The Dallas Cowboys are heading into the 2015 NFL season with high expectations and will need every man on their roster to be at their best if they are to achieve their lofty aims.
That doesn't just mean star players such as Dez Bryant (if he decides to show up), Zack Martin or Tony Romo. The same principle applies for the guys who might spend most of their time looking on from the sideline. To win a Super Bowl every player needs to be ready when called upon.
With that in mind Cowboys fans will be pleased - and perhaps more than a little surprised - to hear of the progress being made by Brandon Weeden, the much maligned back up to Romo.
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Speaking about the former first round pick, Dallas Cowboys quarterback coach Wade Wilson singled out Weeden for some high praise:
"I think he's probably the most improved player," Wilson told ESPN. "He just has a great understanding of the concepts, of the protections, calling the plays, all those things. He's made a big jump this year."
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Turning things around
With star quarterback Tony Romo always an injury concern after recent back issues, Cowboys fans will be glad to hear that the man charged with stepping into Romo's shoes should the worst happen is at least looking like he can handle the responsibility.
"That's a good comment because I busted my ass," was Weeden's response to hearing the most improved player statement.
"I've worked so hard this offseason, training wise, throwing wise to put myself in position."
The more cynical NFL fans out there will tell you that it couldn't have taken much for Weeden to improve after what has been a tough introduction to life in the pros.
Having failed to make the grade with the Cleveland Browns, Weeden has 26 interceptions to his name in 23 appearances since 2012.
Time to settle
It is worth noting, however, that this summer will be the first that the QB is not having to learn a completely new system or work with completely new staff.
“It’s just a comfort thing,” Weeden said.
“Now I can really fine tune what we’re doing because I’m not having to go home to study for three hours just learning plays and calling plays and doing all that. Now I can out and fine tine what I want to do, work on reading defenses, work on understanding everything versus just making sure I don’t screw the first part of it up."
Cowboys fans will he hoping all they see of Brandon Weeden next season is his competence at holding a clipboard but with only a Tony Romo back spasm separating him from the sideline and taking the ball under center the fact that Brandon Weeden is no longer the scapegoat is a positive sign for sure.