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Browns QB Weeden to help with Oklahoma tornado

By TOM WITHERS - AP Sports Writer
    2013-05-23 13:24

BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden is heading home to help his cherished Oklahoma heal.

Weeden is returning to his home state this weekend to assist in any way he can in the aftermath of the deadly tornado that tore through Moore, Okla., killing 24 people and destroying thousands of homes in the Oklahoma City suburb earlier this week.

Weeden has been in contact with Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb and he plans to be there this weekend to help.

``I'll do anything, whether it's getting in the rubble and doing whatever, it doesn't matter,'' said Weeden, who is from Edmond. ``I'll be there to help.''

Weeden's wife, Melanie, has family who in Moore. They were not injured by the monstrous twister, but sustained damage to their homes.

``It actually went right through my wife's hometown,'' Weeden said following Thursday's practice. ``Fourth Street, the path they keep talking about, my mother-in-law lives on Main, which is four blocks north of it, and my brother-in-law lives two blocks south of it. It went right over the top of them. Very, very fortunate to have no injuries and everybody's safe.''

Weeden, who starred at Oklahoma State, said there were some frantic moments for he and his wife when they couldn't contact family as the tornado bore down on Moore.

``There's a park, literally there's two blocks between my brother-in-law and my mother-in-law,'' he said. ``They said, `If you're at that park, get out of the way.' It was destroyed. Once we heard it was destroyed, obviously there's no cellphone service. We couldn't get hold of them for about an hour. So my wife's panicked and we're panicked. It was tough being so far away.

Weeden said family members were able to take cover in time.

``My brother-in-law got in the car and drove away from it,'' he said. ``My mother-in-law works in the administration building for Moore Public Schools, so she was in a basement, fortunately. Very, very blessed, we got lucky. But being up here, seeing my wife, she was rattled and it was very tough.''

Browns wide receiver Josh Cooper, too, was affected by the tornado.

His father, Mike, works as a construction manager in Moore and was forced into an underground shelter. Cooper, who is from Mustang, Okla., said he felt helpless as he watched TV coverage of the tornado.

``It was really tough,'' he said. ``My heart was hurtin' pretty good that day. I was checking in with my family and friends and hoping they were safe.''

Cooper said no one he knew was seriously injured. He's certain Oklahomans will recover.

``Everybody is kind of helping everybody,'' he said. ``We'll be fine. We get through things like this all the time. Oklahoma strong, you know?''

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