BEREA - When quarterback Brandon Weeden and running back Trent Richardson woke up last Monday the last thing either wanted to do was look at the morning newspaper or listen to sports talk radio.
Since sticking their heads under a pillow and staying in bed all day wasn't an option, the two Browns rookies went about the day trying to forget the events of the previous day until the morning film session. That's when both had to address the mistakes they made in a 17-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and begin the process of making corrections.
The task has been much larger for Weeden, who had about as rough a start to his NFL career as is possible. Much has been made about his 5.1 passer rating, which is just a number some mathematician came up with through a complicated rating system. The most important numbers are his completion percentage (34.3) and the number of interceptions he threw (four).
"It can't be any worse than it was the first week, and I mean that jokingly," Weeden said. "We're all going to have rough stretches. I think obviously mine was the first week. I look at the mistakes I made, and you guys saw them. Guys were wide open and I missed them. That's not my character. That's not the way I usually throw the football."
One of the interceptions came on a pass that receiver Greg Little couldn't handle. Two others were on deep passes along the sideline that he should have put more air under for receiver Travis Benjamin. The fourth and fatal throw that clinched the win for the Eagles was an overthrow for Mohamed Massaquoi.
By the end of the game Weeden's body language was anything but positive. He's confident things will be better starting Sunday in Cincinnati.
"I was up here pretty much all day (Monday)," Weeden said. "I'm just really harping on the mistakes I made and trying to correct those going into this week. They are a little bit different style of defense, but still a very good defense."
Offensive coordinator Brad Childress has the challenge of trying to keep Weeden on course. He will divert some of the work to quarterbacks coach Mark Whipple.
"That's part father-confessor, part psychiatrist. Hug them and help them back off the floor," Childress said. "That's what happens in that quarterback room. It's a weekly deal. The same way as sticking a pin in it when you think you're better than you really are. It's easier to coach a humble guy. He's a humble guy anyway. Get him back on the horse and keep shooting. You have to keep shooting and not all of a sudden go into the fetal position."
Richardson was bottled up the entire game by an aggressive Eagles' defense, finishing with 39 yards on 19 carries. He expects better results as he moves further away from Aug. 9 knee surgery.
"My expectations are always going to be high," Richardson said. "I always set my goals high and the sky is always the limit as I see it as how good I can be or how good this team can be as a group and as a unit how much we can come together."
In addition to improving his performance level, Richardson can also help Weeden.
"Brandon's been up-tempo," Richardson said. "He knows that we're all behind him and we've got to make sure that he knows that we're all behind him. He's not down on himself at all. Everybody knows they're going to have some ups and downs and Brandon knows that, too. We don't put that on Brandon. We should have put him in better positions."