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Brandon Weeden improves in second week, but not drastically

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer
Weeden improved in his second preseason run. (Getty Images)

For all the expectations on Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Ryan Tannehill, no rookie quarterback might need immediate success more than Browns "youngster" Brandon Weeden. His age and his bosses' job security depend on it.

Fortunately for the folks who put their chips in the center of the table on Weeden, he improved from Week 1 of the preseason to Week 2 against Green Bay. There probably wasn't enough improvement to tack on a modifier like drastic or significant to Weeden's performance but I'm willing to agree with him that it was "definitely an upgrade."

"For the most part, I think I threw the ball where it needed to be thrown and threw it on time,” Weeden said, via the Akron Beacon-Journal. "My guys made plays for me, which is good. So, yeah, I think it was progress. I think I felt really comfortable. I saw things coming. I saw where they were blitzing from. I knew [the blitzes] were picked up. That's the start. You've just got to build off that and go from there. Definitely an upgrade over last week."

Weeden finished 12-of-20 for 118 yards passing and no touchdowns against Green Bay, but he got lucky in a couple spots. He forced a fastball on a screen pass that never should've been thrown and was nearly picked by A.J. Hawk, but for the heat he put on the ball when he threw it into traffic. His other big no-no was trying to sling the ball back across the field on 1st-and-10 with just over four minutes left in the half; Casey Hayward should've taken the ball the other way.

The rookie had some nice throwaways when he was faced with pressure from Packers defenders, and he also made several impressive throws, including a first-quarter fastball to Josh Gordon off of play action and then on the final play of the first quarter, Weeden hit Greg Little over the middle on a nice pass that nearly ended up in a touchdown, even if Weeden threw a little behind Little and didn't quite hit him in stride.

His receivers made some bad drops, but that's kind of to be expected given the talent that Weeden's surrounded by. The quarterback did look improved in the pocket Thursday night, standing tall in the face of pressure and making some accurate throws to move the ball down the field. Most of them were shorters Credit goes to Pat Shurmur and Brad Childress for putting him in a position to make some of those plays too, as Weeden was working with a number of short passes designed to get receivers open quickly.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.

 
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