Berea Report: Charlie Time - Or Not?

Whether the team wants a quarterback controversy or not, the hot topic of the morning in Berea surrounded the possible ascension of Charlie Frye to the starting job. Fred Greetham offers our report from Berea, first and free for all Browns fans...

BEREA – The hot topic of conversation in Berea on Monday was whether it was time to make the switch from Trent Dilfer at quarterback to rookie Charlie Frye.

The Browns offense was held without a touchdown in the last two games and the quarterback usually gets the blame. Dilfer had a QB rating of just 22.4 in Sunday's loss to the Lions.

"Any time you're in a position of leadership the problems get left at your feet," Romeo Crennel said. "In his case, the buck stops at his desk.

"However, there are a lot of things involved in the quarterback position," he said. "Generally, when things go bad the quarterback usually gets the blame. Trent's been a stand up guy and has taken the responsibility. But, when guys are open and we don't hit them, those things need to be fixed."

Dilfer says he hopes to get Sunday's game behind him as soon as possible.

"As a competitor, you can't wait for the next opportunity to redeem yourself," Dilfer said. "I just have to play better on Sundays, as does the entire offense."

Frye said he'll do what he's asked to do, if called upon.

"My job is to be Trent's backup," Frye said. "He's the starter."

Frye said he's supportive of Dilfer.

"I'm Trent's biggest supporter," Frye said. "We're very close on and off the field. We just need to hold together as a team. The quarterback position isn't just one guy. It's everybody on offense, including me."

Braylon Edwards cast his support to Dilfer, as well.

"Our goal is to stick together," Edwards said. "We don't feel there's a need for a change at quarterback. We're behind Trent."

In the final preseason game against the Bears, Frye was told he was going to start just prior to the game to see how he would react to the role. He responded with a good performance. He hasn't played yet in a regular season game.

"That was in the preseason," Frye said. "As the backup, I prepare all week to be ready to play.

"I'm a professional football player," he said. "My job is to go out and perform if called upon."

Crennel concurred with Frye.

"That's always hard to say," Crennel said. "If you look at what Charlie did in the preseason, you've got be encouraged. But you have to look at the preseason with a jaded eye. I think he's made progress and he's been able to study game film and he's further along than he was five weeks ago."

Similar to last week, Crennel said the coaches will talk about the quarterback position and make a decision, but he wasn't ready to make any announcements on Monday.

"We'll look at our situation and see what gives us the best chance," Crennel said. "If that involves changing personnel. At this point, I'm not ready to make any changes. Not to say I might tomorrow, but not right now."

Crennel said the decision to go with a rookie at quarterback is different from playing a rookie at another position because of the magnitude of the position.

"I think any time you're dealing with a rookie, they haven't seen as much," Crennel said. "Generally, they're going to make some mistakes and sometimes you might be a little reluctant to make the switch as opposed to if it was at the outside linebacker spot."

Crennel said the quarterback position will be a big topic in the coaches meetings today and tomorrow.

"I think we're going to talk about it and see what we can do to help this team," Crennel said. "Hopefully, what we do is show improvement.

"You want your starter time to get the reps in practice," he said. "With a young guy you might want to let him know ahead of time so he can get ready. In the preseason, we had a chance to test the young guy without any notice because this is the NFL and sometimes you don't have time to get ready.

"At the quarterback position all of that is part of the equation," Crennel said. "The quarterback being the leader, you try to give him the benefit of doubt. You don't want a knee jerk reaction. It's a judgment call."

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