DallasCowboys.com Staff Writer
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Weeden Aiming For Backup Job, With Or Without Orton
IRVING, Texas – As the days tick down toward training camp, the Cowboys are still waiting on a solution to the Kyle Orton situation. With the offseason program behind him, Brandon Weeden said Saturday that still doesn’t matter to him.
It’s been just more than a month since Weeden began fielding questions about Orton’s absence from the Cowboys’ Organized Team Activities. With the team’s standing backup questionable to play football in 2014, that puts Weeden in a position to be the No. 2 man himself – which is something he said he’s working toward with or without Orton present.
“I’m going to go about my business the same way regardless. I haven’t met Kyle, so I can’t really speak on it, but whatever he decides to do – it’s kind of out of my control,” Weeden said Saturday at the Nike Football Festival, held at Valley Ranch. “So what I’m worried about is, if I’m running with the twos out there, do my job to make the twos better. I want to make the team better any way I can, so it doesn’t change my mindset or the way I feel about it.”
Weeden admitted that the mantra sounds cliché, but he’s simply focused on improving himself when the Cowboys report to training camp next month. That said, the third-year player didn’t shy away from a stated goal of earning the backup job, whether Orton travels to training camp or not.
“I just want to continue to get comfortable in the offense, and then obviously my goal is to be the backup quarterback,” he said. “I want to be the backup quarterback and be on this football team and help them get better any way I can – whether that’s giving the defense a look, or whatever that is.”
Getting comfortable has been one of the big benefits for Weeden as he prepares for his third training camp – his first one since he left the Cleveland Browns. This time around he said he knows what to expect, but the attitude in the Cowboys locker room is something Weeden has enjoyed since he signed with the team.
“I mean, the expectations here in Dallas are high every year, and the feel is unbelievable. You walk in the locker room and everybody is just on the edge of their seat to get going,” he said. “I think everybody is excited about it, I think there’s a lot of positivity.”
Positivity is something Weeden should be happy to see in Dallas. As the No. 22 overall pick to Cleveland in 2012, he struggled as the starter before eventually losing his job in his second year. When he was released this past spring, he had a career completion percentage of just 56 percent with 23 total touchdowns and 26 interceptions.
“The first few years I was putting so much pressure on myself, because I thought ‘You’ve got to take over, you’ve got to start something that hadn’t been very good in the past and take it to the top,’ and it’s hard to do that.
“I think now that I can sit there and learn from a great player, I’ve got a great coaching staff I can learn from, I know the system so I’m comfortable there. I think just fine-tuning my craft and learning the ins and outs of the position.”