Meadville Tribune

Sports

August 23, 2013

NFL: Browns, Colts ready for longest preseason tuneup

INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Luck and Brandon Weeden have come a long way in a year.

The two bright-eyed rookies who took turns staring at Hall of Fame busts during last summer’s rookie symposium are now established starters and franchise cornerstones.

So when they meet again Saturday night, Luck and Weeden will be following a different preseason script — playing at least one half and likely into the third quarter as they try to fine-tune their offenses before the scores and games start counting.

“This is the dress rehearsal, the most extended time, a chance to really go out there and hopefully put some good stuff on tape and if it’s not all good, a chance to fix it before the opener,” Luck said. “So there’s a lot of focus going into this game.”

Not just for the starting quarterbacks in Indianapolis and Cleveland, either.

The Colts (1-1), like most NFL teams, spent this week simulating a regular-season schedule of team meetings, practice and mapping out game plans.

Even longtime veterans such as Robert Mathis and Cory Redding understand this is the one preseason game that matters most.

While nobody should expect to see a flurry of trick plays or complex blitz packages, most starters will stay on the field longer and those on the cut line will get one last chance to impress coaches before the cut down to 75.

For Luck and Weeden, there are other things to work on.

Both are still getting accustomed to new offenses and new offensive coordinators.

Again.

Weeden, who had to win a quarterback competition for the second straight year, has led Cleveland (2-0) on six scoring drives in two games and will be out to prove that new coach Rob Chudzinski made the right call after selecting him as the starter Tuesday.

“I’ve worked hard. I’m excited about what we have going on and our progress,” Weeden said. “Now we just got to keep it rolling. We got to keep going. I feel comfortable. I’m excited. I love this system.”

Luck has never had to contend with that sort of challenge.

He became the incumbent the instant Indy parted ways with Peyton Manning and decided to take Luck with the No. 1 overall draft pick.

But, like Weeden, he’s been far from perfect. Luck came into training camp with three primary goals: Improving his completion percentage, reducing the number of interceptions and winning more games.

But a rash of injuries has made it tough to show the improvement.

Indy is keeping its top two tight ends — Dwayne Allen (right foot) and Coby Fleener (right knee) — on the sideline Saturday. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw (right foot) will miss his third straight game, too, and now starting guard Mike McGlynn will sit out with a bruised knee.

“I think we’ll make some adjustments to really accommodate some of the looks that we expect from Cleveland,” Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton said. “But it’s still our goal to go out and be efficient as an offense.”

Weeden also has a tough task after losing two key running backs with injuries — Dion Lewis (broken leg) and Montario Hardesty (knee surgery) — and working with a receiving group that is still trying to prove itself.

Running back Trent Richardson made his preseason debut last week, and Brandon Jackson, who is trying to win the job as Richardson’s backup, is likely to get extensive playing time against the Colts.

Cleveland also will be without first-round draft pick Barkevious Mingo, who is recovering from a bruised lung.

Those aren’t concerns for the 30-year-old Weeden, who remains confident he can get the job done.

“I wasn’t worried about my end of the stick,” he said. “I knew I was going to do what it took for me to get better in the offseason to do the things that I needed to do. I wasn’t concerned about me. It was just proving to those guys (coaches and teammates) that that hard work did pay off.”

Luck owns one win over Weeden, having beaten the Browns 17-13 last October.

And while winning is always a priority for Luck, the Colts’ franchise quarterback now understands the most important facet of Saturday night’s game is getting the offense in sync in its last real tuneup before the Sept. 8 season opener against Oakland.

“We’ve been game-planning almost to the point as if it was a regular season game,” Luck said. “It’s a chance to play at home again for the last time before the home opener is big, so definitely, definitely echo that same sentiment.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Mitchell Wood FCV’s season comes to an end

    The end of an era.
    So it was with French Creek Valley dropping a 5-4 decision to Albion Post 567 in the Region 8 Tournament at Northwestern High School on Wednesday. For several key players, it was the last time they would put on the blue uniform for head coach Brandon Crum.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meadville falls to NA in Junior League state opener

    The Meadville Junior League All-Stars spent all baseball season perfecting the art of winning.

    July 23, 2014

  • Rookie CB Gilbert signs with Browns

    Justin Gilbert’s got his contract with the Browns. Now he needs a starting job.

    July 23, 2014

  • Bills Camp Bills QB, coach differ on offense’s performance

    Bills quarterback EJ Manuel and coach Doug Marrone had widely conflicting assessments on how the offense performed on the third day of training camp.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • FCV tops Cochranton to advance

    French Creek Valley kept its stay in the Pennsylvania Region 8 American Legion Tournament alive on Tuesday in impressive fashion.

    July 22, 2014

  • Kinter and Neff Error-free defense, hitting propel District 1 to state title

    When Tom Brunot, Doug Hecker and Mark McKissock agreed about a month ago to take on a Senior League softball team they felt fairly confident in their team’s ability to defend its turf with a state championship on the line.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • FCV falls to Millcreek

    It may go down as one of the oddest games in Region 8 history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Meadville captures Section 1 title over DuBois

    For anyone confused about all the fire truck sirens and honking car horns that echoed through the streets of Meadville around 5 p.m. on Sunday, here’s the explanation:

    July 22, 2014

  • District 1 showcases 'D' in victory

    A strong defense up the middle is often where championship teams are born. The District 1 Senior League softball team certainly fills the bill.

    July 22, 2014

  • Trevor Smith St. Marys tops METS to win title

    When it’s two good teams going head-to-head in the game of baseball, sometimes a simple bad bounce can mean the difference between a win and a loss.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

Sports Scoreboard
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Business Marquee
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Poll

The latest proposed expansion plan for the Crawford County Courthouse potentially would eliminate the former Tarr Mansion on Diamond Park to make room for a county administrative building. Should the 1860 mansion be demolished?

Leave it alone because it’s historic.
Try to incorporate it into the proposed expansion.
It’s too far gone to save, but it’s memory may be preserved with an artifacts and photo display within the proposed courthouse complex.
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks