different, we’ve got (Garth) Gerhart, he is a lefty and we’ve got (Jarrod) Shaw, he is a righty. That is a little bit different, but it’s just a feel thing, a comfort thing. When (Alex) Mack gets here and I start take snaps from him, it’s going to be different. It’s getting comfortable, but I’ll be honest, I like being under center more because you can see what’s going on and you get the ball immediately. If I had to pick one of the two, not that I don’t like being in the shotgun, but I like being under center.”
As Cleveland prepares to finish its rookie minicamp this weekend Weeden says he’s hoping to add to his blank slate by soliciting advice from anyone who is willing to give it.
“If you put in extra work, usually it pays off,” Weeden said. “You are continually learning and I am always asking questions. Coach (Pat) Shurmur, coach (Brad) Childress and coach (Mark) Whipple they are all throwing in coaching points throughout the day, so I am trying to be a sponge and apply the next time I do the same thing.”