OSU's Brandon Weeden says there's no doubt he will be a better QB this season
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
4/06/11 at 3:28 AM
Related story: Q&A with OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden.
STILLWATER - During a span of several weeks in November and December, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy repeatedly expressed what he believed were the benefits of one more college football season for quarterback Brandon Weeden.
"If he played another 12 games or so, he could really elevate himself into a really high draft pick" in 2012, Gundy insisted.
Immediately after OSU completed the 2010 season with an Alamo Bowl victory and 11-2 finish, Weeden and All-American wide receiver Justin Blackmon shifted into decision mode: Would they enter the 2011 NFL draft or return for another season in Stillwater?
It is believed that the NFL Draft Advisory Board projected Weeden as a third-round pick, with the possibility of climbing to the second round. On Jan. 12, Weeden and Blackmon announced that they both would stay with the Cowboys, which could result in a top-10 preseason ranking in August.
"There's no doubt, I will become a better quarterback," Weeden said last week. "I think (Gundy) is right. He told me that before I made my decision, and at the time I didn't really believe him. Looking back, I think he's probably right."
As a junior and a first-year starter last season, with Dana Holgorsen as the offensive coordinator, Weeden became OSU's first all-conference quarterback in 78 years. He became the program's first 4,000-yard passer, breaking numerous school records.
Now, as the Cowboys stride toward the April 16 Orange-White game and the end of the spring-practice period, the 27-year-old Weeden works with a new coordinator, Todd Monken. If that was the Gundy-Monken mission this spring - to make the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Weeden a more polished QB - what is the status of that quest? Is it happening?
If he completed a school-record 66.9 percent of his passes last season, what can Weeden do to get beyond the 70 percent mark?
"One thing he's going to get better in is the process of making decisions," Monken said. "It's how fast he can process (and) how fast he can spit the ball out.
"If you look at statistics, it's hard to find (areas in which improvement is required). They didn't give up many sacks. They didn't throw a lot of interceptions. (Completed a) high percentage. High QB rating. So you're sitting there thinking, 'Holy cow.' But you can process things just a little faster in terms of making decisions."
Blackmon's assessment: "You can always improve on reading coverages. (Weeden) is not just relying on me (or) the deep ball. He's going through his reads and he's hitting his shots."
Wide receiver Michael Harrison says, "To me, he's the same guy. The same old man. The same Weeden. Out there throwing bullets to everybody in practice."
Instead of preparing for this month's NFL draft, Weeden continues to fire footballs for the Cowboys while looking forward to his graduation next month. He receives a degree in business management.
Asked whether he has second-guessed himself since making the decision to stay, Weeden replied, "No. I really haven't. I don't even think about it."
Entering his senior season, Weeden has the fourth-best career pass efficiency mark in major-college football. He trails only Kellen Moore of Boise State, Andrew Luck of Stanford and Case Keenum of Houston.
"I think (Weeden) understands what we're trying to accomplish even more than last year," Gundy said. "Todd is putting his twist on this style of offense, and I think it's going to help us and it's going to help Brandon.
"He continues to throw well. His body is in good shape. I expect him to play well and move up in the (2012) draft."
A review of Brandon Weeden's 2010 season - his first as Oklahoma State's starting quarterback:
- Led Cowboys to 11-2 record, a share of the Big 12 South title and an Alamo Bowl victory over Arizona. It was the first 11-win season in school history.
- All-Big 12 first team. Not since 1932 had an OSU quarterback been an all-conference selection.
Single-season school records
Passing yards: 4,277 (old record was 3,145, set by Josh Fields in 2002).
Total offense: 4,209 yards (old record was 3,671, set by Zac Robinson in 2007).
TD passes: 34 (old record was 31, set by Fields in 2002).
Pass attempts: 511 (old record was 408, set by Fields in 2002).
Pass completions: 342 (old record was 226, set by Fields in 2002).
Completion percentage: 66.9 (old record was 64.9, set by Robinson in 2008).
Weeden's single-game records
Pass completions: 34 (old record was 30, set Aso Pogi against Colorado in 2000 and matched by Robinson against Texas in 2007).
Passing yards: 435 (old record was 430, set by Robinson against Texas in 2007).
- Seven games of at least 300 passing yards. Three games of at least 400 yards (Tulsa, Baylor, Texas).
- During the first half against Tulsa, Weeden passed for 328 yards and five TDs.
- Had at least two TD passes in 11 of 13 games. Had at least three TD passes against Washington State, Tulsa, Louisiana-Lafayette, Baylor and Kansas).
- In every game, Weeden had at least one completion of at least 38 yards.
- Completed better than 70 percent of his passes in five games.
- Against Baylor, Weeden completed 81 percent of his passes (34-of-42).
Original Print Headline: Can OSU QB Brandon Weeden become even better? 'There's no doubt,' Weeden says
Bill Haisten 918-581-8397
Brandon Weeden, shown during spring practice last month, could set even more records this season after a record-shattering junior campaign last season. ZACH GRAY/Tulsa World