Rookie Troubles: Brandon Weeden And Fumbling

Cleveland Brown's rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden hasn't had a completely smooth transition to the pro game. He's definitely had his high points, but this point is to focus on one of his low points, fumbling. In the three preseason games he's played, he's fumbled three times, turning it over twice. This is something that simply can not continue into the season. Lets look at the first fumble, against the Detroit Lions.

Fumble1a_medium

On this play, Weeden has the time to check this ball down to the receiver circled in red. You can see the defensive line of the lions has pretty much broken through, but Weeden has time to get rid of the ball.

Fumble1b_medium

But for whatever reason, Weeden double clutches, giving the defender an extra step to get there.

Fumble1c_medium

By the time Weeden finally goes to pull the trigger, the defensive lineman of the Lions is there to knock the ball loose. The Lions recover and start with good field position. While the line is to blame for the pressure getting there, I put this completely on Weeden. He had the time to check it down, he saw the man wide open, and he double clutched the ball rather than throwing it. I've watched the play multiple times, and can't think why he wouldn't throw it straight away when he sensed the pressure was arriving.

Moving on to the first fumble in the Eagles game.

Fumble2a_medium

Now admittedly, this is a tough situation for Weeden to turn into. He's coming off a play-action, looking for a screen pass. But, as you can see, the Eagles defensive tackle comes unblocked. This is a pretty terrifying thing to turn your head around to.

Fumble2b_medium

But here's my problem with Weeden here. He takes the ball up and away from his body, as if he's going to attempt a quick throw. This puts the ball in a vulnerable position that the defensive tackle and easily swat out. Weeden should have tucked the ball in his gut and taken the sack.

Fumble2c_medium

As expected, the tackle swats the ball loose, and the Eagles jump on it for a turnover. Sometimes a quarterback has to accept a busted play and learn to fight another day. It might be slightly harsh to blame him here, as it was just a case of a rookie trying too hard to make a play when there was nothing on.

His third fumble of preseason was sloppy from my point of view.

Fumble3a_medium

Weeden had dropped back, felt pressure and began to step up in the pocket. But just as he goes to step up, he takes his left hand off the ball, making it less secure. As you can see, he's just about to get hit by the defensive end of the Eagles.

Fumble3b_medium

With the ball not secured by both hands, Weeden loses control of it when the defensive end collides into the back of him. One hand is often not enough to secure the football, especially when you feel pressure and are forced to step up in the pocket. Weeden should have been aware to the pressure and kept two hands on the ball until he was ready to throw.

Luckily for Weeden, these fumbles are all easily corrected. But at the same time you could argue if they are easily correctable, should they have happened in the first place? I'll leave that for you guys to discuss in the comments.

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