Charlie Frye listed first at quarterback on Cleveland Browns depth chart
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Tony GrossiPlain Dealer Reporter
Pressed to file a team depth chart to comply with NFL guidelines, Browns coach Romeo Crennel said he would list Charlie Frye first at quarterback and Derek Anderson second.
"I don't know what you'll read into that," he said.
You might assume from the depth chart, then, that Frye would start the first preseason game against Kansas City on Saturday night.
Then Crennel reiterated, with a smile, that he may decide the starter with a coin toss before the game.
Crennel said at the beginning of training camp that Frye had "a leg up" on the starting role based on his game experience advantage as an NFL quarterback. Now he won't even say that Frye has a leg up.
Frye actually has looked better through the first 10 days of training camp than he did in the off-season, when he had "a leg up."
Are you confused yet?
Crennel and his staff yearn for one of the quarterbacks to separate from the other and make the starting decision easier. It hasn't happened after 16 practices in OTAs, five in minicamp and 15 in training camp through Monday.
That's 36 practices and no clear-cut leader at the most important position on the field.
"Not really," Crennel said when asked if it was disappointing neither Frye nor Anderson has emerged.
"Generally in competition somebody steps ahead of the other guy. But it's not always the case. These guys are competing to win the job. Both of them operate the team. I think the team has confidence in both guys. We'll go into the preseason and see if somebody elevates a little. If not, then I'll decide who the guy's gonna be."
In fairness, it should be reported both Anderson and Frye believe they are competing at a high level and are proceeding well in orchestrating the new offense of coordinator Rob Chudzinski.
"I think we push each other, off the field in the study room and out here on the field," Frye said Monday. "I think it's making both of us better. We're both putting in a lot more time.
"When you know it's your job, you're going to push yourself because you want to be good and you want to have a winning team. But when you have somebody right on your heels fighting for a job, you're going to do things you wouldn't [have] thought you'd do. I think it's going to make the team better."
But on Sunday, Anderson failed to achieve a first down with the No. 1 offense in a two-minute drill, and Frye earned only a field goal with the No. 2s.
Earlier in the week, Anderson notched only one first down in the same drill, and Frye was intercepted in the end zone.
The absence of Brady Quinn into this mix presumably relieved Frye and Anderson of the distraction of looking over their shoulders. What Quinn's holdout really has done is given the unsigned rookie more leverage in contract talks.
Based on his performance in minicamp, Quinn wasn't going to open the season as the starter. Now the team must contemplate at which point in the season a public outcry may force in Quinn, and whether he can be made ready in training camp to contribute when needed.
This period without Quinn on hand was expected to benefit Anderson, because he generally performs better in practice situations. The surprise has been that Anderson has not separated from Frye. That in itself is a triumph for Frye, whose ability to make plays on the run is negated by the controlled practice sessions.
"When you take the orange jerseys off and people can hit us [quarterbacks], it changes the game a little bit," Frye said. "You have to make quicker decisions, be able to get the ball out of bounds if nobody's open. Just little things like that that don't make a big difference in practice but make a big difference in games."
Frye probably will get the starting call against Kansas City on Saturday. Anderson probably will finish the first half.
If Quinn isn't signed and in camp by then, it should be soon thereafter.
source: http://www.cleveland.com/browns/plainde ... thispage=1