By Tony Grossi
Extra Points …
Good viewing for Browns fans: Oklahoma State strung together every one of the 39 touchdown plays thrown by Brandon Weeden to Justin Blackmon. You can view it here.
You have to be careful about judging highlight videos, of course, because they don’t include bad plays, just the, well, highlights. But certainly this is a representative sampling of the new Browns’ quarterback. And here are a few observations:
No pass rush: On not a single play of the 39 touchdowns was Weeden under any pass pressure of note.
Almost nothing under center: Every pass was thrown from the shotgun formation except one.
Amazing accuracy: I’m no expert on breaking down game video, but I counted 31 perfect throws in 39 touchdown passes. I would give Blackmon credit for making four catches I would consider very good and five I would consider good. These were throws slightly behind him or high enough to cause him to leap. On some of the plays, Blackmon took short passes and accelerated past defenders to the end zone, but the ball was precisely where it needed to be for Blackmon to separate instantly.
Weeden was particularly accurate on two routes that are prevalent in the West Coast offense – the fade and the inside slant.
I counted 11 TDs on the fade where Weeden dropped in the ball where only Blackmon could catch it. I have not seen a Browns quarterback deliver the fade pass consistently since Bernie Kosar.
I counted nine TDs on quick, inside slants. Again, the accuracy of those throws are absolutely essential. Those were the passes I just didn’t see Colt McCoy complete enough. For whatever reason – I think it had something to do with his height – McCoy didn’t put the ball where it needed to be. I saw one slant on which Blackmon pulled in off his back hip. The others had perfect placement.
One read: One of the questions about Weeden is if he can complete a progression of reads and find open receivers on his second or third read. It looked to me on this video that Weeden had only one read on 38 of his 39 TDs to Blackmon. It was Blackmon and nobody else. Only the first TD shown did Weeden look first to a receiver on his left, saunter out of the pocket to the right and then throw to Blackmon.
Now, none of this means Weeden can’t learn to do the things he’ll need to do to succeed in the NFL game. But it was interesting watching this video how unbelievably easy the pitch-and-game came to Weeden and Blackmon against Big 12 defenses.
Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and www.espncleveland.com.
He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 44 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Email your “Hey Tony” questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi
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