Browns coach Pat Shurmur believes rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden will bounce back from his dreadful NFL regular-season debut in the team’s 17-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
“He won’t lose his confidence,” Shurmur said this afternoon during a news conference.
Shurmur made it clear he’s prepared to stick with Weeden through thick and thin. Fans who want the Browns to give backup quarterback Colt McCoy a chance won’t have their wishes granted anytime soon if Shurmur has it his way.
“Clamoring for Colt?” Shurmur said. “Brandon Weeden is our starter, and he’s gonna get better. That’s what I’m gonna tell them.”
Weeden completed just 12-of-35 passes for 118 yards with four interceptions and finished with a passer rating of 5.1.
Still, tight end Alex Smith echoed Shurmur’s sentiment about Weeden rebounding from Week 1. The Browns will visit the Cincinnati Bengals at 1 p.m. Sunday.
“It’s only one game,” Smith said. “We have 15 more. We’ve all had bad games. We’ve all had games where you want to crawl under a rock. It’s all about how you respond. That’s what I’m most excited to see – how he comes back. I expect to see Brandon come out slingin’ and have the best game of his career.”
Weeden, the 22nd overall pick in this year’s draft, repeatedly missed his targets and often overthrew them. Shurmur, though, expects Weeden to correct his mistakes.
“Those were high fastballs,” Shurmur said. … “You’ve got to keep your front shoulder down, of course, and step into it. I don’t think there’s anything other than we can work on that. I think when guys throw high, they let their front shoulder get up and the ball sails on them.”
Shurmur is also confident rookie running back Trent Richardson, the third overall pick in this year’s draft, will have a better showing in Week 2 than he did Sunday. Richardson, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Aug. 9 and missed all four preseason games, rushed for only 39 yards on 19 carries (2.1 average).
“I think you’ll see him be a little bit fresher, a little bit sharper in everything he does,” Shurmur said. “The plays that he carries the football as well as some of the things he has to do when he doesn’t, which aren’t always so obvious, I think he’ll be sharper.”
Shurmur thinks Richardson simply needs to shake off some rust.
“He looked like a guy just [coming] back to me, but he was competing out there,” Shurmur said. “He probably played 10 or 12 plays more than I wanted him to, but he’s doing great today, and he pulled out of it OK.”
Shurmur lamented several of the Browns’ miscues, but one that really stuck out was wide receiver Greg Little’s dropped pass inside the Eagles’ 5-yard line. The ball deflected off Little, and Eagles safety Kurt Coleman intercepted it with 12:11 left in the second quarter.
“When the ball hits you in the neck, you’ve got to catch it,” Shurmur said. “End of story. There’s really nothing more to it.”
Shurmur said he thinks starting cornerback Sheldon Brown, who injured his shoulder and neck area while making a tackle in the first quarter, will be available for Week 2.
Shurmur also said starting strongside linebacker Scott Fujita will practice this week. Fujita was sidelined Sunday with an injured left knee.