What Took So Long?

A sigh of relief could be heard around the country from a myriad of football experts and quite possibly a large number of fantasy football players. That's because many think they are going to pick up the sleeper of the year at quarterback when they hold off at that position and stock up on wide receivers and a choice running back before selecting Cleveland's Brandon Weeden.

The experts prediction that Weeden would earn the Browns starting quarterback job is now more than a projection, it's fact. The question or mystery we are wondering about is did it need to take this long.

I cover Oklahoma State in Stillwater, covered Brandon Weeden in college, and I am not an expert on the Cleveland Browns, only a close observer now in watching Weeden and Josh Cooper with the Browns.

Here is my opinion, and it's just an opinion. When I was interning in college at WFAA-TV in Dallas for Verne Lundquist, a true Hall of Famer in my book. I learned the WFAA philosophy. In some media organizations at the time if you got beat on a story the response was ignore or downplay it as a minor story. Break a story and blow it out of proportion.

WFAA encouraged its reporters to take a story that somebody else may have broke and do a better job on it, making it their own. Do such a good job that in the end WFAA would own the story and viewers would think they broke it.

What does this have to do with Weeden and the Browns? New owner Jimmy Haslam bought the Browns last season, long after the previous Browns administration and front office had opted to take Weeden with their second first-round pick. Watching the Travel Network series that followed the Browns last season I never got the feeling Haslam was totally on board with that and that Weeden was his quarterback of the future.

Haslam hired Michael Lombardi as GM/head of player personnel and I think that the trade for Jason Campbell was to give the Browns a stop gap. New head coach Rod Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner were hired to put the puzzle together. Just a guess but I think they were told to be highly critical and extremely prudent in making a quarterback decision.

Showing the natural ability that he displayed at Oklahoma State and the determination that can be found throughout his family and that of his wife's family (Melanie Weeden's dad is Hall of Fame high school basketball coach Paul Meuser), Brandon made the Cleveland quarterback position his own.

Now some advice from Oklahoma, Jimmy Haslam and the Browns front office needs to make Weeden their quarterback. Forget who the owner, GM, or head coach was when Weeden was drafted and make him the face of your franchise along with the ultra-talented Trent Richardson.

It might be amazing what Browns fans will think of their team and owner when Weeden and Richardson take them on the kind of ride I think they are capable of producing. It's time for the WFAA approach, make him your own.


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