The Cleveland Browns did not use the second of their two first-round picks in the 2012 NFL Draft on 28-year-old Brandon Weeden to ease him along slowly. No, the Browns planned on starting him right away and named him the starter ahead of Colt McCoy -- who wants to remain in Cleveland -- before their first preseason game.
During a Monday morning appearance on NFL Network's "NFL AM", Weeden said he's not putting an additional pressure on himself as he takes command of a franchise that has gone 68-140 and made just one postseason appearance since returning to the NFL in 1999.
"You know, I don't feel any pressure," Weeden said. "I mean, obviously every Browns fan is starving to win games and I hear about it pretty much on a daily basis. But, I tell them, just like I tell the people in Cleveland, if I put any more added pressure on myself than what's already there, it's going to make playing on Sundays very difficult.
"It's already hard enough to play this position in this league, and so I don't really try to put any added pressure that doesn't need to be there on myself because, like I said, that's the last thing I need. I understand the history, I understand how many quarterbacks have played here since '99 and the whole deal. But I think that if you look at the guys around me, we've got some really good pieces in place and I think, being a quarterback, that makes you a better player."
The Browns also are undergoing an ownership change, with Tennessee businessman Jimmy Haslam purchasing the club from Randy Lerner earlier this month.
That's led to questions about the long-term futures of president Mike Holmgren, general manager Tom Heckert and head coach Pat Shurmur, but Weeden says those talks haven't been a distraction in the locker room.
"As a player, and I'll be completely honest, we really don't hear about it," Weeden said. "We realize what went on with ownership, we understood all of that, but those decisions are way over the people's heads that are suiting up in that locker room. I think there are important people up top that make those decisions.
"As players, it's a business; we understand that, we get it. But we can't sit back and talk about who's going to be here, who's not, all this. There's just too many moving parts in this organization, so that's above our heads. Like I said, that's out of our pay scale and we're focused on playing football."