The Cleveland Browns pulled off a draft night surprise when they took 28-year-old quarterback Brandon Weeden with the 22nd overall pick in the NFL Draft. While his numbers were outstanding during his short stint at Oklahoma State and showed to be one of the best college quarterbacks a season ago, the Browns took a huge gamble on Weeden given his age. However, it was a calculated risk and Weeden fills the biggest need for the Browns. Since the team came back in 1999 they have tried every way possible to solidify the most important position in the NFL and they have repeatedly come up short. Whether Weeden becomes the guy to finally stop the revolving door is completely up to him but it seems like he has the tools necessary and he is clearly the only player on the roster that looks talented enough to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.
Brandon Weeden joined ESPN 850 WKNR with the Hooligans to talk about the pressure that is on him being one of the Browns first round picks, when he had his first “aha” moment in the NFL, if his experience being a professional baseball player has helped him, what the team has told him about what his role will be with the team and what he would change if he could go back and do things over in his life.
On the pressure that is on him being one of the Browns first round picks:
“Yeah that’s part of being a first rounder and not only that but just a quarterback. There’s going to be a lot of pressure that goes along with that but I think as a player you have so much other stuff to worry about with making the team better and winning football that if you try to put any of that other added pressure on yourself that can snowball on you and make it kind of tough, tough to function so I don’t really put any added pressure on myself. There’s already enough of that there. I’m just going to do whatever I can to help this team win in whatever way I can and hopefully we grow from last year, win some games and work towards going to the playoffs and then once we get to the playoffs you never know what happens.”
When he had his first “aha” moment in the NFL:
“That first OTA probably. It kind of sinks in that you’re finally here. We haven’t played football in such a long time as rookies because we have been going through the draft process but when you finally get a chance to go out and play and then the veterans are finally there, I think it sets in that this is the real deal and you’re here. You can’t let it affect you but you kind of soak it all in, have fun and go out and play football just like we have always done.”
Whether being a professional baseball player has helped him in his transition to the NFL:
“Absolutely. You have to know how to prepare and I think professional sports is a lot different than collegiate sports and I think my experience with baseball and how to go about it and how to get better on your own, because in baseball there is coaching there obviously but you have to go get it. It’s your career and they’re not going to be there to push you along the way. It’s the same thing here. You go about your business and you do whatever it takes for you to get better. Everybody learns differently and everybody studies differently and everybody does something different so there’s a lot of similarities from that standpoint but obviously football and baseball are completely different but I think definitely being a professional helped me learn to how prepare and what it takes for me to get ready to play on Sundays and Mondays.”
What he has heard from the Browns about his role with the team in 2012:
“I haven’t heard anything. Basically they just said we want you to come in and compete. I’m still learning and there’s a lot of this offense that they haven’t put in yet and I’m learning day by day so obviously there are going to be mistakes made but they just want me to come in, learn and get better. I think the rest will take care of itself. Obviously I want to be the guy. We all want to be the guy but for me personally, I feel like I need to do whatever I can on my part to prove to the rest of the guys that I’m able to go out and get the job done.”
Whether he would change anything in his past if he had the opportunity to do some things over:
“I would do the exact same thing that I did. Being able to pursue a dream and play professional baseball and the way everything turned out I mean my opportunity as an 18-year-old kid to go play for the Yankees and be their first pick and there was a little chunk of money involved and it was too good to pass up. I wouldn’t change one thing about it. I think it has really helped me get to the position I’m in now and I’m blessed to be in the position. I would do it exactly the way I did it.”