Weeden Will Play At Least One Half

After Brandon Weeden, the 26-year-old rookie quarterback and the second of the team's first-round draft picks, the Browns will turn over the offense to Colt McCoy. We take an inside look at Thursday's opponent.

BEREA, Ohio — Rookie Brandon Weeden expected tough lessons as Cleveland's new starting quarterback.

One task has him talking to himself.

The No. 22 overall draft pick said after practice Tuesday that he's learning to call plays by practicing his speech. New Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress told Weeden to work on complicated calls in front of a mirror.

"I can't say I've done it in front of a mirror, but I did talk to myself in my hotel room last week," Weeden said.

And that was before fumbling, throwing an interception and going just 3-for-9 for 62 yards in his debut in Detroit. However, it didn't rattle his confidence. If anything, it made Weeden more determined, according to coach Pat Shurmur.

"He's a very resilient guy. So when he has a bad play or two, or a bad series or two, I see him bounce back extremely well," Shurmur said.

Weeden said taking only 15 snaps in Detroit made it look worse because he didn't get a chance to get into rhythm. That will change Thursday night in Green Bay, when Weeden and the first-team offense are scheduled to play at least two quarters.

"Numbers are deceiving," Weeden said. "I'm excited to get back out there and correct the mistakes I made last week."

Shurmur wants Weeden to work as much as possible. He expects an efficient offense because of it.

"You like to see completions," Shurmur said. "You like to see if the ball is thrown down field, again you get completions. You obviously want to score points, but you want to see the quarterback manage scoring drives and do it efficiently."

Childress coached star quarterbacks Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia and Brett Favre in Minnesota. He's impressed with Weeden's skills and aggressiveness, and doesn't want to hold him back from developing the reputation as a go-for-broke passer.

"You rarely want to sit on that ability," Childress said. "A lot of times discretion is the better part of that valor of trying to stick it through the eye of a needle. But we want him to be aggressive. We want him to keep shooting."

As Weeden develops, a battle remains for the backup spot. Former starter Colt McCoy will be the No. 2 man in Green Bay, followed by Seneca Wallace.

"There is no big reason. That's just the way I want to do it," Shurmur said.

BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Phil Taylor will be back at starting defensive tackle at some point in midseason when he recovers from pectoral surgery, but in the meantime Scott Paxson, John Hughes and Billy Winn are fighting for playing time. Hughes is first on the depth chart and started against the Lions, but the battle for the starting job is far from over. Paxson started at the other tackle spot because coach Pat Shurmur chose to rest Ahtyba Rubin precisely so he could get a better look at the three contenders. Rubin is expected to start against the Packers on Thursday. "I wouldn't get too concerned about those depth charts right now," Shurmur said. "Nobody's earned anything there." Paxson suffered a knee injury in the first half. The extent of the injury hasn't been determined.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Cornerback Buster Skrine suddenly becomes a very important part of the secondary with starting corner Joe Haden facing a four-game suspension because he tested positive for the banned substance Adderall. Plus, Dimitri Patterson, who would start for Haden, injured his right ankle in the preseason opener. Skrine has proven in training camp he is up to the task. He isn't relying just on his pure speed, as he did at times in his rookie season last year. He made two tackles and broke up a pass against the Lions in the preseason opener. Some of the best battles of training camp this summer have been the ones between Skrine and rookie wide receiver Travis Benjamin. They are the fastest players on the team. At this point, the competition is a draw.

ROOKIE REPORT: First- round quarterback Brandon Weeden was 3-of 9-for 62 yards in his pro debut. He lost a fumble and threw an interception. ... Running back Trent Richardson is recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. ... Second-round right tackle Mitchell Schwartz needs seasoning. He was called for a false start and gave up a sack against the Lions. ... Fourth-round pick Travis Benjamin is cementing his spot as the fourth receiver with his speed and hands. He returned punts and kicks vs. Detroit. ... Fourth-round pick James-Michael Johnson continues to work at all three linebacker spots. ... Seventh-round tight end/fullback Brad Smelley is a longshot because the Browns are deep at tight end — including former Packer Evan Moore — and have Owen Marecic at fullback, but Smelley caught a touchdown pass against the Lions and is making a name for himself.

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