Brandon Weeden is admittedly a little tired of hearing about his illustrious "maturity." Yes, he's 28 years old, surrounded by NFL rookies six or seven years his junior, but he's not Father Time roaming midfield.
"Yeah, I'm more mature maybe than some other rookies, by just what I've been through, but I'm still a kid," Weeden told Around the League on Wednesday. "I still have a lot of fun, I mean it's not like I'm old, senile and can't get around and I'm boring. I'm a happy-go-lucky guy that enjoys being around my teammates. I always told my freshmen and sophomores at Oklahoma State, 'You guys keep me young.'
"Obviously it's blown out of proportion, you know that, I mean it's gotten to the point now -- I'm 28, yeah, but what I'm about to step into is a difficult task."
Weeden knows it's been decades since the Browns had a franchise passer that struck fear into opponents. People keep reminding Weeden about Bernie Kosar. Then they bring up the 238 signal-callers since who couldn't do what Kosar did. The citizens of Cleveland are antsy for someone to steer the ship out of an endless night.
"You can tell just by the little interactions I've had with the fans to this point," Weeden said. "I mean they are starving to win games. And if we did, if we can go out and win some games, that city will be elated. ... As a player, you want to do that for the fans. If we can win some games and go to the playoffs, that city will revolt. It's an unbelievable atmosphere. That's the goal."
As Weeden left us for a visit with NFL Network, he talked about the Steelers. The fans he's met bring up Pittsburgh repeatedly. The two teams are rivals, but the one-sided nature of their battles in recent years leaves the Baltimore Ravens a more immediate threat to Pittsburgh's interests. That dynamic cuts deep in Cleveland.
Weeden acknowledged the change starts right there. In the AFC North. The challenge is open to any Browns signal-caller ready to take the plunge: Drop a hammer on the Steelers -- another on the Ravens and Bengals -- and never pay for a steak again in Northeast Ohio. That's the task at hand.
"I know, I know," Weeden laughed. "I've heard that more than once."