New Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden appeared relaxed and comfortable when he met the media Friday.
Apparently, Weeden isn't aware of the challenge he's about to face and the history of failure of those who preceded him. As the '60s TV show introduction stated: He's about to enter another dimension in time that is "The Twilight Zone."
It's a world where receivers drop passes and offensive linemen are adept at the look-out block. The Red Zone isn't a launching pad for touchdowns, but instead the base for Phil Dawson field goals.
Maybe it's best Weeden doesn't hear all the horror stories. No one should tell him about the time Tim Couch broke a finger when some over-zealous backup linebacker named Ryan Taylor crashed into him on the final play of a meaningless practice. Don't let him know that Jeff Garcia once had a passer rating of zero against the Dallas Cowboys, who were far removed from their "Doomsday Defense" days.
Weeden needs to enter the challenge with a clear, open mind and not be discouraged when Seneca Wallace gives him a cold shoulder when he asks for advice.
He needs to have confidence that he can be the one that finally breaks through the barriers and becomes the quarterback that will lead the Browns out of the depths of the NFL standings.
Weeden will have plenty of support along the way from men whose reputations are riding on his right arm. If he doesn't succeed, more than one career will take a hit.
General manager Tom Heckert might have made the phone call to Radio City Music Hall, but this pick has team president Mike Holmgren's name written all over it. Quarterback is his area of expertise. Weeden isn't a Brown today if Holmgren didn't extend his blessings.
This pick will define Holmgren's tenure with the franchise. If Weeden is the real deal, Holmgren is a genius. If it doesn't work out as planned, he will head west having failed to make the Browns prominent again in the NFL. He'll have time to share war stories over a couple glasses of wine with Carmen Policy.
Although opinions are all over the place concerning Weeden, no one knows for sure how he'll pan out. When you look at his statistics and see that he led Oklahoma State to wins over Stanford, Baylor and Texas Tech, it's hard not to be impressed. Each of those teams was led by a quarterback selected ahead of Weeden Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Ryan Tannehill.
Everyone is a draft expert at this time of the year. The problem is that the magazine analyses that everyone reads are written by people that probably have seen the top prospects play no more than once or twice.
Some of those magazines probably had poor reports on Tom Brady before he was picked in the sixth round of the 2000 draft. A typical analysis might have read: "Not very athletic. Doesn't move well in the pocket. Ball sails when he throws deep outs. Doesn't like to get hit."
That's the one that gets me. Who does like to get hit!
The positive as of now is that someone other than Colt McCoy will be the starting quarterback. You have to like McCoy's competitiveness and toughness, but he doesn't have a NFL-caliber throwing arm and is surprisingly inaccurate on his short passes.
McCoy isn't a bust. Low third-round draft choices aren't expected to do anything more than hopefully develop into a serviceable player and be a caretaker until someone better arrives.
We hear all the time how the NFL has evolved into a quarterback-driven league. Yards after catch (YACs as they are referred to by coaches) have become more important than average yards per carry.
That's why the Browns didn't wait until the second round to pick Weeden. They think he will be the answer to their offensive problems along with the power running of Trent Richardson.
For Holmgren's sake and for his legacy, Weeden better be good.