CINCINNATI Sometimes the best of preparations for a football game take place over a good meal as opposed to on a practice field.
Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden took some of his new teammates out for Sushi last week. Included on the guest list were rookie running back Trent Richardson and receiver Greg Little.
All three played well in a 34-27 loss to the Bengals Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. Weeden was 26-of-37 for 322 yards and two touchdowns. Richardson was spectacular in rushing for 109 yards and one touchdown on 19 carries and catching four passes for 36 yards and one touchdown. Little, who didn't catch a pass in the opener against the Eagles, caught five passes for 57 yards and a 24-yard touchdown.
"He finally took me out to eat Friday night," Little said. "So I caught a touchdown for us."
Richardson was the offensive force the Browns envisioned when they traded up one spot to select him with the third overall draft choice. He showed strength on inside carries and on a 32-yard touchdown run on a draw play he exhibited the ability to get outside and turn on his speed.
Richardson's skills as a receiver were on display when he hauled in a pass on a swing route and made some defenders miss while running through other potential tacklers on a 23-yard touchdown play.
"It was a much better game for me," Richardson said. "I wouldn't call it complete because we didn't win. As far as having more effort out there and being on top of my game and knowing everything I have to do, I think it was way better."
Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga definitely pumped up Richardson with comments last week that he didn't see anything special in Richardson.
"I used it as motivation," Richardson said. "I even talked to him after the game and he said there were some messed up words in there. 'I respect your game.' I said, 'We're playing football. It doesn't matter what you said.' We're just out there having fun playing football."
Weeden did more than take a few teammates out to dinner. He put in numerous hours of film study to make sure he didn't come close to duplicating the 5.1 passer rating he compiled against the Eagles.
"I knew I'd be able to put it behind me," Weeden said. "I've got that 24-hour rule. It never crept in, but last week wasn't the way I wanted it to go. A true competitor a guy that's mentally tough will bounce back and correct the mistakes he made. For the most part I think I did."
Weeden fell asleep at one point watching film. He thinks the long hours paid off.
"Last week I was extremely upset with the way I played," he said. "I felt like I let the defense down. I did everything in my power not to do that this week. We have something to build off. That's the positive."