Brandon Weeden is the new starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. The team drafted him out of Oklahoma State in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft. He was selected 22nd overall. Given that he's going to be a starting quarterback in this league, it might be kinda important to get to know him better so when your team goes up against Cleveland you're not left asking, "Who is Brandon Weeden?"
Well, we here at Heavy.com are here to help you. Here are the top 10 facts you need to know about Brandon Weeden:
1. Brandon Weeden Played Football, Basketball, and Baseball in High School
As a football player he led his high school team to a victory in the state semifinals in the school's first-ever playoff appearance and was named the team MVP and offensive player of the year. He was also an accomplished baseball player and basketball player. In baseball he was an all-state player and good enough to be drafted in the Major Leagues.
2. Brandon Weeden Played Professional Baseball
Brandon Weeden was selected in the second round of the 2002 MLB draft by the New York Yankees. He was selected ahead of Curtis Granderson. He was soon sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of a 2003 trade for Kevin Brown. Eventually he wound up with the Kansas City Royals befor finishing his professional baseball career in 2006 with the Class-A High Desert Mavericks.
Fittingly, given that he's a quarterback in the NFL now, Weeden was a pitcher. Of course, he gave up a bit too many runs, hence why he's a quarterback now.
3. Weeden is a 28-Year-Old Rookie
28 is a bit old for a rookie. A little uncommon. For a reference point LeBron James has been a pro for nine years and is the best player in basketball at age 27.
As previously mentioned, Weeden was drafted out of high school to play baseball and had a five-year pro baseball career. He then went to college at Oklahoma State University where he had a very successful college career for several years, bringing us to where he is now, a guy who is older than Aaron Rodgers and will turn 29 during his rookie season.
His age and the risk that comes with it is actually the only reason he wasn't a top 10 pick in the 2012 NFL draft. He easily has to skills to be considered worth one of those picks. In fact, I'd argue he was at least the third best quarterback in the draft and possibly the most likely to have the best rookie season. The only questions about him are how long will it take him to develop and how many truly prime years can you get out of him?
This is why out of all the teams in the NFL, he made the most sense for the Cleveland Browns. They needed someone who could step in right away and compete and restore some level of respectability to the offense. After Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, there's no one else in the running. The last thing the Browns needed was yet another project player with subpar talent.
4. He Can Hit a 5-Square-Inch Clay Pigeon Traveling at Over 43 MPH with a Spiral
This video is from ESPN's Sports Science and it's incredibly informative, but also really just cool to watch. Cleveland fans have been hit hard a lot over the years, but it has to be somewhat heartening to see your new quarterback exhibit his strength and accuracy and getting to imagine his arm as a literal shotgun.
Then again Sports Science has a tendency to make me excited about every single player they profile. Which is another reminder that everyone in professional sports is a ridiculous athlete, the extent of which we can't even fathom as we call them bums who can't run from our recliners surrounded by buffalo wings.
5. His Wife is Helping Him Prepare for the NFL
The offense Weeden is being asked to run in the pros is way more complicated than the one he ran in college. In fact, in college he didn't even call plays, they just used signals to determine what play they were going to run. One of the hardest aspects of learning a new offense is learning all the verbiage and Weeden has no basis for any of it. So, he's needed a little help.
In steps his lovely wife, Melanie Meuser (I know her name is Melanie Weeden now, but Melanie Meuser is so much fun to say — she sounds like a comic book character) to help out:
So at night I had my wife call a play — she was butchering every play, by the way — and I would say 'em back to her. Now I’m good. I’ve got a feel for what we’re doing, I understand where we’re running the football, what motions we’re doing and it’s a lot better now than it was my first time out.
6. He's a Very Good Tipper
— Mitchell Haft (@HaftaShaft) August 11, 2012
Not only did this delivery boy receive a fat tip from Mr. Weeden, Weeden remembered who he was, retweeted his mention, and thanked him for his service.
— Brandon Weeden (@bweeden3) August 12, 2012
I don't know about you, but I tend to judge people based on how they treat people in the service industry. I'm sure anyone who has worked for tips does the same. So, this is gold star stuff right here. Well done, sir.
Weeden also can be generous when it comes to charitable causes:
Coach Brooks and
@bweeden3 both donated $1,000 to Make-A-Wish foundation in my name tonight!! Thank you!! More kids get their wishes!
— Lorelei Decker (@LoreleiDecker) July 15, 2012
Speaking of charitable causes ...
7. He Has an Annual Golf Challenge to Benefit the Oklahoma City Children's Hospital
Now, this is pretty cool. Nearly every professional athlete seems to have a foundation these days. Most of them seem to be an excuse to hire their family and friends. This one seems like the exception that actually accomplishes something.
The charity's main event is the "Swing from the Heart" Golf Challenge, which raises money for the Oklahoma City Children's Hospital, with a special focus on increasing the number of pediatric cardiology surgeons. Brandon and his wife were inspired to start this program by the story of a 5-year-old boy named Gavin who was born with half a heart (see video above).
Weeden is working with the Children's Hospital Foundation to help make sure that all children like Gavin can get the very best of medical care. For more information visit Weeden's website.
8. He Hasn't Officially Been Named the Browns' Starter Yet
I've been referring to Weeden as the Browns' starter, but that he hasn't officially been given that title. However, it would be silly to pretend he's not going to be. He started the first preseason game and is starting the second.
Not to mention, why would a team spend a first-round draft pick on a 28-year-old rookie they don't intend to start? He's not getting any younger. If they want to maximize their investment, they'll start him right away. Plus, he's definitely the most talented QB currently on the roster.
I don't know what the Browns are waiting for.
9. He Set Several Records for Oklahoma State University
Here are the Oklahoma State University records Brandon Weeden holds:
Passing Yards in a Season (4,727)
Total Offense in a Season (4,625)
Completed Passes in a Season (408)
Completion Percentage in a Season (72.3)
Passing Yards in a Single Game (502 vs. Kansas State)
Completions in a Single Game (47 vs. Texas A&M)
Wow. And that season completion percentage is what really stands out to me. I know it was college and the spread offense, but still. Wow.
He also beat Andrew Luck head-to-head at the Fiesta Bowl. He also beat Robert Griffin III head-to-head earlier in the year.
10. He Will be the 17th Quarterback to Start for the Cleveland Browns Since 1999
Over the last 13 years, the Cleveland Browns have started 16 different quarterbacks. Weeden will be number 17. He's also the third quarterback they've selected in the first round over that time. This is precisely why he's so important to them. And why he's worth any risk his age may pose.
I'll say this, out of the 17, he's definitely the most talented. With Brandon Weedon, have the Browns finally solved their quarterback woes? I can't wait to find out.
Oh, and before you go, this is what Brandon Weeden looked like as a child:
Awww, isn't he precious? And if Brandon Weeden's family would ever like to publicly embarrass him with childhood pictures such as a particularly embarrassing Halloween costume please contact us here at Heavy.com and I promise we'll help the whole world laugh at him with you.