BEREA – In a pre-training camp interview with Rob Chudzinski Monday morning the first-year head coach said that he has seen improvement in quarterback Brandon Weeden since the beginning of the off-season program–both in his leadership and his play.
“I’ve seen a big improvement in Brandon in those ways and those things,” Chudzinski said. “At the end of the day, it’s important that from a quarterback standpoint that you understand and know what to do, that you’re out playing, being productive and then on top of it, being that leader, taking charge and doing those type of things. It’s important for that position.”
Weeden said he’s excited to start his second season.
“I’m ready to go,” Weeden said. “Obviously, last year didn’t go the way we all wanted it to go.I feel like I’m taking steps day in and day out and continue to make steps in the right direction.”
Chudzinski said many quarterbacks make a big jump from their rookie year to their second season and he is hoping that is the case with Weeden.
“That’s what you hope for,” Chudzinski said. “Certainly, guys coming into the league in their first year are just trying to figure things out. Hopefully, as they play and get game experience they make that growth, in terms of being a leader and taking charge and that is critical at that position.”
Chudzinski was asked specifically about Weeden’s footwork and releasing the ball faster.
“Just seeing him out there on the field as well, he’s done some work on his footwork and that’s improved, just over the course of the summer,” he said. “He’s quickened his footwork. “It’s more consistent and he’s getting the ball out quicker because of it. He’s able to get the ball out quicker because of it.”
Weeden said he’s spent the last six to seven weeks concentrating on getting the ball out quicker.
“I’ve worked on speeding up mentally and just to be conscious about it,” he said. “That has been all of my focus that past six to seven weeks when I was away.”
Weeden says he feels good coming into his second season.
“I feel different now knowing what to expect,” Weeden said. “I’ve been in (the NFL) a year and I know the routine. I’m going to go out and play with confidence and play hard and not be timid. I’m going to throw the ball in tight windows and trust my arm and make plays. That’s the type of quarterback I am. I am going to play aggressive.”
Weeden thinks in the new-look Browns offense he will be in the shotgun much more often, similar to his days at Oklahoma State.
“In this system, they concentrate on getting the ball out quicker and when the real bullets start flying that’s the goal (to get the ball out quickly).”
Chudzinski said that Weeden will start training camp with the first team, followed by Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer.
“It will be the same as it was (in minicamp) with Brandon with the ones, Jason with the two’s and Brian with the three’s,” Chudzinski said.
Chudzinski said he is excited to finally see the quarterbacks playing with hitting going on.
“It’s the first time to see the guys against full speed competition on the field,” he said.”I just really want to see those guys get out there and go execute. The thing with the quarterbacks during training camp, in particular with this training camp, with a new system there are things you are asking guys to do that wasn’t emphasized in other systems. So part of the process is seeing them do those things and try to do those things and make the throws that you want them to make.
“At times, you have to be careful in counting the number of attempts and completions,” he said. “There are times when we want them to work on some things that they aren’t as familiar with. Its part of the process in a new system and part of mastering the system and the consistency that comes with it.”
Chudzinski said consistency is the main thing he’s looking for in a quarterback.
“If there’s one word I can use it is consistency and showing that consistency the most important thing for any quarterback in this league is to be able to handle adversity,” he said. “Maybe they’re having a bad throw, a bad day and seeing how they come back because that’s so much of this game. What is it 60 percent of games come down to a margin of seven points or less. I think that’s the stat, so it comes down to the end of the game, it doesn’t matter what kind of game you have had, you have to be able to play in those situations. That’s what is so critical for a quarterback.”
Weeden said he has always been able to move past mistakes and not let that affect him.
“At this position,to be a good quarterback in this league, you have to have a short memory,” he said. “The good ones move on to the next play. It’s really your body presence and how you react. I credit myself that i don’t let things linger. You’re never going to play a perfect football game, so you can’t let it (affect you).”
Chudzinski said the opening day starter at quarterback will come down to production and he isn’t worried about Campbell and Hoyer getting enough repetitions in practice.
“Well, they’ll get plenty of work and there’s going to be plenty of reps during camp to get it,” he said. “At times, you may see them working with different groups. I wouldn’t be surprised if you see that happening–that doesn’t necessarily mean anything, we’re going to make sure that all our guys get as many reps as we can in that way.”
T Rich Ready: Chudzinski disclosed that RB Trent Richardson has been in camp with the rookies and has been taking part in practices.
“Richardson has been full go and he has been practicing the last few days,” Chudzinski said. “The guys who were injured in the spring reported and are practicing.”
Chudzinski said there are no restrictions for Richardson, who sat out the June minicamp with a lower leg strain.
Mingo In: First-round draft choice Barkevious Mingo signed Sunday and will be ready for the first practices of full training camp.
“It’s good to have the guys in, especially the young guys,” Chudzinski said. “It’s good to re-acclimate with their coaches.”
“I’m just glad to be here on time and am ready to play football,” Mingo said.
Chud Excited: Chudzinski said he is excited to start his first year with the Browns and is ready for training camp.
“There’s always an excitement for every season, but this is special for me.”
Chudzinski said he can’t wait to have the fans at practice.
“This spring i missed the fans not being around and that will be exciting to have them out there.”
The first practice open to the public is Thursday at 4 pm. Chudzinski said the first day of full contact will be Saturday.
Nelson, Faulk on PUP: Chudzinski said that WR David Nelson (knee) and OL Chris Faulk (knee) will start training camp on Physically Unable to Perform (PUP)/ Active list. Chudzinski said that those players could become active at any point.
“They will be working with the trainers and running around on the side,” he said. “We can bring them along at any point.”
“We’ll we working with him and evaluating him as we go.”
Chudzinski also said that rookie S Jamoris Slaughter will start training camp on time. He missed the OTAs and minicamp and most of last season at Notre Dame with a ruptured Achilles tendon.