Weeden returns from combine satisfied - and busy

Brandon Weeden returned to Oklahoma on Tuesday after spending most of the past two months away, and his wife could hardly wait to get him home - and put him to work.

The Weedens, you see, will be moving soon and Melanie could use a hand.

"Start packing boxes," Brandon said of Melanie's first request.

Where they are headed will be determined by the NFL's three-day draft in late April. When the Oklahoma State quarterback will be selected was at least in part determined by his last two months on the road, which culminated with four days at Indianapolis for the scouting combine.

Weeden spent about six weeks training at Athletes' Performance in Scottsdale, Ariz., working in a week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

During that time, he got to see Melanie for about a handful of days.

"It was like minor league baseball all over again," Weeden said about spending so much time on the road.

The former minor league pitcher and New York Yankees' draft pick was happy with the results in Indy.

The four long days started with 5 1/2 hours of medical exams at the hospital.

"MRI, X-rays, blood tests, EKG. All that stuff," Weeden said.

Friday was mostly meetings and interviews with teams. Weeden had five formal interviews and some informal meetings.

At 28 years old, Weeden is about 6 years older than most of the players who will be drafted. Selecting a player who is already in his prime years could be a concern for some teams. On the other hand, Weeden's maturity could work in his favor - especially when he was meeting with coaches, coordinators and general managers.

"They ask some difficult questions. They want to see how you react to them," he said.

Some teams made Weeden watch film of himself playing for Oklahoma State, usually making mistakes.

"They wanted you to explain yourself," he said. "I'm like `Well, that (stinks)."'

On Saturday, doctors got the results of all those tests and the players got their physicals.

"They poked, prodded, pulled and yanked," Weeden said. "Everything was good."

It was finally time for Weeden to show his stuff on the field Sunday.

While the two top-rated quarterbacks in this draft class, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, did not take part in the throwing drills, Weeden decided he would show off his best asset at Lucas Oil Stadium.

It can be a bit risky for quarterbacks to take part in the passing drills at the combine. Throwing to unfamiliar receivers can make a good throw turn out poorly.

"I wanted to show I was willing to compete," he said.

His fastball clocked in on the radar gun at 59 mph. Weeden said he was hoping to reach 60, but still it was the best mark in his group and one of the best at the combine.

"People had told me that some people were questioning my arm strength going into it," Weeden said. "That just cracked me up."

Throwing to receivers running various routes and using three- and five-step drops, Weeden hit 16 of 28 passes, according to ESPN.com.

Weeden said he was happy with his footwork and "the ball came out of my hands nice."

He left Indianapolis satisfied Sunday night. He went to the combine projected as a possible second-round pick and did nothing to severely damage those chances.

Weeden returned to Arizona to pick up his belongings at what had become his home away from home since early January. By Tuesday evening he was in Oklahoma, heading out to have dinner with Melanie, his parents and two younger brothers.

He said he planned to take a day off before he resumed the workouts he was given by trainers at Athletes' Performance.

Oklahoma State hold its pro day on March 9, when Weeden will show off for the scouts again, but on his own turf and with his own receivers - including All-American Justin Blackmon.

And who knows? Maybe Weeden can get some of his former teammates to help with the packing, too.


Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP

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