Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Bad move to sit Brandon Weeden in finale
By Jamison Hensley
Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski decided to rest the majority of his starters in Thursday's preseason finale after considering playing them for about one quarter.
This was the right move with running back Trent Richardson. It's the wrong one for quarterback Brandon Weeden.
Yes, both players are in their second years. But the preseason goal with Richardson is to get him to the regular-season opener against Miami as healthy as possible, especially when you consider his injury history. The preseason goal with Weeden is to get him as much playing time as possible.
Weeden turns 30 in October, but he's still young when it comes to playing quarterback. He needs more time developing chemistry with his receivers. He needs more time in his first year in Norv Turner's offensive system. And he needs more time in a game where he can learn from mistakes and not hurt the team. It's the most meaningless game on the schedule, but Weeden can still get something out of it.
Plus, there's something to be said of going into the regular season with momentum. Weeden had a great start in the first two preseason games, leading the Browns to scores on five of six drives. Last week, he finished a deflating 12-of-25 for 105 yards. That's probably not the performance that Weeden wants to have going into games that count.
The Browns are following the popular trend of not playing their starters in the preseason finale. But, unlike Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger, Weeden would benefit from playing.