Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy through 13 games in 2012 and 2011, respectively

by Cleveland Frowns on December 11, 2012

Here’s a look at Brandon Weeden’s stats as Browns quarterback through 13 games in 2012 next to Colt McCoy’s in the same job through 13 games in 2011 (click images to enlarge).



Note that Colt had just one fewer completion in the exact same number of attempts (!!!), for a total of 304 fewer yards than Weeden, but one more touchdown and four fewer interceptions, with a slightly higher passer rating, and more importantly, nearly double the Total QBR.

Colt did have eight emergency starts (six against playoff teams) as a third-string third-round rookie in 2010, but he’ll be the first one to tell you that his coaches hardly even spoke to him that season, so call those a wash even though Colt’s stats in those eight were still comparable if not all around better than Weeden’s in his first eight. And while it might be argued that Weeden has faced a slightly better set of opponents so far in 2012 than Colt did through 13 in 2011, he’s also enjoyed the benefits of being 29-years-old instead of 24, as well as a new plug-and-play first-round-quality right tackle in Mitchell Schwartz to replace Tony Pashos, Trent Richardson and a healthy Montario Hardesty to replace whatever the Browns were doing at running back last year, and the addition to the receiving corps of Josh Gordon, a receiver whom some say would be the first drafted at the position in 2012 if the draft was to be done over again, along with Travis Benjamin, who’s faster than anyone Colt ever had to work with. Which is to say nothing of the continued development of Greg Little and other members of the Browns offense.

Of course, Weeden also had the benefit of a full non-lockout-stunted off-season, including a full training camp and pre-season slate, a coaching staff in its second year as opposed to its first, an extra offensive coordinator, etc.

None of which is to say that either McCoy or Weeden is any good, but mostly just to wonder whether the perceived upside of a quarterback with a stronger arm could possibly justify or even mostly explain the consensus that Weeden qualifies as a candidate to be the Browns’ “quarterback of the future” while McCoy certainly doesn’t.

h/t Dan Whalen

—————

In other news, Pro Football Weekly is keeping at it with the Mike Lombardi rumors. According to an “NFL scout, coach, or front-office person, speaking on the condition of anonymity”:

“(Browns president Joe) Banner does not give a (expletive) about what the press says. He didn’t when he hired Andy Reid. Mike Lombardi made some mistakes when he was young (and) Bill Belichick was right there with him. He has been able to survive. I’m surprised by the character assassination (of Lombardi).”

  • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

    That PFW report makes me as sure as anything that somebody somewhere is just making things up about Lombardi.

    • DK45

      Regarding his front-runner status, or his incompetence? Or both?

      • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

        Front-runner status.

    • bupalos

      Agree, the thing is just too too much. Lombardi is lobbying for another job and planting his own Browns rumors to create pressure. The “I think Banner will hire him (soon!! hurry!!) even though the reaction has been so bad” is just too too much.

  • http://www.redright88.com/ Tom_RedRight88

    The one thing we have to hang our hat on is the hope that those numbers represent McCoy’s ceiling while also reflecting Weeden’s basement.

    Kind of don’t want to think about the alternative right now if that turns out to not be true.

    • http://www.facebook.com/michael.valera Michael Valera

      What in gods name do you base that on? Colt had no RB to speak of last year, while Weeden has two quality RBs to make use of this year. The O line was a mess, and the right tackle was a disaster last year. As for the receivers Greg Little the drop disaster of 2011 was the best one we had last year, and this year not only has GL made major improvements, but we added several other quality rookies, and our TE’s have decided to stop getting concussions this year as well.

      To sum up Colt achieved more (read the article), with WAY less to work with. I’m not saying that he’s the future of our club, but for sure he is better than Weeden ever will be. As long as Weeden starts we will have a losing record.

      • http://www.redright88.com/ Tom_RedRight88

        I think it is fairly obvious.

        As a Browns fan, I am HOPING that the numbers we are seeing from Weeden this year represent are him at his worst and he will improve.

        There are very few outside of McCoy’s personal fan club who think he is a starting QB in the NFL. Hopefully Weeden can be one. If not, the team faces another start over.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jimmy.weinland Jimmy Weinland

    You forgot the part about where McCoy’s season is over at the 13 game mark in 2011 after getting blasted all over the field like a rag doll. Weeden as the more sturdy specimen is going to see his stats pull away from here.

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      It was one hit that did McCoy in and that hit would have done anyone in. It does point up how much better the offensive line is that Weeden gets to play behind.

    • bupalos

      Boooooo.

      McCoy certainly has a few limitations, but kid is tough. He took tons of shots and walked away from all but the one that almost made me throw up. Weeden hasn’t taken a single serious shot yet.

    • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

      On Weeden’s protection “It’s more than fair to say he’s the beneficiary of one of the best pass
      blocking lines in the league and at times he doesn’t take advantage of
      that additional time.” This comes from Pro Football Focus where Weeden ranks 38th out of 38 their assessment of his las two games: “He’s certainly played better the last two weeks but neither showing was a performance worthy of a good NFL quarterback.”

      Weeden has been protected like a china doll this year with good reason because, even though he is one of the least pressured QBs, his accuracy under pressure is one of the worst in the league. On this playing with pressure analysis. McCoy was among the top ten most pressured QBs last year but he managed to have one of the top 10 accuracy under pressure ratings.

      Sturdy? Weeden? no way.

      • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

        Links. Links. If you’re going to quote something like that please provide a link. Thank you.

        • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

          This is from ProFootball Focus’ Signature stats, but is you look at splits for situations like 4th Q or 3rd down or when games are tied, you can see the drop off in passer rating.

          The clearest and most accessible source for a demonstration is in ESPNs 3rd Down Conversion table. There are 3 QBx who have played in Shurmur’s systems. Two of them average around 30% conversions. McCoy averages right at 40%.

          The ratings for the teams in 2011 and 2012 show this pretty clearly. the 2011 Browns rank 12th in the league. The 2012 Browns rank 30th.

    • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

      I would like to approach this injury idea from another angle. It seems like every regular commenter has their “theme” idea that they keep coming back to, and mine is that having a bigger, stronger QB who is a threat to throw deep spreads the defense out and creates more space. I feel like the President Pro Tem of the Weeden Fan Club, but this is really more about the realities of Colt’s skill-set and less about Weeds. In fact, you could substitute just about any strong-armed QB into the argument.

      After all that pre(r)amble, here’s my point: having watched most of the games this year (not all, I don’t live in NE Ohio anymore, and didn’t feel like shelling out for the Sunday Ticket, so I have to go to a local watering hole), my eyes tell me that the receivers are getting clean catches in space with room to work, and my key point here, room to protect themselves. Now, of course it helps when you have Gordon/Little Beasts instead of Mo(little)Mass and Slobiskie, but even MoMass has held up better this year; although he did have one concussion, he missed most of his time due to a hamstring, a non-contact injury. Part of this is due to the defense not being able to crowd the box because the QB’s arm strength is average or below average (a la McCoy). Further, McCoy’s receivers were oftentimes getting absolutely murdered because of that extra traffic – Cribbs, MoMass, Evan Moore (remember that guy?), and others. I will keep hammering (no pun intended) this point: the “safer” throws for the receivers, that is, the throws with less chance of debilitating contact on a defenseless receiver, such as the sideline go routes and deep outs, and even to some extent the deep crosses where the receiver is running away from the defense instead of into its teeth, are the ones Colt was less equipped to throw. His deep throws were more often down the middle, frequently to the tight end, and the shorter throws such as the shallow crosses and slants, seemed to be almost always in heavy traffic which led to big hits. I am going on memory here, but I see far fewer of the brutal, crushing hits on our wideouts and TE’s this season, and it leads to me to believe that the bigger vertical threat is part of the reason.

      Having said all that, I acknowledge that bigger, stronger WR’s helps immensely (especially when those guys are actually catching the ball), since they are often delivering the pain on the smaller DB’s, but does anyone else also feel the way I do?

  • Wiseoldredbeard

    Although you are willing to call his having started eight games in 2010 a wash, it goes without saying that McCoy also had the benefit of playing against six very good defenses, gaining chemistry with his teammates (regardless of skill level, that means a lot), and being part of an NFL operation. I’m not saying that Weeden is much better or anything else, but it seems like there are too many qualifiers for this to truly meaningful comparison. At the end of the day, it’s all about Weeden and not at all about Colt.

    OOOps on this leak that RGIII will not be starting this week. The dream of playoffs may go a week longer… http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/redskins-watch/2012/dec/11/redskins-wr-pierre-garcon-indicates-kirk-cousins-w/

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      If you look at each QB’s first 13 games, including Colt’s 8 from 2010, the point still holds.

      • Wiseoldredbeard

        My point was larger than that stat; it is that there are too many variables period to be able to compare the players in any way with few games played. QBs flash and fade (or start slow and accelorate) all the time. Anyway, it is remarkable how close they are — but that is about the only thing I take from the numbers.

        • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

          It is remarkable how close they are, especially given that Weeden’s surrounded by offensive personnel that’s at least twice as good as what Colt had to work with. That is the point.

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            The one way Weeden has truly distinguished himself is doing less with more. We have a lot of players in place for a really good team, but the Weeden isn’t one of them.

  • Jim

    If Chuck Booms read your site one would have to assume that this post would be his favorite.

    RE: anonymous “NFL scout, coach or front-office person,” most of the criticism leveled at Lombardi has nothing to do with him the person, but has to do with his failings in the personnel department. Seeing as how obtaining/acquiring talent would arguably be one of the most important job duties of a general manager, criticisms of Lombardi’s past failures in that regard would seem highly relevant and newsworthy.

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      Chuck Booms for sure reads this site.

      Good points re: Lombardi.

      • GrandRapidsRustlers

        First you are making me try and look at a Colt vs Brandon debate objectively and then you are trying to tell me that Booms can read?

        Well. My day is blown.

        • NeedsFoodBadly

          Hey, I can read plenty good!

          Oh great, now my cover is blown.

  • BIKI024

    yeah but Colt had DABES!

  • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris Mc

    Here are stats for another quarterback after 13 games. The team that drafted this quarterback didn’t rush to judgment after his rookie year, and he’ll be in the hall of fame eventually.

    I’m obviously not saying that Weeden is a hall of famer, or even championship caliber. the point is, that after a sample size this small, we don’t know.

    • nj0

      You could say the same thing about Colt, which I think is kind of Frowns’ point.

      • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris Mc

        23 games is quite a bit closer to a real sample size than 13 games is. I guess that’s my point. Plus, as a 3rd rounder, he isn’t going to get nearly the leash that a 1st rounder does. Fair or not, that’s the way it is.

        • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

          23 games? you’re really reaching there.
          Bottom line, Weeden ranks anywhere from 32nd to 38th in the league on a variety of QB ratings — different measures and formulas, but the end result is he ranks at the bottom of the league.

          • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris Mc

            And once again, another person completely ignoring the point I’m trying to make. We still don’t know if Weeden can be the guy or not.

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            Heckert wasn’t at all certain about that — thought McCoy looked really good. And McCoy out played Weeden hands down. If this were Seattle where they have real QB competitions, McCoy would be starting.

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      Don’t see the QBR so it’s hard to say much one way or the other but if you’re trying to compare Weeds and Colt to Brees or one of the Manning bros. you can just stop right there.

      • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris Mc

        Right. Because Colt McCoy’s physical limitations have him in the same park as any starting quarterback in the league right now.

        • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

          Wrong order. Weeden even ranks lower than Sanchez.

          The scale is Manning to Weeden with McCoy in between.

          • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris Mc

            How can you argue that year four Sanchez is clearly better than Weeden? That’s a completely flawed argument, as we know what Sanchez can do, and Weeden has only played 13 games.

            As it appears that you created an anonymous account simply to troll people, I’ll go ahead and end this here. Good day.

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            Too bad, Chris. I was just going to say the ever popular eye test that I use says Weeden lacks the clutch factor and makes mistakes when the game is up for grabs — not a clear picture of an NFL QB.

      • Defenestration

        You are going to base your “say much one way or the other” on QBR? If that’s the case then I think you should be willing and able to at least address the direct questions about your understanding, interpretation, and application of QBR posed to you.

        • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

          All of the questions about QBR that aren’t nonsense have been answered. Also, ESPN does a fine job explaining what the stat is at the page linked here.

          • Defenestration
          • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

            Um, OK. I tried to answer your questions for you, but they don’t really go to any kind of persuasive criticism of QBR as a stat, or explain why QBR doesn’t do exactly what it says it does. So why don’t you tell us what your problem is with QBR or why you don’t think it does what it says it does, which is “incorporate contexts and details” of plays to provide a more accurate picture of how much a QB contributes to winning?

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            Excellent point! It’s amazing what reading does for ones knowledge and understanding.

          • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

            Asking questions, too. QBR Truthers are the new Mangini witch hunt. The advanced QB metrics used by Pro Football Focus and Football Outsiders that result in the same rankings are part of the conspiracy, too.

          • Defenestration

            NO NO NO NO NO NO. The advanced metrics used by Pro Football Focus and Football Outsiders are very useful and clear. I have so multiple times that I am not arguing the conclusions that you use QBR to support. But if you are going by some logic that says that because A, B, and C both give the same ranking, then they are all equal valid methods, then that should be the starting point for this conversation. Or, we should just drop it.

          • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

            So what’s wrong with Total QBR? Can you at least give us a clue?

          • Defenestration

            Did you read the article I linked earlier or did you stop at the part you thought totally validated your view point?

          • Defenestration

            From before “You yourself have asked multiple times things about the standard deviation involved and that maybe it’s possible that the hulu hoop/domino analogy applied. I commented on the fact that the major issue with QBR is that we don’t know these things. Because they don’t give enough information to determine those things “

          • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

            It’s fairly obvious that there’s a low standard deviation in ability to jump in and out of a hula hoop that’s standing on the floor (or make certain throws against a Raiders defense populated by 9th stringers), and I think it’s fair to say that QBR doesn’t account so well for that, which likely explains Weeden’s (apparently artificially) high QBR in the Raiders game at least in some part. Anyway, I’m OK with a little ambiguity there. Especially since I have no reason to think that QBR doesn’t do what it says it sets out to do, and also because all the other advanced metrics corroborate QBR’s findings.

          • Defenestration

            Sure, you think its fair to say [insert anything]. You also misunderstood how to interpret the number. The ambiguity in QBR allows for these things. That’s a flaw in QBR.

          • Defenestration

            And if you think my point there was to argue anything about the standard deviation in ability to jump in and out of a hula hoop that’s standing on the floor, well then, good grief indeed.

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            I thought that might be the case because they made sense. Cleveland Frowns, I’ve read a lot of your articles and appreciated them, but didn’t comment much. You do good work.

        • dukem1

          Doe defenestration refer to getting your head cut off or jumping out a window? I always get it mixed up.

          • Defenestration

            Throwing something out of a window.

  • JWMarriott

    Certainly none other than you, Frowns, has pointed out that most of McCoy’s stats came in the 4th quarter of blowouts. Weeden’s games have basically all been close games. So there’s that. And I don’t this it’s a small deal. Sincerely, Benjamin Disraeli.

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      The only time I really focused on McCoy’s stats coming in the 4th quarter of blowouts was when folks got too excited about his first start in Pittsburgh. If you look at his 2010 and 2011 starts you’ll see that’s only true for about 3 or 4 games (including last year v. Tenn, and SF). The same could be said of Weeden in the first Bengals game, the Giants game and even the first Ravens game so I don’t think the point is all that significant.

      • JWMarriott

        Disagree. Both the Tenn and SF games were completely over at halftime. The Tenn game on score alone, and the SF game on pure dominance (somethings you just have to know when you see) Same cannot be said for the other games. Browns had a chance to tie on the final play in Balt. That’s just absurd Frowns.

        • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

          Browns were down by 13 in the 3rd quarter in that game and it felt plenty like “pure dominance.”

          • BIKI024

            yes, Weeds’ pick 6 killed us, as it seemed like we had the momentum. but otherwise there was no dominance, we held them scoreless for first 17 minutes of the game, and of covered the spread of course..

    • Steve

      If Weeden’s success came at more crucial moments, then his secret sauce QBR would, without a doubt, be higher. Your selective memory is hard at work here.

      • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

        Exactly.

        • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

          Take a look at what they’re doing a Pro Football Focus to make a simpler modification in Completion percentage as part of their QB rating.

          Dropped passes, throw aways, and spikes conceal some things in a simple completion percentage. So they are adding legitimate drops to completions and completion yards. Then to eliminate the passes that are supposed to be complete from the attempts, they subtract throws aways and spkes from the number of attempts. They call the result an Accuracy Percentage. I referenced the article in an earlier post.

      • JWMarriott

        QBR accounts for close games? Didn’t know that. I think this site needs a detailed explanation of that formula given the heavy reliance.

        • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

          The theory is to give more weight to play when the game is on the line. When you go to the QBR site, notice the reference to explanations. I found an article applying the measures to compare Griffin and Luck. That really helped. this is the link to the article, and I hope the moderator won’t mind —

          Luck vs. Griffin, a Statistical Comparison
          http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/
          Which rookie quarterback is better? Fortunately, there’s a way to fill in the rather large gap between perception and production.

          • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns
          • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

            That was a really good read.

          • Defenestration

            Absolutely a really good read. It was very enlightening how they discussed the advanced metrics, breaking down the performance into parts and looking deeper. That is useful analysis. We can’t run the QBR number without clutch weighting though. We don’t know how that breaks down. If we had access to that sort of ability, it would make QBR more valuable than it currently is. Which is just another single metric. No single metric should carry much weight if you want to really evaluate what happened or try to evaluate a QBs talent level (and those two things don’t always line up evertime).

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            Yes

      • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

        Good point Steve. And McCoy’s scores in the 4th quarter rarely came in blowouts but in cases where the game was still in doubt. McCoy was tied with Brady and Ryan for the 5th highest number of 4th quarter game-winning drives.

        If you look at splits for the two QBs, Weeden’s rating and completion percentage on 3rd down, in the red zone, in the 4th quarter, or when the score is tied drop dramatically. McCoy’s play goes up when it counts.

        Yards per attempt get clouded with rushing yards and passing yards, but keep in mind that McCoy’s Y/A as a rookie was 7.1 — higher than Weeden’s. When you look at just the distance a pass covers in the air, McCoy’s passes are longer than Weeden’s — 5.7 yds for McCoy and only 5.1 for Weeden.

        Weeden may have a strong arm but he struggles to complete long passes and does best when he doesn’t try for pinpoint passes but aims instead for a larger area of the field where an especially talented WR can get wide open, track the ball, and run under it for the catch.

  • GrandRapidsRustlers

    I will go ahead and make this statement since I am a VP in the Weeden fan club here.

    Alex Smith is the perfect QB for this team.

    There. I said it. Doubt it will happen and have no issues with staying the course with Weeden for at least 32 games.

    • bupalos

      >>>Alex Smith is the perfect QB for this team.>>>

      Naw. Not old enough.

  • Henry Brown

    So apparently the only things Banner has done in the NFL is manage the cap and hire Andy Reid. Wow he’s so much better than Holmgren.

  • Bryan

    YPA is a big stat, and it is slanted heavily in favor of ol’ Weeds. This is consistent with what our eyes tell us – the vertical threat of Weeds has helped our offense (on all levels) and is a reason we score more than a TD more per game this year than last year.

    I would also say that Colt was consistently mediocre. Weeds has been much more up and down. This, of course, is a problem with Weeds. He hasn’t consistently grown week to week. But, it is also the reason I see him worth investing in – he has demonstrated upside. Colt has less of that. He is just consistently mediocre. On average, they end up looking similar, but when developing prospects you want to give snaps to the guy with more upside.

    I would like to reiterate – Weeds needs to grow a lot, and get a lot better. But it is still a no-brainer to me that he is a better prospect that Colt.

    • Bryan

      BTW, I confirmed this is true. The Standard Deviation of Weeds’ Rating is 28. McCoy’s is 15. Weeds has 1 game with a rating of 114, 4 games with 90 or above, and 7 with 80 or above. McCoy has zero games above 100, 3 above 90, and 4 above 80.

      • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

        What’s the standard deviation of their QBRs? Also, I wonder what Colt’s YPA would be behind Weeds’ offensive line and with Weeds’ receivers.

        • BIKI024

          i also wonder how Colt will look after 2 years of being in the system..

        • Bryan

          I think QBR shows McCoy is twice as good, so if you are a QBR guy then there is no debate here (and no need to go to std devs). McCoy is your guy.

          I would argue that this is more evidence for what QBR doesn’t tell us much.

        • Bryan

          I would also add, that if McCoy’s was throwing to Gordon and Little I think we would just be pulling our hair out wishing for a strong-arm QB who could take advantage of Gordon’s speed and ability to get open outside the numbers.

          • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

            Yet you have no evidence at all for this other than your ideas about Weeden’s strong arm.

          • Bryan

            My evidence is Weeds’ YPA.

          • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

            While improved O-line and receivers would help, think back a moment…and remember that every throw to the sidelines (deep outs, go routes, etc.) made you hold your breath. Average arm strength = more recovery time for the D.

            Also, Gordon has outrun Weeden’s arm. So, he would have time to make a sandwich and take a nap while waiting for a Colt McCoy Special to come down.

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            I can remember several of those sideline passes causing problems for Weeden, too. I could go on an on about the “eye test” with Weeds.

          • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

            Let’s just both agree that a sub-60% completion percentage is bad and means the QB probably struggles with making accurate throws. I want a Browns QB who can complete an above-average percentage for Christmas, please.

          • dwhalen

            if weeden throws the ball outside the hashmarks there’s no telling where the fuck it’ll end up. please.

          • jaws

            I think given the evidence we have, we can conclude this: We probably shouldn’t have bothered drafting Weeden. Should have given this season to McCoy as a make or break year. Even if Weeden does offer an improvement over McCoy, it isn’t enough of an improvement to catapult us into superbowl-contenders. So, we should have used that pick to improve the team somewhere else and just rode McCoy a little bit longer. Also the ‘eye-test’ is subjective garbage that leads to overvalued ‘busts’ like JaMarcus and Ryan Leaf and also to passing over undervalued guys like Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, etc.

          • dukem1

            Thank you.

        • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

          Good questions CF. check out the ProFootballFocus review of W in the KC game — not much upside there.

          The info about passer ratings is a little off. McCoy has 2 games of 100+, 3 of 90+, 4 of 80+ and a range from 27.0 to 132.6 while Weeden has a range from 5.1 to 114.9 (his only 100+ rating game)
          Weeden has 3 90+ games (not 4), only 2 80+ games.

    • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

      If that’s what you eyes are telling you, stats can help. When you separate yards in the throw from yards after the catch, McCoy comes out with longer passes. If you look at the number of 20 yard plus passes thrown by each QB McCoy has completed more of those in his first 13 games than Weeden has, and completes over 40% of those long passes while Weeden completes under 30%. Look at ProFootballReference.com for free stats or the free section of ProFootball Focus or Advanced NFL Stats for interesting measures.

      • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

        That’s really interesting. Can you provide more a more specific breakdown and links to the Yards after Catch stats?

        • actovegin1armstrong

          Who the hell is Anne Dunn and why does she know so much more about football than I do?

          • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris Mc

            Probably Biki creating a ghost account that he can click “like” on repeatedly.

          • BIKI024

            def not me, i wouldn’t be rippin on my boy Weeds like she/he is…. sure the numbers are very compelling, but as discussed, many rookies struggle, and he’s been pretty much status quo when compared to most rookies, unfortunately he’s got a few other rooks doing extremely well. it seems to me that he deserves another season.. but you’re only as good as your last game, so let’s see how he does these last 3 weeks.. finishing up the season with a strong outing against PIT will make it hard for the front office to make any drastic changes at QB, although it wouldn’t be the worst if they did go after Alex Smith..

          • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris Mc

            I know it wasn’t you bro, i was joking.

          • Wiseoldredbeard

            This Anne Dunn character is very interesting, particularlly since she only created a facebook account in April and her only comments on her facebook page or Disqus are related to Colt McCoy or Weeden bashing. What’s the chance that she is actually not “Anne Dunn” but is actually Brad McCoy? Either that or she works for Pro Football Focus and wants us to sign up for pay accounts… Also, I find people who don’t have pictures associated with their facebook accounts HIGHLY dubious, but that’s just me…

          • Wiseoldredbeard

            Ha! For an even better laugh, google “anne dunn colt mccoy” — looks like she’s quite prolific in her comment writing about Colt McCoy. So, “Anne,” who are you really?

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            Who are you, “red beard”?

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            I don’t maintain a facebook page, but I needed an account for another purpose. I use a lot of different football sites and recommend Pro Football Reference because it’s free, provided you have enough common sense to make use of the info there.

            I’m not related to the McCoys and I’ve never met them. I do believe that lots of Weedens have moved here and started posting. Either that, or lots of blind people follow the Browns and prefer the “eye test”. to any other source of information.

            I love good football. I hate unfair and downright stupid attacks on people who deserve better and aren’t in a position to defend themselves.

            A lot of Cleveland fans deserve better than the biased local press they rely on and need to have access to more nationwide sources who don’t care who the QB is in Cleveland is, just care about accurate performance measures.

            Now who are you people who hide behind fake names?.

          • jaws.

            good answer.

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            Thanks.

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            Just a life long football fan who likes to read about the game.

          • actovegin1armstrong

            Well Anne,
            I really appreciate your comments. We have a lot of fun here in FrownieLand and I for one; am very happy to have you aboard.

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            Thanks, I’ve been feeling a little embattled.

        • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

          Two sites — Advanced NFL Stats and Pro Football Focus. I followed a link in an article about Luck and Griffin to “air yards” Try these articles at Advanced NFL Stats —

          http://www.advancednflstats.com/2012/01/air-yards-2011.html

          http://www.advancednflstats.com/2007/08/who-gets-credit-for-yac.html

          http://www.advancednflstats.com/2012/10/new-site-feature-permanent-air-yards.html

          Pro Football Focus is working with air yards and adjusting completion percentage factors in their QB rating —

          https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2011/03/22/stat-sheet-misconceptions-completion-percentage/

          https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2011/08/15/introducing-the-pff-passer-rating/

  • BIKI024

    Clownies ranked 20th in ESPN Power Rankings, highest ranking since 2007 season where they ended ranked 13, but reached as high as 7 when they were 9-5 heading into Week 16 that year.

    They got up to 21 in 2010 after we fought and clawed to 5-7, but then of course exploded into a dumpsterfire the last 4 games to end the year 27th.

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      If you mean when half the team’s starters got injured for the last 4 games in 2010 including the first and second string QBs and two best players on the defense I remember what you’re talking about.

  • Defenestration

    If it hurts your brain so much to contemplate [replace "a stat that takes more into account than TDs and INTs" with an "assessment of QB potential based solely on their rookie stat lines"] you might want to consider being more shy about it.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    this seems a bald example of statistics sophistry.

    measuring the impact between the two QBs on overall team performance is more sophisticated than a mythical composite rating. it relates to a high degree to the subjective arm strength (and lovely spirals). weeden is a threat to get ball downfield. this forces defenses to keep safeties deep. the threat alone of the deep ball improves the rush game.

    as long as we’re linking stats, below are nfl.com ‘s lines. note that colt completed 26 passes for greater than 20 yd gains in 13 games last year. weeden has 43 in 13 games. i would like to see the number of ‘attempted deep throws’ but even with this imperfect stat, the point is made.

    http://www.nfl.com/player/brandonweeden/2532970/careerstats
    http://www.nfl.com/player/coltmccoy/497123/careerstats

    i’m all about intangibles and ‘qb-as-leader’ and a ‘winning-je-ne-sais-quoi’ and ‘tebow-effect.’ i believe the best qbs are inspirational to their huddle and i happen to think colt exceeds weeden in that category.

    but let’s not have a richard-measuring contest and then not measure the length. so to speak.

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      It’s a lot easier to be more of a threat to get the ball downfield when your working with an offensive line, running backs, and receivers that are twice as good as what the other guy was working with.

      • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

        well yeah. but –and you know i like colt– but it’s hard to think colt’s arm would create concern for DCs. take away the slants, jam the run, (and cover the right quarter of the field, tho it’s hard to know if that tendency was colt or shurmur).

        point is, weeden doesn’t have to great on the long ball. he only has to look deep for underneath routes to open up. a couple of those under crossing patterns sunday yielded, for the first time, significant yards-after-catch. some of that has be due to safeties in deep cover.

        • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

          Look at the receiver threat. This year Gordon and Benjamin replaced Robiske and Stucky. It’s amazing what speed, size, talent, and good hands do for an offense. This year there are effective run plays. Last year we ranked 32nd in rushing, and the defense could play pass rush on every down because it was all McCoy all the time.

          And we’ve had good YAC all year, but one example reveals a lot. Of the 364 passing yards against Oakland, 204 or those yards were YAC.

          • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

            You are absolutely correct in that the receivers are light years better this year. However, the running game really has only been effective in spurts, and is probably still below average overall. And part of the reason other teams could play “pass rush on every down” was quite simply that they were not afraid of Colt beating them with his arm.

            And really, YAC is a function of both effective receivers and a QB who is a threat to go deep at any time. We’ve heard announcers go on and on about defenses “keeping everything in front of them” and playing soft coverages – I tend to keep an eye on where the DB’s line up when I watch a game, and more often than not, when Colt was in the game they were up on the receivers, playing tight coverage. So, those receivers also stunk out loud and that can’t be overlooked, but the QB also depended more on timing and short throws, so…I can’t ignore that I see a lot more space on the field this year, and the Browns finally look like they’re playing NFL football again. An extra TD per game on the scoreboard makes a compelling argument, too.

          • BIKI024

            correctamundo. the name of the game is to score points, and as you’ve correctly pointed out, we’ve scored nearly an extra TD more than ’11, and a FG more than ’10.. we’ve also already won as many games as we’ve had in 4 seasons, with 3 games to go..

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            There isn’t even a whole point difference between what McCoy and Weeden have averaged in their first 13 games.

          • BIKI024

            ok, well the team is averaging nearly a TD more in scoring this year compared to last. i realize Colt was out for a game or 2, but.. what is your argument exactly? that Colt should start? or that we should draft a QB with our #1 pick, or that we should trade for one? i actually wouldn’t mind seeing Colt in there, but apparently the coaches have seen enough in practice to deem Weeden as the starter. but who knows, now that Holmgren is gone, maybe there is a conspiracy against Colt since he “hand picked” him allegedly over Heckert’s wishes.

            i like Weeds though, sure his stats aren’t there yet, but they weren’t there for a ton of great QB’s their first season, heck even in some of their first three seasons, but unless he has a crazy turnover-to-TD ratio these last 3 games, i’d have to believe he’s the starter next year. it is what it is

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            Heckert didn’t want to pick Weeden. He did an interview after the draft about how that happened. During training camp Heckert was most impressed by McCoy.

            If we had had a real QB competition with a real head coach, McCoy would have started. Players believed he could have helped them win a lot more than Weeden has.

            I don’t think we need to draft anyone in 2013, just go with who gives us the best chance to win. But I honestly think that Weeden can barely function in the NFL without a full time effort to prop him up and his folding in pressure situations guarantees that he will never be able to actually lead a team to an important win. He might go along for the ride, but that’s all.

          • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

            Where is this Heckert interview? I’d be very interested in seeing it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            I’ll try to track it down. Several people have mentioned seeing it when it ran.

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/65206/evaluating-holmgrens-legacy-with-browns

            This isn’t the article I saw. It came out late in the summer, but this has the same info.

          • vespo09
          • BIKI024

            no it can’t be.. because Grossi says Heckert’s plan was to get TRich, Kendall Wright and Weeds with their first three picks but the plans went awry when Titans took Wright. there was never any doubt that the Browns wanted Weeden, it was just a matter of when they were going to take him.

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            Think bad coaching in 2011 to sum up what happened.

          • BIKI024

            Shurmur’s first time being an HC on any level, combined with no training camp, a lack of a NFL calibur RB, RT, and injury riddled receiving corps is what resulted in 13.6 per game, not to mention a defense that was last in the league in takeaways. bad all around.

          • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

            You might want to check that takeaways stat again.

          • BIKI024

            6th worst, my bad mr. ombudsmen. who’s your ombudsmen btw?

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            You may think that YAC come from receiver, but look at post and reference above. There is no way to demonstrate that a QB has any role in the receiver running down the field after he catches a pass.

            See posts above, too, for McCoy’s much higer ranking in throwing and completing long passes. With Weeden you have smoke and mirrors.

          • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

            Your second sentence above made me both laugh and feel sad at the same time. Of course the QB has no role in the receiver running down the field! But it is a fact that he has a role in the receiver being able to run after he makes the catch – namely, if the QB is late/early/off-target, that late/early/off-targetness slows their momentum, and that gives the defenders time to close and make the tackle. It negates the receiver’s explosiveness to a large extent.

            Ms. Dunn (or Mrs. McCoy, as the case may be :o), you show a great grasp of stats and a love of football, and I really commend you for it. And stats are great for quantifying and assigning a measurable number to events. Where they fall short is telling the entire story – they can tell me that Colt McCoy completed a 16-yard pass to J. Cribbs in the right medium zone outside the hash marks. What they do not and can not tell me is that Josh had to stop and twist around to catch the ball on his outside shoulder which carried his momentum towards the sidelines and made it possible for the defender to make an immediate stop at the point of the catch, when had it been thrown to the inside shoulder he would have had a clear path for extra yards because the CB was playing outside technique. My eyes (yes, the eye-test) tell me that MoMass never had an open field to run 52 yards last year, even though G. Little was just as ferocious a blocker then as now, and my eyes tell me that Weeden frequently hits the receiver in stride and on time, and they benefit by being able to explode for more yards and aggressively attack the defender, rather than having to adjust to the ball and getting drilled. Does he misfire sometimes? Of course. I saw Tom Brady overthrow an open receiver the other night, and then on the very next pass, overthrow that guy, too. It happens to Brady, just like it does to Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker, and Our Man Weeds.

            Please don’t mistake my comments as attacks, I am generally argumentative (just ask my wife)! I wish McCoy had gotten more of a shot, I genuinely like the guy and he’s as tough as they come. I can’t help looking at him, though, and seeing Charlie Frye, Luke McCown, Doug Flutie, and Seneca Wallace – tough, undersized guys who flash and battle, and will occasionally do well over the course of a season or two, or a game or three, but just don’t quite have everything they need to consistently win. And, quite frankly, as a Browns fan, I’m tired of wishing/hoping/praying that the little guy rises up and has that season. Man-crush because Weeden can throw the ball through a dang brick wall? Maybe a little.

            If I make it to Cleveland next season for a game, I will meet you and Frowns and buy you each a beer that you find the most statistically satisfying, as long you both agree to allow me to enjoy the “feel” of a Browns game, and hopefully, the emotion of a victory. And you guys buy me the beer that I think passes the eye-test with flying colors!

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            Maybe we’ll be able to, but. you know, when I look at Weeden, I think of Charlie Frye and Chris Weinke. There are amazing similarities there.

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            And your elaborate defense of Weeden’s talents in giving receivers a better chance at YAC turns out to be wasted. McCoy’s receivers in 2011 picked up MORE YAC than Weedens have this year. See post above.

            Once again the “eye test” fails to give a good picture of what’s happening.

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            Ok, you want to give Weeden credit for YAC, too, because you think that Weeden’s receivers are getting more YAC. I checked on this, and Colt’s receivers had MORE YAC than Weeden’s after 13 games.

            The 2011 receivers picked up 1009 yards after the catch. The 2012 receivers have picked up 957 YAC after 13 games.

            So I guess, by your reasoning, McCoy was outperforming Weeden with a weaker team.

            Another thing that keeps coming up is the idea that the REMOTE possibility that Weeden will complete a long pass keeps the defense back and gives the receivers more room to operate.

            This weekend, I read a lot of Holmgren’s comments about drafting Richardson. He “guaranteed” that TR would take the heat off the receivers and open up space for them — not that Weeden would.

          • willy loman

            “This year Gordon and Benjamin replaced Robiskie and Stucky.” False. Stuckey was not on the team last season. Robiskie was cut in Nov. 2011.

            Re “good hands”. The Browns rank 7th in the NFL in passes dropped this season: http://stats.washingtonpost.com/fb/tmleaders.asp?type=Receiving&range=NFL&rank=232

            “This year there are effective run plays. Last year we ranked 32nd in rushing…”

            False. The Browns ranked 28th in rushing last year (http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?archive=true&conference=null&role=TM&offensiveStatisticCategory=RUSHING&defensiveStatisticCategory=null&season=2011&seasonType=REG&tabSeq=2&qualified=false&Submit=Go). This year, they rank 24th, averaging 5 yards/game more than last year. And there were plenty of effective running plays last year.

            “…and the defense could play pass rush on every down because it was all McCoy all the time.”

            This is extremely subjective, unless you can provide a link demonstrating that defenses rushed the passer on every down last year. And have you considered the possibility that the YAC is, at least in some part, a result of safeties playing deeper because of the deep threat (which was not present last year)?

            IMO, your stat-heavy argument to defend Colt loses credibility when you present something untrue as a fact (i.e. “good hands”, run offense rankings). I happen to think Weeden is worth developing through next season, especially because of the mediocre crop of QBs that will be available in the draft. I view Weeden’s ceiling as an NFL player much higher than Colt’s, and am up-front about the fact that this is based on the oft-ridiculed eye test.

          • ricktenny

            With the 2011 line McCoy according to one writer had 1.9 seconds to get rid of the ball. That means his receivers had 1.9 seconds to get downfield. Just stop a second and do the 2 second count. This is what McCoy had before he was running for his life trying to make something happen.Throw out all arguments of can’t deliver on the deep ball when there’s no one down there to deliver it to.
            Second, forget the lockout and no training camp to speak of. McCoys head coach/Offensive coordinator was not only in way over his head, he was brand new at it. If you think the team suffers from questionable game calls now just imagine what McCoy had. Add to that the monotny of play calling and it could be said that McCoys ability elevated his head coach. It could also be said that when the other team knew what you were going to do before you did it that you were that much better to have gotten anything done! It might also be worth noteing that in 2010 it was not the 17 year Veteran QB or the 10 year Backup that the players wanted. It was McCoy. Throw out any leadership arguments about Weeden vs McCoy. Then from 2010 in his first two games he knocks off the Patriots and Saints and then in 2011 with the arrival of the current head coach/offensive coordinator, we know the results. And although the team now has 5 wins with Weeden, not one of them has been against a playoff level team.
            McCoy is the smarter QB. He reads defences that leave Weeden baffeled. And is the undisputed leader of the two. The only argument that may even come close to holding water is McCoys arm. And by his own statement, it is now healed. So what the heck is going on in Cleaveland? Could it be a coaching staff not willing to admit the goof they made?

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            Incredibly bad coaching and one heck of a PR campaign to blame McCoy for what were Shurmur’s failures as a coach. It still amazes me how many people have been fooled.

            After McCoy’s first start we didn’t need the “he’s a rookie” excuse. His teammates openly praised him and said, “It was hard to even tell this was his first game. He has a way about him, a presence. He’s a natural born leader.”

            When some of the O-linemen were interviewed after the 2012 draft, they said they felt like they’d been punched in the gut when they heard the 22nd pick. They respected McCoy and knew better than anyone what he’d had to deal with in 2011. They wanted him to be their QB.

            Then when the phony QB competition starte in August, our talent evaluation specialist talked about how good McCoy looked. McCoy outplayed Weeden in every preseason game. And team mates talked about how they had been impressed with McCoy in training camp and how he was ready to have a break out year and lead to team to a winning season.

            But Weeden was given the starting job. No danger in Cleveland of doing what they did in Seattle by starting the player who gave them the best chace to win..

            No danger of that with Shurmur as head coach — the man who can’t get Weeden to learn the playbook and took a year and a half to tell Greg Little he had to start catching passes — and then did it by asking for help from reporters!!

            Can anyone imagine coaches like Lombardi or Landry going to the press and saying “I can’t get this player to listen to me. Will you put pressure on him in the press?”?????

            The only thing more ridiculous was even considering Shurmur as a head coach in the first place.

            What McCoy did with the 2011 team was a miracle — but one that can be measured. When you look at McCoy’s performance in just a little more than what Weeden will have as a rookie season McCoy outplays Weeden even in his weakest areas and Weeden each week keeps his hold on the lowest quarterback rating in the league.

          • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

            like button

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            Thank you.

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            I don’t know anything more subjective than the eye-test, yet you want stats and references from me, but fall back on what you think you saw for your argument.. That only makes sense when you can’t find any stats that back you up. that’s what makes talking about Weeden’s up-side so hard. It doesn’t show up in any performance measures which means it doesn’t show up in a game.

            Now about your issues —

            (1) Robiskie was available to not get open and not catch passes in all but McCoy’s last 3 games. You’re right about Stuckey. I remembered him from a debate about how hard it is on Weeden having all these young, talented rookie WRs in his rookie year. So I looked up who was supposedly helping out McCoy as a rookie. The Browns were 1st or 2nd last year in dropped passes, depending on where you look (Little was ranked 1st in drops in 2011, but 24th in 2012 and Gordon is 47th). In 2012 the Browns are ranked 7th in your source and 8th at ProFootball Focus as of this week.

            Is there anyone who doesn’t think the wide receivers on the 2012 team are better than in 2010 and 2011??

            (2) Rushing Rankings in 2011 and 2012 —

            According to ESPN, NFL, and Pro Football Reference, the 2012 Browns rank 24th in yards, 22 in yards per carry, and 12 in TDs. The overall ranking for the Browns rushing offense in Pro Football Focus is 21st.

            According to ESPN, NFL, and Pro Football Reference, the 2011 Browns ranked 28th in yards, 31st in yards per carry, and 32nd in TDs. The overall ranking for the 2011 Browns rushing offense was 31st..

            If I’m not mistaken, we started out with decent rushing, but quickly went downhill as RBs dropped out in 2011. I just checked the Pro Football Focus ratings of RBs. Richardson ranks 16th overall and has positive green highlights in every category. Last Year the 3 RBs we used the most were ranked 48th,59th, and 65th with negative red highlights in every category. It’s safe to say to say we were at the bottom of the league in rushing last year.

            (3) Why did I say the defense “could” rush McCoy on every down? When you look at play-by-plays for the games as the RBs dropped off, the rushing plays dropped off to almost none, especially in the 2nd half, except for what McCoy picked up. It’s McCoy on almost every play? No brainer. They rush the passer. And then there’s always your favorite — the eye test. — they rushed the passer. According to Pro Football Focus, McCoy was the 8th most pressured QB in 2011, and in 2012, Weeden is the 28th most pressured.

            And finally we fall back on knowing the game of football. What do defenses do when a team can’t or won’t run and the whole right side of the offensive line is collapsing on most plays? They rush the passer.

            Did you know that Tony Pashos, our right tackle from the 4th game on in 2011 had only started in 3 games during his 9 years in the NFL, before the Browns picked him up and started him in every game when he was on the team?

            (4) You ask, “And have you considered the possibility that the YAC is, at least in some part, a result of safeties playing deeper because of the deep threat (which was not present last year? No.

            You are still trying to argue that Weeden is responsible for YAC. Here’s an article demonstrating that there is no correclation between QB input and YAC —

            http://www.advancednflstats.com/2007/08/who-gets-credit-for-yac.html

            So, the Browns rushing offense was at the bottom of the league in 2011. McCoy was among the most pressured QBs. The 2012 rookie receivers are more talented, and even Little has finally been expected to raise the level of his game by a coach too timid to expect anything in 2011. And the yards gained running after the catch “belong to the receiver”.

        • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

          Exactly! What’s the absolute best completion percentage for throws over 35-40+ yards in the league this year? 40%? Complete 1 of 3 and the defense has to play deeper…suddenly that 5-yard slant happens in space and leads to 10-15 yard completions, instead of in traffic with an immediate hit and no YAC, which is what happened with McCoy so often.

    • dukem1

      This seems as good a place as any to add my three cents worth:
      – Colt would have benefited more from a fully on-board Hillis more than Weeds benefits from TR
      – as I said many months ago, QB-wise, just pick one and stick with him
      – re: this entire discussion…it brings to mind, I think Mark Twain, who observed of a fellow that used statistics “as a drunkard uses a lamp post; for support, rather than illumination.”

      • bupalos

        Very like.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Where the hell is my lap post?

      • alexb

        I agree with you about Hillis but not about Trent….Trent is here for the long run. The guy is a physical freak and while he doesn’t hit the hole as hard as hillis did, he still moves the pile just as much as Hillis. And he catches out of the backfield equally as well. If we just bring in a big downhill back to spell Trent, we can tell him to be more agressive cause he’s going to get rests throughout the season.

        • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

          I’ve read each week that our opponents are most concerned about Richardson. They plan to slow him down and force Weeden to throw and make mistakes. Lately, they’ve been paying more attention to Gordon.

      • jaws

        Trent is hurt still, he is toughing it out a little bit. Between the sore knee and the ribs, he is playing a little tentative. When he is healthy he will hit the hole harder and break out into the secondary more- I hope.

    • bupalos

      Yeah I think at this point its best to leave it at acorns (weeds) v. Mildly sour Oranges (chips).Maybe weeden sux as bad as his current stats, or maybe he develops. Either way we should draft a 3-5 round qb every year from here until the second coming of Russell Wilson.

      If only someone had seen Russell Wilson’s potential!

      • actovegin1armstrong

        That is ridiculous Bupa,
        It is impossible to gauge that that amazing array of variables.

      • jaws.

        somebody did: Pete Carroll was the only dude smart enough to see that being 5’11” doesn’t matter. Its subjective garbage. He saw that Wilson’s athleticism lets him run a bunch of option plays and that means he will be facing easy-ass coverages. Now the seahawks are on a rampage putting up 50+ last two weeks.

        • bupalos

          That was an inside bit. Our own Actovegin1armstrong tagged Wilson as the next coming of….himself…long before the draft. Called Martin and Morris too as better picks than TR.

    • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

      Those “long passes” you’re referencing are a mixture of truly long passes with the short throw with yards after the catch. Both are good plays, but when you talk about arm strength, you want passes where the QB threw 20 yards or more down field. The best place I know for making that distinction is Pro Football Reference. Go to game logs and click on the date for a game. That gets you to all the game infor including a diagram of passes thrown 6 zones of the field, long right, long middle, and long left along with short right, short mddle, and short left.

      It doesn’t take a strong arm to throw a 2 yard pass that a big, fast, and talented receiver carries for another 50 yards. If you separate out the successful dink and dunk game from the long passes, you’ll find that McCoy completed 18 long passes and Weeden has only completed 15 in their first 13 games.

      • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

        welp, i acknowledged the imperfection of the statistic. you’re not acknowledging 43-26 differential.
        ive also commented several times (not in this thread) on weeden’s effective swing passes where he consistently leads richardson by a yard or so allowing him to create momentum moving forward. this is an eye-ball test and to mine, weeden’s short passes are very good.

        the overall premise remains the same: weeden’s arm is stronger and viability of the threat of his deep ball forces defenses to adjust/respect that threat moreso than mccoy’s.

        • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

          The 43 number is a collection of who knows what, so I ignore that kind of number attached to long passes. Even Luck, who’s setting records for long passes doesn’t have that number.

          But the short pass you mention, it’s what I usually call a slant. Those are great passes. I’ve seen Weeden do a good job with those. I’ve also seen McCoy do the same both in college and the Pros. But I’ve also seen Weeden, on his off days, throw those behind the receiver, instead of in front, and some times, through indecision, take too long to throw for the play to work at all.

          Some people disparage those passes because they are short, but they look to me like they take a lot of skill and timing, like Brady to Welker, and are often very effective.

          We will probably continue to have different opinions of QBs and those opinions will shape what we remember seeing each guy do. That’s normal.

          • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

            nope, i’m talking specifically about swing passes.

            and sorry to say but when i think ‘mccoy slant pass’ i think of this. not a true slant but the problem with colt’s slants (and checkdowns) was never accuracy. it was that defenses were happy to accept three yd passes with no yards after catch.*

            *we can debate whether the bunched defenses were due to weak WRs, shurmur’s remedial offense, bad right tackle, lack of respect for colt’s deep ball, or a combo. but we saw a lot of those underneath routes that went nowhere last year.

            i know we’re flogging this now, but i *do* want you to know that i’m actually a colt fan:
            * i actually have and have worn a colt authentic;
            * i thought his post-game interview after the bama game shows everything you want in a leader of men.
            * hell, the jordan shipley wedding song is favorited in my youtube. (seriously.)
            * i thought shurmur did zero to help him last year and likely used him as an excuse internally for the team’s poor record.
            * i like him as person to the extent one can make such judgements without knowing someone. for where he came from and for what he achieved at austin, he seems genuine and unaffected.

            [as they say here in new england..] ALLS IM SAYING, is that weeden’s demonstrably stronger arm makes the browns’ offense more effective. hell, i’m not even saying colt wouldn’t have more wins; in fact you put him in this offense and we probably are 6-7 because colt is a ‘winner.’ winners win.

            hope that helps.

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            Yes, I think it does. My memories of the last few games in 2011 are painful. Very little worked at all, so if that is the best memory of what McCoy can do, then I can see why you doubt his ability. When I think of McCoy throwing a slant and hitting Jordan Shipley perfectly running full out and turning I don’t know how many of those into TDs.

            In 2011, pass rush, not enough time to throw or run much of a route, unfamiliar offense, painfully predictable and conservative play calling, and not many receivers who could be counted on to get open or catch the ball made it difficult to get completions of any kind.

            Any QB would have looked pretty bad in that situation. Almost any QB would look good with the almost excessive time to throw and the multitude of very real and effective weapons the defense has to account for. This year defenses want Weeden to throw.

            I wonder what Weeden would look like in late 2011 as the only one the defense had to stop. I think he’d look a lot worse than McCoy and he’d be checking down even more than he already does every week, despite having all day to throw, when he’s not hitting anything but the shortest passes.

            Here’s an image of McCoy that may work better. In the 4th quarter of the Pittsburgh game, the score was 7 to 3 for the Steelers. The Browns got the ball around their own 20 and they moved down the field to the Steeler 6, on the verge of scoring a go ahead TD. That’s when McCoy is trying to make a play and Harrison spears him in the head with his helmet like a battering ram.

            McCoy is knocked out but Shurmur lets him go back in thinking there’s a chance that McCoy could still score with a concussion, but it doesn’t work and the Steelers secure their win.

            Defensive linemen don’t hit players like that if they aren’t afraid of them.

            No matter how bad things got, McCoy was always a threat to pull out the win. Defenses always had the advantage against the Browns offense in 2011, but McCoy was always the wild card, the one player who could beat them.

            The idea that defenses didn’t fear McCoy is total and complete BS. They don’t fear Weeden because of his erratic play and mistakes. That’s what they count on, no need to knock Weeden out of the game.

    • actovegin1armstrong

      jk,

      “statistics sophistry” I love this phrase, I am going to steal it and use it at least twice a day; in perpetuity.

      • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

        People always complain when they try measuring and can’t find support for their beliefs. Statistics are measures. Attacking statistics is like a carpenter who needs one more length of 2-by-4 to complete a project. When he measures what he has, he finds it is 3 inches too short and curses his tape measure.

        Damn tape measure! Damn stats! Makes about as much sense.

        • Leon II

          Statistics are tools of probability not fact though. I always have a problem when individuals use stats to state “this would have happened” look at the stats. As my favorite quote goes “Statistics are like a bikini. What they reveal is interesting, but what they conceal is vital.”

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            Leon, that bikini joke doesn’t work here because no one is predicting, just measuring.what happened.

        • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

          i dont understand what youre saying here.

          – are you taking issue with my citing ‘long pass’ data to validate the obvious -but still subjective- fact of weeden’s superior arm-strength?

          – are you arguing against my pointing out the convenient ignorance of YPA within frowns’ statistical analysis?

          – are you possibly arguing that colt mccoy can deliver a ball downfield as effectively as brandon weeden?

          if any of the above, those are your opinions and certainly debate-able.

          however, you seem to be disparaging of the logic within my argument and seem to have resorted to placing me in globalized ‘people do this’ bucket when addressing the specific premise, premise, conclusion syllogism that i thoughtfully constructed and put forward above.

          to that i say — what the hell?

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            I’m sorry. I should have explained what I was reacting to. When you see those numbers for long passes in a table, they vary all over the place. When you see bigger numbers, that usually includes passes thrown for 20 yards or more added to short passes that turn into big plays because of running after the catch.

            The only site I know that consistently makes a distinction between those plays is Pro Football Reference where they classify Long as thrown 16 yards or more and Short as 15 yards or less in their field diagram and also in the play-by-play. I feel most confident when I can go back an look at and count each pass to be confident about the numbers and know how to evaluate the tables of stats.

            When you do that, you’ll see that Weeden is throwing a lot down field but only completing about 1 in 4. McCoy has completed 18 in his first 13 games and Weeden has 15. A lot of people swear that McCoy can’t complete long passes, but he has completed more than Weeden has.

        • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

          [and at the same time, i forgot to say welcome to frowns. you do good work in your posts; it is appreciated. youre going to like it here.]

    • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

      The only thing wrong with Sophists was they promoted freedom of ideas in a dictatorship. They had the audacity to look honestly at all sides of an argument. Socrates is the most famous Sophist and he was executed for teaching students to question what they were told. It’s interesting how often people use the term sophist to suppress an argument they don’t agree with.

      Now statistics are only a problem if they come from bad data or bad analysis. In this case the stats from NFL.com on long passes are bad data and combine short and long passes. Go back to the plays at a reliable source that doesn’t mistake a 2 yard pass for a 22 yard pass and you’ll get very different numbers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

    While you’re comparing 2011 and 2012, it’s time to put to rest the idea that last year’s team had a weaker schedule. In 2012, the Browns have faced teams with a losing record of .479. In 2011, McCoy faced teams with a .500 record, and in 2010, McCoy faced teams with a winning record of.636.

    Another important comparison, in 2011, the Browns ranked 12th in the league in 3rd down conversions. In 2012, we rank 30th in 3rd down conversions. And when you isolate McCoy’s conversion percentage, it’s right at 40% and would have ranked 11th in the league.

    And while everyone is feeling good that the Browns dominated the worst team in the league last weekend, don’t forget that in McCoy’s 3rd game in the NFL, he led the team to a 34 to 14 win over the New England Patriots in which he played so well that he scored a nearly perfect score on the ESPN Total QBR that ranked at the end of the year among the 10 best overall QB performances out of 512 in 2010.

  • jpftribe

    Browns move Smelley to the active roster, the end of Marecic?

    • bupalos

      Sing! Cheer!

      Why did this possibly take so long?

    • alexb

      can’t block and can’t catch=zero NFL career.

      • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

        It sure took a long time for our coach to figure out. . .

  • Johnny

    Frown said: “as well as a new plug-and-play first-round-quality right tackle in Mitchell Schwartz to replace Tony Pashos, Trent Richardson and a healthy Montario Hardesty to replace whatever the Browns were doing at running back last year, ”

    Frowns, you can say that like it means something, but let’s look at the facts here.

    Football Outsiders ranks the Browns rush offense at 29th this season by their advanced metrics. Last year the rush offense ranked 30th. It’s a bit disingenuous to say that Weeden is really benefiting from a better rush game.

    The rush offense in both years can be classified as horrific disirregardless of the names involved.

    • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

      Johnny, try asking any NFL QB which rushing game he would choose and see what he says. Could you find anyone who wants to be the passer and leading rusher in the last half of the season — the only real target for the defense? 20th in rushing is soooo much better than last!

      • Johnny

        I think most NFL QBs would probably think that Trent Richardson has had a huge impact. But he really hasn’t. Same ol’ shitty rushing attack as last year, in terms of effectiveness.

        • alexb

          I disagree homie. Trent has forced teams to stack the box hard against us. Unfortunately we don’t have a qb that really throws over the top of the lb’ers that well so we haven’t made defenses pay as much as we should have. But I’ve counted 9 guys in the box in alot of cleveland games. That’s just embarrassing that we can’t get anything deep with a play action against 9 fucking guys. If Peyton would be our qb he’d literally laugh at the mike and ask are you serious right before he hiked the ball.

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            I think you have to start looking at coaching. How long do most coaches take to develop run blocking schemes when you take an RB 3rd in the draft? How long do you use a FB who can’t block or catch a pass? For that matter, how long do you watch Greg Little struggle to catch passes before you do something about it?

            With most coaches, it would be done before the fans had enough time to notice. With Pat Shurmur, it seems to take at least one and a half seasons . . .only slightly faster than the reaction time of a rock formation.

          • BIKI024

            yeah cuz Childress sure had problems with run schemes in Minny. The OL coach is the same from the Mangini days as well. DERP

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            That’s what a normal head coach deals with and fixes.

  • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris Mc

    Dan Gilbert wants people to get to work earlier, go the extra mile, and do it for less money.

    https://twitter.com/cavsdan/statuses/278877218296455168

    I’m really changing my mind about this fucking guy.

    Signed,
    Kid who had food and shelter provided by union paychecks.

    • nj0

      “Those jobs are usually more than just the profession or skill that we practice—they’re core to who we are, and they’re part of the way we define our very place in this world.”

      Motherpussbucket….

  • Deputy Glitters

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tojEHVSTHhg

    This is getting pretty silly. All these statistics, and for what? Don’t we watch the games? If my memory is at all correct, I seem to remember Colt playing somewhat decent football his rookie season and then regressing substantially in year two. He seemed less accurate, more bothered by pressure, skittish, and didn’t look the part of an NFL quarterback at all in year 2. Watching the first “highlight reel” I found on youtube, even Colt’s best plays don’t impress me. On a good portion, his throws are off the mark, with the WR/TE having to make an outstanding play on the receiving end and killing YAC. His balls float. He hits a few guys on totally blown coverages (we all know that according to Frownie, that these DO NOT COUNT). His feet are always dancing. And maybe its just me, but I watch of lot of those plays and just think to myself, “Holy shit, that was lucky.”

    • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

      I notice the same thing – everything McCoy throws has an arc to it, even when it’s only a 8-10 yard pass. Even accounting for “taking a little off” for touch passes doesn’t explain why every throw looked like that. One throw that Tim Couch made back in maybe 2002/2003 has always stuck in my mind: it was a play from inside the 5-yard line where he fired an absolute laser to, I think, Kevin Johnson for a TD. The CB had good position but zero time to react to it, and I thought to myself, “that was a professional throw”…Weeden reminds me a lot of Couch: came from a different college offense, throws hard and sometimes foolishly, can make every throw necessary to win. To this day, I feel bad for ‘ol TC, he would have been a borderline great NFL QB if he had any tools to work with besides KJ. Sometimes a “touch” pass still needs velocity, touch is as much about timing and placement as speed, just ask Elway’s receivers (that bastard). Did he ever not throw it as hard as he could?

      • alexb

        I agree, it would have been nice to see what TC would have done with decent protection. That poor guy started checking off the DE’s before he looked downfield for receivers. That’s how bad we were. I honestly think if we had TC now with all this protection we’re giving, he’d shame Weeds. People rip the Couch era alot but I remember that guy beating both Pgh and Baltimore, with Benjamin Gay as his RB and Butch Davis as his Coach. I’m sorry but that’s not unimpressive. He beat Baltimore in their “prime”. Ray ray was still a young fresh faced murderer and he had Bart Scott to his right.

        • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

          You have a strong point. I think a lot of people just don’t realize how hard it is to play quarterback without halfway decent O-line blocking.

          Even a mediocre QB can look good behind a strong line. Without that, you have to be amazed that a constantly pressured QB can do anything at all.

      • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

        Eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable, and some of you are proving that all over again. The best use of stats is to measure what really happened on the field to help people who miss the important parts.

        (1) Points per game — In Weeden’s first 13 games he’s averages just under 20 points per game against teams with a LOSING RECORD of .479. In McCoy’s first 13 games, he averaged 19 points against teams with a WINNING RECORD OF .567.– pretty good against better teams.

        (2) Long Passing and Strong Arms —
        In Pro Football Focus’s Deep Passing Tables, Weeden has completed 13 long passes so far out of 52 attempts (25% complete. 11.2% of his attempts were long. In this sites’ Accuracy Percentage which adjusts for drops and throw aways, he has a 32.7% accuracy rating and ranks pretty low at 27th, just ahead of Blaine Gabbert.

        In 2010, McCoy threw long on 14,9% of his attempts and completed 14 of 32 long passes for an accuracy % of 43.8% and tied for a pretty high ranking of 13th with Eli Manning.

        In 2011, McCoy beat Weeden again with 17 long passes and an accuracy rating of 40.9%. He ranked 17th just behind Tom Brady.

        Regardless of what you think you saw or didn’t see McCoy beats Weeden in number of long passes, accuracy of long passes, and ranking easily in the top half of the league among all Quarterbacks when Weeden ranks close to the bottom.

        (3) Someone was wondering just how accurate QBs can be throwing long passes. Somewhere between 52% and 60&. The leaders since 2008 have been Warner, Brees, Brees and Young, Rodgers, and Peyton Manning this year.

        A whole lot of what anyone SEES is changed by by bias of one kind or another and forgetfulness.. That’s why we measure and keep records in case we need to be accurate and reliable, in case we forget.

        When you measure performance McCoy beats Weeden.and compares favorably with some pretty good starting NFL quarterbacks.– not that he’ll be a starting NFL QB, just that he performs like one.

        • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

          Anne, your stats say what you say that they do, but I take issue with #1 – we’re comparing Colt’s 2011 to Weeden’s 2012, not first 13 games for each. In 2011, the Colt-led Browns averaged 13.9 points per game, not 19. If anything, adding in 2010 shows that each QB is able to produce when the threat of a competent running game exists. And, taking that out to its logical conclusion, McCoy should have improved in his second year, but instead he went backwards by two Dawsons per game. Yes, the system changed, but he still was throwing to a lot of the same receivers with NFL experience under his belt, and at least early in the year, the running game threat still existed, so that doesn’t fully explain why the scoring fell off a cliff. Still, #Shurmurball.

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            Coaching of lack of it, plus a collapse in the O-line. Put an MVP in the last few games of the season, and there still wouldn’t be much difference. Plug in Wallace and his passer rating dropped 10 points below McCoy’s.

            What you see in McCoy’s first 13 games is what he was able to do as a rookie — after that you see the effect a really bad coach has on a team. This year Shurmur’s been trying his best to prop up Weeden in an act of self preservation — he’s done a better job, but Shurmur should never have cashed his paycheck in 2011 — should have paid the Browns tuition for letting him pretend to be a head coach.

          • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

            It would be more accurate to say he was an “apprentice” head coach; that is, learning by doing, as opposed to pretending. I really believe he was giving it 100%, good-faith effort, he just wasn’t ready/experienced, and it showed. Just like a player in his second season, I think Shurmur has shown steady improvement especially in the second half of this year. Don’t read this as “Shurmur must stay”, I honestly believe that coaches grow and improve just like players, and just when I thought I couldn’t take anymore blown timoeouts and tantrums (which, of course, he hasn’t given up on entirely), the team suddenly started to win games. If we’re going to dog his mistakes, we have to acknowledge that the players have played hard for him, last year and this year. And better talent, with a few slightly better coaching decisions, has equated to more wins.

            Edit: an apprentice without a mentor, which usually looks ugly

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            His players, even when put on the spot and asked to praise him can’t think of anything better than he knows the players better and is more comfortable after almost 2 years. There’s not a lot of respect there.

            Consider this instead, the players are all competitive guys, used to winning and hating losing. They are playing for each other, not the coach. It’s a little like war stories when soldiers are asked why they risked their lives and endured so much and didn’t quit. They always say they were fighting for the guys beside them — not the country or the flag or even their families. When things got really rough, they were fighting for each other.

            I think we’ve got a good group of players who are self motivated right now, but would take a giant leap forward with a true leader as coach.

            When I criticize Shurmur, I’m talking about more than play-calling. I’m talking about his letting so many things go wrong with every aspect of the team and doing so little to change any of it.

            One example, Greg Little came in after not playing for a year and it takes Shurmur a season and a half to develop his skills and tell him in no uncertain terms that he had to start catching the ball. Even then, he had to go to the press to put enough pressure on Little to make him pay attention. Imagine Lombardi or Landry or Walsh or Shula or Belichick or one of the Harbaughs going to the press and saying “I just can’t get this player to listen to me. Will you put pressure on him and help me out?”

            No way that ever happens, but it happened here in Cleveland.

            And then run blocking and full back blocking. What coach takes a year and a half to find a replacement for a FB who can’t block or catch or takes half a year after he hears he’s getting a talented RB in the draft and is still struggling with getting quality run blocking from a talented line?

            There are lots more examples. I don’t think Shurmur tried very hard at all. Maybe he was in shock, but he left his players hanging out on a limb on their own with little, if any, coaching help. And the whole team, along with McCoy, were learning a new offense on the fly. Have you tried to listen to Shurmur try to explain anything? I’d never hire him to teach or motivate anyone.

            You talk about blaming McCoy for his play in 2011. He had 8 games behind him when he started out in 20ll, with a brand new offense.

            Every week I see you and a lot of others making excuses for Weeden. “He’s just a rookie. Give him a break. He’s going to make mistakes, but next year, after he’s played 16 games, had a second training camp and comes back for his second year, he’ll be better.”

            Right now, this poor rookie who’s just beginning to learn the pro game has almost twice as much experience as McCoy had at the beginning of 2011. I can just see Weeden if someone made him learn a new offense at the bye week. He’d be a basket case, and word is that he hasn’t learned the play book even yet.

            What’s clear as crystal is that there is no end to making excuses for Weeden, and no end to finding fault with McCoy even when you see indisputable evidence that he had the Browns 2011 passing offense ranking just as high as 2012’s, when you see that the teams McCoy led ranked 12th in 3rd down conversions while the more talented team with Weeden ranks 30th, McCoy ranks 13th and 17th in long passing, while Weeden ranks 27th, and Weeden consistently ranks at the bottom of the league in every passer rating.

            But Weeden’s a rookie. He’s going to make mistakes, even if none of the other rookies are struggling as he is.

            And McCoy should have played better, starting out with a new offense for his 9th game with a coach in over his head and a not terribly talented team progressively decimated by injury with each new week of the season, and playing against a stronger schedule than Weeden has faced in 2012.

            And then you say it’s not fair to compare McCoy’s first 13 games to Weeden’s first 13 games. Why the heck not?? Because Weeden just isn’t playing better than McCoy in any way we can measure?

            Probably.

            I’m amazed by how blind a lot of you Weeden supporters are when you look at McCoy, you even subtract inches off his height for Pete’s sake!!!!

          • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

            Whoa, not so fast my friend! I never said Shurmur should or will stay, only that he had somewhat improved. His ceiling is still probably terribly low. Hindsight after yesterday’s game, too, but he has tried to pigeonhole both McCoy and Weeden into his antiquated offense, and the defenses are just loving it – for all the talk comparing the two, neither QB has exactly lit it up. And hey, I’m not standing next to McCoy with a tape measure, and I’ve seen his height reported anywhere from 6′ to 6’1″. :-)

            Believe me, I’m not blinded to Weeden’s deficiencies. I want some QB, ANY QB, to grab the Browns job and actually hold onto it and be 100% clearly superior to the other guys!

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            McCoy’s height has NEVER been reported as 6′ 0″. It has often been reported as 6′ 2″. I believe he was dropped to 6′ 1″ after the combine where they don’t round up. If you are six three and three-quarter inches, you are listed as 6′ 3″. McCoy is under 6′ 2″ but closer to 6′ 2″ than 6′ 1″. I’ve seen Weeden lovers even claim he is under 6′ or 6′ at best.

          • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

            Then it’s accurate to say he’s taller than Seneca Wallace and shorter than Weeden. :o) I make no claims to know the exact truth.

        • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

          Oh, and it was me wondering about accuracy. And #3 indirectly falls in line with my theory – every single one of those QB’s on the list of leading deep passers has an above-average NFL arm. Brees may be slighter in stature than the others, but he throws just as hard as them. Of course, Vince Young sneaking in there also means you need to be more than just a flame-thrower, too, to have continued success [and not being a major-league headcase helps]. Another question is will Weeds ever achieve that kind of accuracy? That we don’t know.

          Edit: So far, no.

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            The knock on just about every QB we think of as elite is that they didn’t have an above average arm or lacked elite arm strength. Peyton was pegged as having only average arm strength. Leaf was the big-armed guy of that draft and many argued that the Colts should take Leaf instead. Even Rodgers, who came out of college with a rep for good arm strength, was knocked in the short time leading up to the draft which dropped him a little later in the draft. At Green Bay, Rodgers went to strong arm school the years he was backing up Favre.

            The biggest knock against Tom Brady was lack of arm strength, and he’s a good example here because arm strength reportedly increases all through the twenties. It gets better with age.

            Arm strength also increases with targeted work outs. Brees’ arm strength is supposed to have increased quite a bit after his re-hab from shoulder surgery. And along with work-outs, improved mechanics significantly increases zip on passes thrown.

            I’ve heard that the Browns had Weeden working on his arm strength in the months before training camp because they wanted to be certain he came across as having a really strong arm.

            Arm strength can be increased and increases naturally, but what Weeden lacks is something no one has ever been able to fix — He can’t deal with pressure.

            In college, the scouting reports always talked about how rattled and mistake prone he would get with a little pressure. The draft scouting reports said the same thing. At the senior bowl, he looked great all week in practice, but he played badly during the game and most scouts dropped his ratings to a later round pick.

            You’ve seen the problem here in Cleveland, whether it’s a really big game or just a really important play, Weeden really struggles and often makes mistakes when he really needs to play his best. The coaches have managed him carefully to try to prop him up when he starts to get rattled — like in the Oakland game.

            He got off to a really bad start, was way off on his throws, making bad decisions, intercepted, and pressured by the defense, on the verge of disaster. Then the coaches shifted Weeden to really short passes, usually nothing even over 5 yards, and he started getting completions and started to calm down, and things turned out ok.

            But Weeden always needs his hand held, needs a very strong team around him, and he is still always on the verge of disaster. QBs in the NFL who can’t handle pressure have a floor in the basement and never get to a ceiling above ground.

            Poise under pressure and the ability to play the best in the really big games — this clutch factor is what distinguishes all the best NFL quarterbacks. And Weeden doesn’t have it.

            Colt McCoy does. Ultimately, I don’t know about the arm strength issue. I saw him fire bullets in college and also throw perfect arced passes from one end of the field to the other, but the nerve injury may have changed that. I think it’s more likely that his mechanics were shot to hell in that cluster foobar that was Shurmur’s attempt to learn how to be a head coach in 2011. I’ve never seen a coach stand like Shurmur did on the sideline in a trance with a deer in the headlights look frozen on his face.

            Shurmur worked hard on you guys to convince you 2011 was McCoy’s fault. It’s time to take a hard look at the coaching incompetence behind the 2011 season and put the blame back where it belongs.

          • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

            You make some good points. By the way, I don’t forgive Shurmur for being a liability, especially in 2011. I have argued that he seems to be growing somewhat into the coaching job, but is he still screwing up? Yes. The only thing I blame Colt for is Colt’s play, which was, at best, about average – how much of that was poor coaching? I can’t say. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I wanted Colt to be the guy, I really did. He’s a tough, seemingly high-character dude. Remember our (that is, Browns fans) 2008 debate: if we just had Quinn’s head with DA’s arm, in some kind of Frankenquarterback…maybe we’re just in the same position again with BW and CM (please God, I hope not).

            As to the clutch factor, I don’t disagree. I will say it is more complex issue than “having it” or “needing your hand held and a strong team” – pressure affects every QB, no matter how good, and being clutch is an attribute that can be learned over time. Thankfully, Weeden seems to have a better head on his shoulders than, say, Vince Young! I watched Colt eviscerate the Buckeyes to end that crappy Fiesta(?) Bowl a few years ago, and yes, he proved to be a tough, competitive guy who came up big in college…the only question I have is how well will that translate over an NFL career?

            Tom Brady is actually a good example above of growing and maturing as an athlete. A lot of people have seen his pre-draft Combine photo that shows he was basically no more in shape than most of the fans – he was doughy and lacked any real muscle definition. Now, he’s ripped and defined. But I remember seeing him at Michigan and he had plenty of arm strength, it just needed some fine-tuning. Like you, I often wondered why some guys could throw a ball threw a brick wall while other guys, who were ripped and toned (see Quinn, Brady) had noodle arms – weren’t there workouts that could help that? The truth is that, while targeted workouts may help somewhat, baseline arm strength is either there or not. Some people just have shoulder/deltoid muscles that just allow them to torque the ball better than others and the workouts only bring marginal improvement. The development you speak of is just nature taking its course – the average man is at his strongest, with his densest muscle mass in his early thirties. Perhaps the re-arranging and strengthening of Brees’ shoulder muscles did improve his arm somewhat, but like Brady, he didn’t exactly start with a popgun. College scouting reports are worth reading, but I always take them with a grain of salt, because the authors often have agendas leading them to move a guy up or down, and the Senior Bowl offenses are sporadic given the limited prep time these guys have. They are tools, just like stats, for part of an evaluation and have validity when used properly.

            No, Weeden has not looked particularly good under pressure and it may, in fact, be a trend. I will say that I’ve been impressed with how well he seems to bounce back from turnovers – he does seem to have the coveted “short memory”. Maybe, in the end, he’s just a talented, flawed stopgap who will play OK for a few years, maybe get us to the playoffs once or twice, and then be replaced by a younger, better stud. We’ll see.

  • Sam

    Colt McCoy will never be a starter again in the NFL, EVER. Why can’t Browns fans realize this and move on? NFL executives know much more about this than we do and not one single executive came calling to acquire McCoy when he was clearly on the market after the draft. No one even wanted him as their backup. The Browns have already won more games this year with Weeden and are two dropped passes away from being 7-6. Not to mention McCoy’s only wins last year came against the mighty Colts, Jaguars, and Dolphins and we can’t forget the 6-3 thriller against the Seahawks where the Browns pathetically limped into field goal range. Move on, support your team, and let the quarterback with real NFL potential develop.

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      One more time, I don’t think Colt McCoy is a starting NFL quarterback either. I just think it’s interesting that Weeden hasn’t produced any better than Colt with twice the weaponry.

      • alexb

        cause he’s just not “that” good. He’ll do for a few years cause we likely will have nothing better on the table. But the guy really honestly struggles on certain throws. Sharp slants where he can rifle the ball with an unobstructed lane….he’s golden. Ask him to drop balls over the top of people and it’s going to be painful to watch all those pick 6’s. Tha’ts why there’s so many batted balls this year, the lineman are told to get in those slant windows and just let the DB’s pick the ball off if Weeds decides to throw over the LB’ers. So it’s gotta be slant routes or deep routes, that’s what he does best.

  • Seth

    A decent point but don’t forget that the vast majority of Colt’s TDs came in junk time. True Weeden has grabbed some junk time stats this year but with the exception of the Giants game the Browns have been right there every game. Secondly it’s really hard to argue that Weeden does not bring an added element of the deep pass. You may attribute that to Josh Gordon’s presence but the fact remains that Weeden stretches the defense like Colt McCoy was unable to. So many times last year the Browns offense was utterly impotent even if they were executing plays correctly because they lacked a credible downfield attack (again you could attribute it to personel at WR and on the OL but I remember many McCoy misfires). The Browns offense has been spotty at best this year but they have the ability to strike deep at any moment. Finally simple things like slant routes are so much easier for Weeden to convert. Colt McCoy has to be further ahead of the defense on everything because of his arm strength limitations. Yeah it also leads to Weeden taking unnecessary risks but most good QBs take those risks and throw a few picks. Colt McCoy’s ceiling is a Alex Smith game manager, at this point in the team’s development why settle for that type of a QB when the team is not going anywhere until at least next year (and that is optimistic).

    • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

      I think you brought this up somewhere else and someone went to the trouble of checking the games play by plays and found you were wrong. Not many games were junk time. The games were in doubt well into the 4th quarter and often til the last seconds. And McCoy was a league leader last year in late game-winning drives.

      • Seth

        How are you judging “late game-winning drives”? That sounds sounds unbelievable to me, if you use a reasonable interpretation (fourth quarter drives with less ten minutes left on the clock) well then he had one…… against a team that was on its way to an 0-7 start. Maybe the games were “close” in numbers, but they weren’t. Titans game blowout at the hands of a bad team. The Raiders game was “close” after a junk-time fourth quarter close (part of my point is that a 17-point deficit was a blowout with McCoy) . The 49ers was like Shaq playing keep away with Earl Boykins it might as well have been 50-0. Texans game was never close, Rams were an awful team, I’ll give you the Bengals game, Baltimore game not close, Steelers game again might as well have been 50-0 when you have a QB who can’t get TDs against good defenses. I am not a Brandon Weeden defender, I do not think he is the answer but Colt McCoy was a nightmare last year. He authored one of the worst seasons in Browns history. Josh Gordon is good but he cannot catch passes that are always late, behind him, or just completely off-target in general (Weeden’s accuracy leave much to be desired but he at least has the potential to get the ball to receivers down field). The NFL put the season on a tee for Cleveland and he could only manage FOUR LOUSY WINS against four atrocious teams and in only one of those games did he score more than 20 points.

        • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

          Have you honestly never seen NFL leader boards with a variety of categories, like game-winning drives? This has even been discussed a lot lately with Ryan beating Montana’s mark at this point in his career and Luck, I believe, leading the NFL in that category this year.

          The quickest way to look this up is go to any QBs page at Pro Football Reference. Scroll down and you’ll see what he leads in and you can also see on the right side of a link bar, this QBs “game winning drives”.

          • Seth

            Whatever you can tout that stat if you feel it proves a point but it’s joke in this context (even though McCoy only has 3 to Weeden’s 1 and also isn’t it a good thing when a QB can win a game without a 4th quarter “comeback”). I’m not impressed that McCoy “led” the team on a 30 yard drive to get a field goal at the beginning of the 4th of completely meaningless game against a bad Seattle team in a game where for the most part he played terrible. The ability to lead teams in the clutch is valuable but when you define by what I just explained as a “game winning drive” and act like it means the same thing as a meaningful game winning your ignoring the importance of context when examining that type of stat. According to Pro football Reference’s “stat” John Skelton had 6 “game winning drives” in 2011, (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/play-index/comeback.cgi?player=SkelJo00) maybe we should go grab him because he doubled Colt McCoy’s number……. or maybe we should except the fact that it is a stat that can shed some light on a player but without context or a holistic assessment of the player (including actually watching the guy play) is not an adequate gauge of a player’s value. I appreciate the contrarian stances this blog takes and I think this article made an interesting point but Colt McCoy was bad, he did limit the offense, and the organization was correct to pull the plug on him. You can debate the merits of drafting a 29 year-old QB in the 1st round but the market was not flush with great alternatives.

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            Some quarterbacks who excel in this category are Staubach, Montana, Elway, Brady, the Mannings, and most recently Ryan and Luck. Just can’t stand to acknowledge anything good about McCoy, can you??

  • Cranky M

    This is just plain silly.
    If anything, it’s yet another example of the limitations of statistics in telling the whole story, and how relying in statistics to evaluate a QB is completely idiotic.

    I truly fail to see how anybody who actually watched McCoy in those games can think that he is a viable QB, or even comparable to Weeden. He fails the eye test completely.
    As i’ve said before, Weeden’s problems seem to be mental. You can fix mental mistakes. McCoy’s problems were mental AND physical. You can’t fix a person’s physical limitations.
    He obviously can’t throw deep. The defenses know he can’t, so they stack the box and jump the short routes, which harms the running game and negates all of those short routes. All of those little dump off passes and slants that Weeden has been making: those wouldn’t be open for McCoy, as the defense is fully aware that those are the ONLY passes they would have to worry about with McCoy. He simply can’t make a team pay by going over the top when they jump he short stuff.
    He couldn’t go through his progressions (if anything he was worse at doing so then Weeden). And all of the stuff people say about his receivers dropping so many passes…i watched the games. A huge portion of those dropped passes were caused by McCoy’s inaccurate throws.
    I’m not sure why this is even debatable.

    • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

      Let’s boil this down to a simpler equation:

      more points = better chance to win!

      I am categorically, unashamedly, unbiasedly FOR the quarterback who leads the team to more points PER GAME, even if the RB’s are racking up 1-yard touchdowns. Ok, maybe I am biased a little, because I would be against scoring less points…but, still. Everyone of you commenting fools gets the knowledge I’m spewing!

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      OK. If you say so. But it’s still funny that you’re so sure about the results of this eye test when Weeden’s stats are exactly the same if not worse than Colt’s despite playing with twice the weaponry.

      • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

        You know, I love that little eye-covering spoon that they give you during the eye test. I bet you could get a lot of ice cream in each scoop with that spoon. Mmmmm, ice cream…

      • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

        Let me express it this way: Shurmurball is a system which, theoretically, McCoy should do about as well as he possibly could, since it is predicated on short, timing throws in the classic WCO style. So, one might say he overachieved, or at least achieved as expected, in 2011 with a bunch of crappy WR’s and a couple decent TE’s.

        But, if given the talent that Weeds has around him, I theorize that he would do only marginally better (and probably have landed Josh Gordon or Greg Little on the IR with a James Harrison Patented Headshot) because his physical skills (arm strength, and such) would have stayed the same and defenses would still pack the box and murder/death/kill his receivers on the short routes, especially since the running game has only marginally improved.

        Weeden, on the other hand, as a ROOKIE, in a system that doesn’t fit his skill set as well, necessarily, manages to help the team score almost a TD more per game, even though his completion percentage is below average and he’s thrown a high number of interceptions. As a side note, I might argue that most of those picks have not been of the backbreaking, game-ending variety and that other than his disaster of a Game 1 (and maybe the pick 6 against Baltimore), they have not usually been all that harmful on the whole; Game 1: 5 interceptions, Games 2-13: 10 interceptions. And if his receivers had helped him out just a little more early in the season, he’d likely have a few less INT’s and 1-2 more wins. The one that comes to mind is the Indy game, where one of his picks came at the end during the two-minute “offense”, which would have been unnecessary if they were leading at that point. He can learn to make better choices, or just become a Favre type with 30 TDs/15 INTs every year…would we object to that (as long as it came with 100% less dong shots – heck, maybe even if not)? Not in 2012 (or 2013) we wouldn’t.

        If I thought this was at all possible, I’d propose a truce until next year at this time when we have the benefit of Weeden’s second year to analyze. But we all know that’s impossible, so there you have it.

        FIN

        • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

          There’s very little reason to assume that McCoy’s arm would keep him from taking advantage of offensive weaponry (and pass protection) that’s twice as good as what he had to work with. You’re just clicking your heels and saying so. It’s sort of insane. And secondarily, did you see the links that show that McCoy’s completions traveled farther in the air than Weeden’s have?

          • NeedsFoodBadly

            Yeah, but SPOCT used the phrase “murder/death/kill’ in his argument, so his is more compelling.

          • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

            Clicking my heels? A “Wizard of Oz” reference is what you’re going with is it? Well, to quote one of my favorite movies (and Samuel Jackson roles), “Allow me to retort”.

            And yes, I am insane – I keep watching Browns games! Let me first say that I have nothing against Colt McCoy – I wanted BADLY for him to succeed. Perhaps Wizard is apropos as Colt has a Brain, Courage, and a Heart all wrapped up into one. The problem is that it’s wrapped up in a 6′ body with an average/below-average NFL arm that doesn’t threaten NFL defenses!

            Allow me to show NE Ohio-ness here and state, for the record, Your Honor, that I’m the type of guy who generally loves the guy who gets everything out of his talent that he can – Charles Nagy is one of my favorite all-time Indians, a player who despite throwing no harder than an average High School All-State player, could grit out 15 wins a season with an elbow that was held together with duct tape. But baseball is different, the pitcher only has to fool the hitter, not the other 8 players on the opposing team also, and craftiness is more of an asset. On pure athletic ability, Colt=Nagy while Weeds=C.C. Sabathia (or maybe at this point in his career, a young Bartolo Colon – it’s not always on target, but it gets there in a hurry)! Speaking of on target, your stats paint an interesting picture in that neither QB excelled in overall accuracy, even though both came out college as “accurate passers”. But let’s address two other features of these stats, yards per game and the “farther in the air” thing. Colt’s average YPG was 210 and Weeden’s is 233, which doesn’t seem like a huge difference, but consider that that total is about 1.5 Colt games MORE overall, i.e., without JH concussing him, it would have been Game 15 before Colt equaled Weeden’s yardage production through the air. Maybe that’s significant and maybe it’s not, but I see the difference on the scoreboard – 19.9 to 13.9 AND we’ve already exceeded 2011 in total TD’s and almost matched in field goals with 3 games still remaining…plus, for those who might argue that this year’s defense is so much better, we’ve actually given up more TD’s in 13 games although the FG numbers are down, so maybe a wash? I must admit the “farther in the air” stat surprised me, until I put the vaunted SPOCT brain to work and it hit me – one possible explanation is that, because defenses crowd the box so much against Colt, where are the openings going to be? Why, over and behind them, of course, hence longer throws needed to get there! I am going to beat this drum until my arms fall off – just the threat of Weeden’s arm cannon leads to more spacing in the defense, hence the openings for him are often in the short/medium range in between the defenders. And, if yards traveled in the air was a real indicator, with each QB completing almost the exact same number of passes, wouldn’t McCoy have more yards than Weeden? Answer: no, because he negated every long completion with a 2-yard dump-off pass to the RB/TE and the unlucky recipient of said pass proceeded to get earholed by the defenders (Josh Cribbs has surely not campaigned for McCoy, even though he was targeted more by him – which of course is an indictment of last year’s receivers; as I have acknowledged, they were the opposite of good). Plus, when throwing the slants and crossing routes, Colt often failed to hit the receiver in stride and that split second difference gave the defender enough time to prevent the YAC.

            Yes, the supporting cast is better. No, it’s not fair that Colt didn’t get to throw to Gordon, and a more focused Little. But, when I look at Mr. McCoy, I see Charlie Frye part 2 in terms of upside and ability, and remember that DA took over the EXACT SAME group of players that Frye had and suddenly they started scoring points. Now, am I a bit scared that Weeden is DA part 2? Yes, a little, given his completion % and tendency to throw it where he shouldn’t, but he’s shown much better touch on the short/medium throws for the most part, and I have hope. Holgrum (haha, that still makes me laugh every time) may have been lazy, and kind of addicted to drafting QB’s, but he and Heckert together both thought the team needed an upgrade at QB, and they (ok, mostly Heckert) break down more tape than any of us, plus they know the locker room. So, I rolls the dice and I takes my chances!

            “Look at the big mf-ing brain on [SPOCT]!” – Jules

          • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

            like button.

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            Didn’t you see the post draft interview with Heckert. He didn’t want to draft Weeden, insisted Holmgren take responsibility for that pick.

          • BIKI024

            we all saw the post-draft interview, those words never came out of Heckert’s mouth. did he say they were targeting Kendall Wright and had to make adjustment after he came off the board, absolutely, but he made no mention of him not liking Weeds. for all we know they may have taken Weeds in 2nd round if they had gotten Wright, but since they had already lost out on RG3 and then Wright, they decided not to take any chances on losing out on Weeds.

            all the pressers are posted on the Browns website, so go ahead and check the tape..

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            Here’s a link to one article about the choice:

            http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/65206/evaluating-holmgrens-legacy-with-browns

            The interview I read about was not a press conference but a one on one with Heckert and a reporter — haven’t found it yet. It was during training camp when McCoy was obviously out playing Weeden in the preseason games and Heckert was saying how good McCoy looked. It was also around the time when we knew there would be a new owner.

          • beeceeinla

            FWIW charles nagy benefited from massive run support:
            6-53 when the indians scored 0-2 runs (66 starts)
            42-38 when the indians scored 3-5 runs (110 starts)
            80-11 when the indians scored 6+ runs (121 starts)

            that’s the only reason he made the all-star game – and IIRC he was the only starter during the 90’s to do so.

      • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

        Cleveland Frowns, here is a link about Holmgren telling Heckert to draft Weeden. This is not the article I remember which had a one on one interview with Heckert, I believe during training camp, I haven’t found that yet.

        I think Heckert may have wanted to get this info out when he saw that McCoy was out playing Weeden during the preseason games and that we were getting a new owner. In that interview, Heckert was saying he didn’t want to make the pick and when Holmgren insisted, Heckert told him it had to be an order and that Holmgren had to take full responsibility for the pick.

        http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/65206/evaluating-holmgrens-legacy-with-browns

      • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

        Cleveland Frowns, I finally found the article I read about Heckert not wanting to pick Weeden. Here’s the link:

        http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d828d7424/article/did-mike-holmgren-pull-rank-on-brandon-weeden-pick

    • dwhalen

      most laughable post I’ve read in regard to how “fixable” quarterbacks are. Here’s the thing, BRO. “Mental Problems” are far, FAR, less fixable over the short term than the so called “Physical Problems” you are describing, which sounds like a commercial for Cialis. You’d love to talk about height and lack of arm strength as though there’s never been a 6′ tall QB who’s been even mediocre let alone be a R.O.Y. candidate (Russell Wilson, 5’10”) let alone Superbowl champion (Drew Brees, 5’11” on a bad hair day). Or like there’s never been a guy like Chad Pennington, whose arm might has well have BEEN a flaccid penis and has been called the “worst arm in the history of pro football,” who was drafted 18th overall and still managed to win 8 games or more 4 times.

      But all that aside, I’d prefer to talk about the “mental” side of things which you have completely failed to give any evidence for, or at least try to describe what it is the hell you mean. 95% of what quarterbacks do comes down to their mental capacity, and while we’re at it, I’ll go ahead and let you know that Weeden’s football mind is lightyears behind where it should be as a 29 year-old. Physically, yeah athleticism, armstrength and height cant hurt. But mentally? Here we go. Watching film and Interpreting what you’re seeing. MENTAL. Anticipating what defenses will do in order to attack what you do well? MENTAL. Understanding your fundamentals and where they are lacking: footwork, arm slot, shoulder and hip direction on follow through, “active eyes” and looking at different parts of the field than where you’d actually prefer to throw it. ALL MENTAL. Accepting coaching and implementing techniques and philosophies? MENTAL. Pre-snap determination of the defensive alignment and how to get your team into the best opportunity for success? MENTAL. Confidence? MENTAL. Remembering your progression and using anticipation to hit your checkdown ON TIME (should need be) even after making audibles and seeing the pre-snap defense? MENTAL. Pocket presence and internal clock when dropping back? MENTAL. Understanding blitz schemes and making the decision on who to block and who to read hot off of? MENTAL. Seeing the play in motion, perceiving what your eyes are telling you, and acting, all in the span of roughly 1.8-2.5 seconds? MENTAL. Instinct on whether to stand in the pocket, or to escape and take off while keeping the ball on your shoulder with the opportunity to make a throw outside the pocket, or simply to tuck it and run? MENTAL. Finding match ups that are favorable and understanding leverage of defenders in order to know whether the ball should be thrown high, or low, or leading a receiver, or on his back shoulder, or inside or outside? MENTAL AGAIN. Leadership? MENTAL. Ability to apply it all and not crack under pressure in a 2-minute drill when your team is down 4 with one timeout? THE MOST MENTAL OF ALL. Do you see a pattern here? Am I making sense? Do you sort of understand how difficult it is to assess a guy’s skillset and determine if he can do what he did in college at the next level? Do I give a fuck if my QB is 5’10” like Russell, or 6’8″ like Brock Osweiler? Truth be told, I couldn’t give two shits. Every offensive line I’ve ever been behind has been taller than I am, and so that’s really no more of an issue in the NFL than it is in 7th grade. Applying and repeating body lean, throwing from the balls of your feet, head tilt, release point, throwing and vision lanes, balance and stride, follow through, practicing subtle lateral movement in the pocket, and doing ALL OF THIS until it becomes muscle memory is what separates the short guys who make it from the ones that don’t, that is, given the opportunity. Personally, the physical thing–it’s just a game of dick-measuring. You and everyone else who relies on an “eye test” to tell you who the best player SHOULD be, have to know better by now that that’s a pile of steamy, stinky dog shit. I can tell most of the time who’s going to be worthy of an NFL job by how I see them reacting on the field pre-snap, and in-play; how they interact with teammates and react to good and bad when it happens; how they talk in interviews. How they do all those things above. Then lastly I take a look at physical ability and see if their physical ability will be beneficial or detrimental to their development. Because it can be both. All of it is important. That’s why I claimed Russell Wilson was going to have a great career over a year ago when everyone else was busy talking about his size holding him back. It wasn’t my blind luck, it was understanding the position and what it entails. Problem is, every drunk Cleveland fan who thinks they can tell the difference between a good quarterback and a bad one simply by whether or not he can throw it through a brick wall is simply delirious. I choose to watch games at home so I don’t have to listen to that garbage, and when it comes down to it, I think Brandon Weeden lacks so many of the mental skills and strength it takes to succeed. Colt has him beat in many of those areas. And seeing what you choose to see instead of what is actually happening because you have pre-determined what Colt McCoy should be, well, I really think you should go back and watch film in order to provide some back-up (pun intended) for your observations of how much “better” Weeden is based upon your “eye test.”

      Like I said before, I wanted Russell Wilson, and had him worthy of a first round pick months ago. I had him ahead of RG3, and in the same scope as Luck. But apparently I was “out of my mind” (told this multiple times). Ooooh, and I almost forgot!!! A good friend of mine who spent 2010 and 2011 as a college scout with the Chiefs, and then in March got hired in a similar position by the Bears told me that they graded Weeden as a 6th and 5th round pick respectively. And I quote: “In both organizations, we completely disregarded the fact that he was 28. We looked strictly at how we thought his physical skills and what was demanded of him at OK STATE would translate to the demands of the National Football League. In both cases we came to the determination that he’d be a marginal player, with some positive potential at the next level.” So I guess that’s a small sample of the NFL population, but I’d venture to say that with regard to Tom Heckert’s comments to Holmgren, that the Browns didn’t grade him that highly either. 3 teams out of 30 would probably qualify as statistically significant. And if Joe Banner would like to hear me out, I could find him his first franchise QB since Bernie, that is assuming he wouldn’t give me two weeks to give it a shot in camp first.

      Feel free to respond as you or anyone else sees fit.

      • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

        What a really great explanation of what it takes to be a good quarterback, especially in the NFL It’s a good thing Wilson went to Seattle where they have real QB competitions and aren’t afraid to sit someone they had previously signed to a fairly big contract in order to start the guy who gives them the best chance to succeed.

        What you said about height reminds me of what Gil Brandt said when he was praising McCoy and Griffin and dismissing concerns about something relatively insignificant like height.

        He said it reminded him of the worst mistake he ever made in the draft. He had a chance to draft Mike Singletary who would go on to 7 Pro Bowls and be named twice the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, lead the Chicago “Monsters of the Midway”, and be inducted into the Hall of Fame as soon as he was eligible.

        Brandt said he was set to draft him for the Cowboys in the second round, but passed at the last minute because Singletary, who is between 6′ and 6’1″ was three-quarters of an inch shorter than their requirements for a linebacker.

  • Leftyjsf

    Thanks for the early Christmas gift.

  • http://twitter.com/mjh4259 Mary

    Unless he makes dramatic improvement in the next few games, IMHO Weeden is not the future. Weeden is more robotic (even I can follow his progressions) than McCoy, who has more of an innate sense of the game. If he is not going to be allowed to compete for the position, then I hope McCoy gets released and has an opportunity to start somewhere else so that he can prove me (and all of his fans) right or wrong.

  • lema007

    Anybody that watched McCoy play in 2011 and has half of a brain, knows that his stats were patted with plenty of junk time(Time to shine!) It’s a shame, he had his golden opportunity in Cleveland and fell flat.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    this convo is complex because there is truth on both sides.

    3rd string colt’s first game was at pittsburgh and he impressed me greatly with his poise. i’d say he maxed out the talent and system he was given to work with. he followed that up with the wins against saints and pats. major credit to mangini/daboll for the game plans there, but colt executed it. enter shurmur and stats show regression but we all know there’s more to that story.

    weeden has been given far superior line, targets, and running back. however, he still has the shurmur system to deal with and in spite of his age he is still an nfl rookie. but none of the above negates the fact of weeden having prototype pro qb attributes that exceed colt’s.

    i would sum it up with ‘ceiling’ projections.
    i could see colt having a jeff garcia-ish career. he’ll wind up somewhere and find an opportunity and max out his team and put together a playoff/pro-bowl calibre seasons but wont win a super bowl.
    weeden’s ceiling is flacco which is to say ‘capable of growing into eli manning with the right coach and teammates, could win a super bowl.’

    • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

      Like button. Wish I could sum it up without a thesis like you did. Hats off to you, sir.

    • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

      There’s a lot of talk about what a great QB class there is this year, but whenever that’s discussed, only Luck, Griffin, and Wilson are mentioned — occasionally Tannehill — but never Weeden. What does that tell you about his ceiling?

      • BIKI024

        a lot of talk from whom exactly? i know for a fact Peter King dropped his name when talking about the class.. and those guys are discussed because they’ve had great seasons so far (which is an aberration for most rookies), nothing about their “ceilling”.

        besides, it really doesn’t mean much when journalists/bloggers talk up players, it means more to me when players and coaches do and most of them that comment about Weeds like him, but he’s obviously a work in progress, which was to be expected. we’ll see how he finishes up, but unless he has some horrific days coming up these last 3 games, i would put high odds on him being the starter next year..

  • Bandit

    I think it is fairly clear by now thats Weeds is not the answer at QB. Just look at the KC game. Every sack was because he held the ball too long, which he has all season. When a QB consistently holds the ball it is a safe bet he is not seeing the field and the game is moving too fast for him.

    • BIKI024

      it’s also fairly reasonable to be cautiously optimistic that with more reps and familiarity with his receivers and system that the game will slow down for him. this is typical NFL qb progression. there really isn’t many other options that we have either, weak QB draft, with probably only Matt Flynn and Alex Smith that may be available.

      • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

        Let’s let the new coach figure that out. Maybe we could have a real QB competition. . .

        • BIKI024

          yeah i’m not sure Shurmur has carte blanche, so I’m not buying that there was any conspiracy.. I would buy Holmgren pushing Weeds on them, but none of the beat writers or bloggers that had access to training camp agree with you that Colt had the better camp. how he performed against the 2nd and 3rd stringers in preseason is meaningless. whether they were right or not, i guess only time will tell, at least with Weeden, we may never know how good Colt will be as a starter..

          as far as a new coach, we’ll know in about 2.5 weeks if Shurmur stays or not..

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            Well, Heckert was praising McCoy, and our first team was usually playing against 2nd and 3rd team guys, too. The Philly sports pages made fun of the Browns starters and how the Philly backups had made the Browns starters look like back ups after the Philly preseason game.

            The only real difference was that McCoy was leading an offense with Browns’ backups — like bringing a knife to a gun fight in preseason and winning.

            In preseason, McCoy completed 75% of his passes, had a passer rating of 119, 9.75 yards per attempt, and 13 yards per complete pass. The difference is dramatic. Weeden completed 49% of his passes, had 6.1 yards per attempt, and a passer rating of 59.7.

          • BIKI024

            preseason games factor, but training camp and the daily grind probably weighs a lot more and by all accounts Weeden looked better in camp.

            again, i don’t buy Heckert throwing Holmgren or anyone in front of a bus at any time, he has never gone down that road in any of his pressers or interviews. as far as talking up Colt, it was just the smart thing to do in case people wanted to trade for him, and to give positive reinforcement to a guy who just lost his job.

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/65206/evaluating-holmgrens-legacy-with-browns

            Now here’s the way we work with preseason. If Weeden performs well in games, then the games are important. If Weeden looks like crap and McCoy excells, then the games don’t count.

            Weeden has a history of looking great in practice, like he did before the Senior Bowl, and then looking bad in the game, like he did in the Senior Bowl. Too bad we aren’t playing in the National Practice League. . .

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            One thing I remember from practices was the report of Haden telling Weeden in the first week that he was staring at his chosen receivers and tipping off the defense.

            We were told that Weeden never makes the same mistake twice. No, he makes the same mistake perpetually, and he’s still staring down receivers — notice INTs and tipped balls in the Washington game. And Weeden has roughly 30% more tipped passes than any other NFL QB.

          • BIKI024

            senior bowl?? kind of tough to expect skill position players to do well in an all-star game. how about his bowl game? or his final season at OKST?

            i don’t claim to be an expert QB talent evaluator like you and many others on this site seem to be, but i do know that historically QBs tend to have a rough go at it their rookie seasons. i guess we’ll see if the new regime gives him another year to prove himself, or if they give Colt a legit shot at it, or they look elsewhere.

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            The only thing I see right now is that there is no end to the attempt to make excuses for Weeden’s increasingly obvious bad play. Historically, there have been more mistakes made on QB selection chasing a guy with a “strong arm” but little of the strong decision making, poise under pressure, strong work ethic to learn the play book and watch film, strong leadership, and strong football IQ. — chasing the strong arm when none of the other QB qualities are there has led to the most dramatice draft mistakes.

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