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Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress defends QB Brandon Weeden

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 13, 2012

Is there any possibility Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden isn’t ready to start yet? Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress doesn’t believe so.

“I don’t feel that way,” Childress said today during a news conference. “I don’t think he cowered in the face of it. I thought he had a good demeanor during the course of the game.”

Weeden completed just 12-of-35 passes for 118 yards with four interceptions in the Browns’ 17-16 season-opening loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. He finished with a passer rating of 5.1.

Childress gave an explanation for each interception.

“The first one [to wide receiver Greg Little], it was a tipped ball, which could go from being an interception to a first-and-goal, where you say, ‘Well, gee, that was a pretty good throw,’” Childress said. “And then the two down the sideline to [Eagles cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie], he doesn’t give Travis [Benjamin] a chance to use his speed, not necessarily his size, but his speed. That’s one of those [instances in which Weeden needs to] put it out there to him. You’ve gotta give him an opportunity to make a play. We can talk about Travis playing defense and that type of thing. Those things are all part of it, but give him an opportunity to make a play. And then the last one is straight overthrow. I don’t feel like it’s too big for him. You’re gonna throw interceptions. I think the first pick in the draft [Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck] threw three.”

Weeden, the 22nd overall pick in this year’s draft, also fumbled twice against the Eagles. Fortunately for the Browns, they recovered both.

“It’s a sack of gold,” Childress said. “You’ve got to lock it up in the pocket now.”

Childress said it’s the coaching staff’s job to help Weeden bounce back. The Browns (0-1) will visit the Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) on Sunday.

“That’s usually the quarterback coach’s job -- that’s usually part father confessor, part psychiatrist, hug him, help him up off the floor,” Childress said. “That’s what happens in that quarterback room, and that’s a weekly deal.

“You just prop him back up. Getting him back on the horse – I think that’s the biggest thing. I’d worry about him if – I’ve said this before to you guys – he didn’t keep shooting. You’ve got to keep shooting. You can’t all of the sudden kind of go into the fetal position.”

Weeden has vowed to remain aggressive.

“Oh yeah, I'm taking shots,” Weeden said. “Don't worry about that. I'm taking shots.”

It's a matter of time

Rookie running back Trent Richardson, the third overall pick in this year’s draft, rushed for only 39 yards on 19 carries (2.1 average). He looked rusty after missing all four preseason games because he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Aug. 9.

Childress is confident Richardson will be fine.

“He’s a dynamic player,” Childress said. “It’ll just be a matter of when. It’s not a matter of if. He’ll continue to be a good player.”

Injury report

Rookie linebacker James-Michael Johnson (ribs/oblique) and safety Ray Ventrone (hand) did not practice today.

Pro Bowl offensive tackle Joe Thomas continued to practice today despite dealing with an injured knee that limited him Wednesday. Thomas had his left knee wrapped today during practice.


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