Todd Porter: Frye decision should have been made months ago
For all of August, Charlie Frye kept trying to prove his feel-good story could become a best seller. The hometown product who grew up two hours away from Cleveland Browns Stadium always seemed to do enough in the preseason to be the Browns quarterback.
In reality, Frye didn’t do much in the preseason. Derek Anderson just did less.
Because neither quarterback could settle it on the field, Browns General Manager
Phil Savage settled it not with a football but with a phone call. He sent Frye to Seattle on Tuesday.
The Browns will start Anderson against the Bengals on Sunday. Brady Quinn, the people’s champ, is the backup. Ken Dorsey, who looks more like a game show contestant than a game day quarterback, is the tutor.
It’s no wonder the Browns are worst franchise in the NFL. These are decisions that should have been made months ago. In dealing Frye for a sixth-round flyer, Cleveland became the first team in NFL history to trade its opening day QB 48 hours after it was over.
Savage concurred that Anderson, because of his arm strength and his ability to throw the ball before being pummeled, is a better fit for Cleveland’s new offense.
“You basically can call any play in the playbook, and he can get it there,” Savage said. “There probably is more of a comfort level in what he brings arm-strength wise.”
Call me crazy, but isn’t it only reasonable to expect the guy who gives the offense the ability to use the offense the best player for the position?
“It was an open competition, and I don’t think anyone would disagree with the fact that Charlie outplayed Derek in certain instances,” Savage said of the preseason. “I think Charlie did enough to win the starting job, to trot out there for the first game. At the same time, just because you’ve crossed that finish line doesn’t mean you don’t have to keep performing. You have to keep performing to keep the job, and that really is what went into today’s decision.”
Give Savage credit for being proactive. Someone had to pay for Sunday’s 34-7 loss to the Steelers. Head Coach Romeo Crennel hitched his wagon to Frye.
The Browns didn’t just lose, they looked disorganized. Frye looked confused, which is a tad worse than he did in 13 starts last season.
In 19 starts for his hometown team, Frye won six games. Cleveland fans gave him the benefit of the doubt because he played at Akron.
No one will shed a tear for Frye today. They shed enough of them Sunday.
Anderson, winless in three starts a year ago, is a warm body to fill the position until Savage feels that Quinn is ready.
That’s what this is.
Yes, Quinn, who has had limited practice with the first team offense after his 16-day holdout, is a play away from starting. The Browns will embark on the final 15 games with a QB who’s never won a game and another who’s never played one.
“The important thing in the big picture ... is we develop Brady Quinn in the right way,” Savage said. “That’s the most important thing we have to do this year, and that’s what we’re attempting to try to do.”
Savage stopped before he remembered to finish his sentence.
The latter was an afterthought. It always seems to be during football season here.
Reach Repository sports writer Todd Porter at (330) 580-8340 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org