CLEVELAND - Hurried, flustered and hit - Brandon Weeden found himself at the mercy of the Dolphins’ front seven often Sunday afternoon in the Browns’ 23-10 Week 1 loss.
"They get after the passer. They create havoc there,” Weeden said.
Six times Weeden was sacked and sixteen times hit as the Browns' offensive line failed to contain the Dolphins' pass rush.
"Miami has an outstanding front between the pressure patterns and just the guys they have up front," Head Coach Rob Chudzinski said.
It's a group paced by Cameron Wake, the fearsome end who Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philibin says just "loves football." He also loves getting to the quarterback, which he did against the Browns, recording 2.5 sacks.
Weeden called it a learning experience and said there was no reason to point fingers at anybody.
It was hard though not to notice the struggles in particular of Oneil Cousins. Transitioning from tackle to guard, Cousins was called for four penalties.
“He’s the best we have and he’s gonna get the job done for us,” Chudzinski said.
For Weeden, game one of 2013 invoked memories of the 2012 opener in which, as a rookie starting his first game, he threw four interceptions in a loss to the Eagles.
Against the Dolphins Sunday, he threw three first-half interceptions, two on deflections.
“First game out of the blocks is one of the hardest games of the year because you don’t have a great idea what you’re going to do,” Weeden said. “The mental errors are the ones that we’ll look back and reflect on.”
Chudzinski said his quarterback was harassed by the Dolphins' pressure and it affected his throws.
Despite that, Weeden said he felt more confident in his abilities in his second NFL opener and that his attitude has not changed.
“I’m still extremely excited. This is not the way we wanted to start. We’re gonna scratch, claw, fight, do whatever we can to put ourselves in positions to win games,” Weeden said.
Next week the challenge will be a Ravens defense that was obliterated by Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense to the tune of 49 points Thursday night.
No doubt they will be hungry coming off the shellacking and playing in their home opener. That means Weeden has to hope his line can improve its play or the hits won't stop soon.
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