Q: Tell us the "skinny" on your QB - we out hear in Denver no little or nothing about him.
A: Charlie Frye is a local product, and will have Bernie Kosar-like
popularity here in Cleveland if he can bring some success to this franchise.
Most fans treat Frye like a rookie since he only started a handful of games
for the Browns at the end of last season. He's still in the "honeymoon"
phase with Cleveland fans.
While he's still learning, Frye has impressed fans and his teammates with
his toughness. He's gotten bashed around a bit behind a porous offensive
line, bounces back up, and doesn't complain. Frye also has terrific movement
in the pocket. While he's no Michael Vick, he moves around well, and will
scramble for yardage if the opportunity presents itself. He's got good
chemistry with hotshot tight end Kellen Winslow, Jr, and Braylon Edwards.
Frye still needs to improve on his decision-making and pass accuracy. He's
been plagued by untimely interceptions, but in his defense a number of these
have been due to blown routes or passes which have gone off his receivers.
He's proven to most observers that he has a decent long ball, but some
Frye is being given this year by the Browns coaching staff to try to take
the role permanently. If he can survive the hits he's taken, the second half
of this season may prove to be the defining phase of his career.
Q: I have read that your new stadium gets mixed reviews in the eyes of the
hard core Brown fans. Is there a story here?
A: Part of the stadium's problem is that fans have watched a lot of terrible
football games in it, starting with the opening 41-0 blowout to the Steelers
in 1999. There haven't been a lot of good memories forged there, aside from
an unlikely run to the playoffs in 2002.
A lot of fans feel that the atmosphere at the new stadium is a far cry from
their fond memories of old Municipal Stadium. The new place feels corporate
and sterile, a situation not helped by the constant barrage of
advertisements, tighter security, and higher prices. The craziness of the
old Dawg Pound has been reigned back since 1999.
It remains to be seen if a few years of winning football makes Cleveland Browns Stadium feel like home. To date, however, long-time Browns fans
haven't warmed up to it.
Q: With all the heartache that the Browns have had to endure (The Drive, The
Fumble, The Ravens) is Denver still the most hated franchise in Cleveland or
is it now the Ravens? I know a lot of Cleveland fans will forever hold a
grudge against the Broncos, but has the disgusting abandonment of your city
by the Ravens moved them into the public enemy #1 spot?
A: In 1999 and 2000, Browns fans probably despised the Ravens more than any
other team. With Art Modell essentially booted out of the league, though,
the Steelers are returning to their rightful place as the #1 rival of the
Browns. The Steelers have pounded the Browns a couple of times at home,
including a rout against the Browns last Christmas Eve, and the close
proximity of Pittsburgh puts Browns fans and Steelers fans in close
As the Browns get better, most of us expect that the Browns-Steelers rivalry
will take center stage. Steelers fans have popped out of the woodwork after
their Super Bowl year, and Browns fans fervently hope the team takes at
least one game from the black and gold in 2006.
The rivalry with Denver has really faded over the past fifteen years, in my
opinion. The Browns haven't hosted the Broncos in Cleveland in over a
decade, and the Broncos aren't exactly what is keeping the Browns out of the
That being said, the less Browns fans see of John Elway, and replays of the
"Drive" and "Fumble", the happier they tend to be. It seems to us that ESPN
Classic and others replay these games with a nauseating frequency.
Q: What is the Browns fans perception of the success that many of the
ex-Browns lineman have had here in Denver?
A: Right now there is a bit of cynicism about the Browns franchise in
general, with fans talking frustrated with what looks to be another losing
season. So the success of the "Browncos" falls more into the "here we go
again" category for many of the Browns faithful and doesn't really stand out
a major concern. It's just one of many body blows for the long-suffering
fans of this team.
At the same time, there's a lot of skepticism about the talent of the
linemen, particularly Gerard Warren, who is viewed as a busted draft pick
here. A lot of Browns fans chalk their success up to Denver's excellent
secondary and linebacking corps.
Personally, Michael Myers was the player I was most frustrated to see the
Browns dispense with, since he's a solid tackle and seemed to be an
afterthought to that deal. There aren't many Browns fans who are dying to
see Warren back in town, however.
Q: Why is Dennis Northcutt still listed as the number 2 and being lined up
outside? Joe Jurevicius is much more suited for that role and he great
hands. Northcutt is a prototypical slot receiver isn't he?
A: This is right on the money. Northcutt has only been successful in the
slot matched up against linebackers.
Browns fans and the media were confused about why Northcutt started ahead of
Jurevicius against Carolina. The fact that Northcutt bobbled a pass that led
to a defensive interception and touchdown added to the irritation over his
role as the #2 WR when we played the Panthers.
Northcutt, however, is ailing from bruised ribs, which will give the Browns
a convenient way to promote Jurevicius to that role. This could be very
important with the Broncos matching Champ Bailey up against Braylon Edwards.
At 6'5", Jurevicius could post match-up problems for the Broncos, assuming
that Frye will get enough time to throw.
The decision to start Northcutt as the second WR is symptomatic of odd
decisions made by the coaching staff, particularly on the offensive side of
the ball. The poor play of the offense, when combined with a series of
strange personnel and play-calling decisions, has a majority of hard-core
fans complaining about offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon and asking for
This last week, head coach Romeo Crennel said he would play a greater role
in play-calling. Crennel has been a defensive coach his entire career,
however, so it's an open question how much value he will add.
Q & A with The Orange and Brown Report
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