Based on early feedback, the Browns may have already created some controversy with their second selection at No. 22: Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden.
While Weeden’s advanced age – he’ll turn 29 come October - has many fans questioning the pick, Weeden’s confident his maturity will be a positive in the NFL. While we wait to see, here’s the Q & A exchange between Weeden and the local media:
Q) Did this take you by surprise a little bit ?
A) “No, I was hoping that this would happen. I felt pretty good about it. Being through the (MLB) draft before, you just never know. So I was kind of hoping for the best, and fortunately it happened. I’m extremely excited about it.”
Q) Are you expecting to compete for a starting job this year?
A) “I haven’t even stepped foot in Cleveland yet, so I really can’t even answer that question. I’m going to come in and compete, that’s just my nature. I’m going to come in and give it all I can to be the best player I can. The Browns feel good about me as a player, but I’m not even there yet. It feels kind of overwhelming now, but I can promise you one thing – I’ll give it everything I have to make sure I leave it all on the field.”
Q) When you saw the Browns trade up to take (running back Trent) Richardson, did you think maybe there was a chance you’ll be with him in Cleveland?
A) “Yeah, once I saw them trade up, I kind of assumed they were going for Trent. Obviously, he’s an unbelievable player and very dynamic. So, like I said, I was kind of hoping. You never know how these things shake out. I was just sitting by the phone when Mr. (Tom) Heckert called and got the phone call of a lifetime.”
Q) The assumption is that at age 28 and having been picked at No. 22 that you’ll be the immediate starter. Did the Browns give you indication of what their plans are for you this year?
A) “No, we haven’t even touched on it. Honestly, I haven’t even gotten that far. They still have a draft to worry about. They have a lot of picks to make this franchise a lot better. We’ll get to that later. Right now, it’s time to enjoy tomorrow, coming to Cleveland and getting the ball rolling.”
Q) How do you think you’ll fit into the West Coast Offense and share what you do well that will help you make the transition from the system you came from?
A) “Yeah, when you look at what we did at Oklahoma State, we relied on throwing the football. We put the ball in my hands and I had great play makers around me which allowed us to do that. I think that’s what they tought, that I was a guy who can make all the throws. Regardless of what system you go to or come from, I think the NFL is such a throwing league and there’s a lot of guys in the league who are successful throwing the football that win a lot of games. Fortunately, that’s my strength. I’m going to do everything I can to learn this system as fast as I can and get rolling.”
Q) Some thought you’d go in the second round? Were you surprised you went earlier?
A) “I wasn’t surprised, but I was hoping. You hear things from different people and there’s always speculation. Going through the baseball draft, I (learned) you kind of have to fly by the seat of your pants and wait for the phone to ring. But once I got that phone call, it was special. It was one of the best moments of my life.”
Q) Do you know Browns quarterback Colt McCoy? What will you say when you first see him here?
A) “I don’t know Colt, his last year at Texas was before I was a starter. One of my buddies, Zach Robinson, is great buddies with him. I’ve always felt really highly of him, great guy. It’s competition, that’s what sports is all about. He’s obviously a great, great player. It’s going to be fun working with him and being right there along with him.”
Q) Why were hoping this would happen?
A) “You want to go as high as possible. When I came to Cleveland it felt like a good fit. I didn’t know where I might land or how it was all going to shake out. You just hope that you get an opportunity to play in the NFL. I’m finally going to get the opportunity to do that. At the end of the baseball draft, when I was going through the draft, I talked to every single team except the New York Yankees and they ended up taking me with their first pick. That right there made me just kind of suspicious, I didn’t really know how it was going to pan out. I’m excited about it.”
Q) You visited the Browns the same day as did running back Trent Richardson. Was there any clue you guys would be the Browns first two picks?
A) “I can’t say there was. From my end, everything went great. I meshed with everybody within the organization and really felt comfortable with where they’re at, with how things went on my end. I can’t say I knew, there are too many unknowns. But it all worked out, he’s a great player. I’m champing at the bit for this opportunity.”
Q) What do you see as your ceiling?
A) “If you look back at my junior year, I had a good year and we continued to get better as a team and myself as a player. I’m still learning the game. I’ve got to continue to get better. It’s a tough league, tough position. It’s still kind of overwhelming, I’m still kind of really excited about the opportunity. I put a lot of pressure on myself at Oklahoma State to do everything I can to win games. I take a lot of pride in that and I’m going to continue to do that.”
Q) What’s different in this draft after going through the baseball draft?
“In baseball, you go through the grueling part of the minors leagues. Now you’re in The Show, this is the real deal. This opportunity is awesome. It’s extremely exciting.”
Q) You’re going to be 29 in October, why doesn’t that matter?
A) “My body’s still fresh. Taking time off playing baseball, not getting hit as much as a lot of people at Oklahoma State, I stayed healthy. I think I’m still continuing to grow and become a better player. It’s tough to play 15 years in this league. You’ve got to continue to work. My body’s fresh, I think I’ve got a lot of football left.”
Q) Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton came from a spread offense in college and won a lot of games last year. Is that inspiration to you?
A) “Absolutely. There were a lot of guys who came in early in their career and played. As a competitor, that’s what I want to do. Seeing guys like Andy and Cam Newton coming in early and playing…I’ve got a lot of work to do. I haven’t touched down in Cleveland yet. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. I’m champing at the bit to get going and see how things work out.”