Dallas Cowboys backup quarterback Brandon Weeden shares two things with Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel: he was one of the franchise’s first-round selections and he was also taken with the 22nd overall pick. Weeden didn’t live up to any kind of first-round billing at all in Cleveland, leaving town after two seasons with 5-15 record and a 71.8 passer rating. Now, Manziel is facing scrutiny as his rookie season ended ignominiously and his off-season included a stint in rehab.
Weeden empathizes with Manziel
"He had no chance to live up to the expectations," Weeden told 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM] Monday. "So, yeah, it’s very, very hard. I did it for two years, and just wasn’t able to get it done. I feel for the guy. Cleveland is a tough town. If they’re not winning games, and they haven’t won in a long time, you know, it can crumble really quick."
Weeden recognizes that to play the quarterback position successfully in the NFL, it takes having good players around. The former Oklahoma State signal caller points to the off-the-field troubles that keep receiver Josh Gordon literally off the field as hampering for Manziel, as well as business decisions that let tight end Jordan Cameron sign with Miami this off-season.
"There’s very few guys in this league that make the guys around you: the Bradys and the Brees and guys like that," said Weeden. "Tony has done it his whole career. Sometimes, as a rookie, and to have guys that may not be marquee-type players and expect them to go out there and bear the weight of the franchise on his shoulder and the expectations."
Weeden has nothing but respect for the Browns organization and the city of Cleveland, and is thankful to be in Dallas where he says he’s learned more in the past year than in the past four years: two at Oklahoma State and two more with the Browns.