Les: I've Got Rhythm

Who could ask for anything more?

I am expecting the Cleveland Browns to announce that Trent Dilfer is questionable for this Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings, as he is suffering from ‘Quarterbacktus Interruptus'.

What is that all about?  Until the last two or three weeks, Dilfer has been the model for veteran QBs who have been asked to bridge the gap until the rookie, Charlie Frye, is ready.  He has even been better than the last successful Browns interim Quarterback, Gary Danielson, who broke his leg and gave up his position to Bernie Kosar, long before he was scheduled to do so.

But Dilfer must have taken public relations classes with Cavalier guard Damon Jones, who, earlier this week, dropped his three-week boycott of the media, by saying ‘I would like to apologize for my boycott of the media, and I will accept your apology, too'.  Jones went on to answer every question, except for the three had to do with Eric Snow winning the starting position.  On three different occasions, Jones said, ‘Next question'.

That was similar to Dilfer's response, when asked when he knew that Frye would be taking snaps in the Miami game.  Dilfer's terse answer, aimed at the questioner, was ‘none of your business'.  In a previous meeting with the press, Dilfer offered the opinion that the media wanted him to put a gun to his head.  Until these occasions, Dilfer has been giving his best imitation of Bull Durham's Nuke LaLoosh by giving all of the right answers.  In fact, a couple of weeks ago, I intended to talk to him privately in the locker room after he met with the press, to let him know that I thought he was handling everything in a highly classy manner.  I didn't get the opportunity (and I'm now glad that I didn't) because his attention was diverted when he left group.

Now, if I had the chance to talk to him privately, I would question his recent actions.  He had to know that Frye would be getting a chance sometime this year.  As far as Frye's appearance in the first half, if Romeo Crennel wanted to see him in game conditions, then it was the right thing to do.  If he waited until the fourth quarter, with what became a 22-0 lead, the object would be to work on the clock, and the coaches would never have had the opportunity to see the rookie with the game still in the balance.


Despite all of this, I think Dilfer has been getting a bad rap by the fans.  I realize he has missed some connections that should have been made, but for the most part he has done what he has been asked to do.  If Crennel really believes that the Browns have been one play away from winning another game or two, then Dilfer must get credit for getting them into that position.  Dilfer, known for managing a game (good enough to get to---and win---a Super Bowl), has done just that.  There is no guarantee that Frye, or anyone else, would have made enough plays in the early parts of those winnable games to put them in to that position.

While I don't have any objection to the way the quarterback situation has been handled, it is fair to question the handling of Braylon Edwards, through the first ten games.  Until the Miami game, the third pick in the draft was almost non-existent.  Other than the recent emergence of running back Reuben Droughns, Edwards appeared to the only real game-breaker on this team.

Although I can't confirm this at this time, one veteran observer thinks that there is a rift between the head coach and the receiver's coach, Terry Robiskie who finished out last year as the interim head coach.  That observer feels that it is never good to have any holdovers from a previous staff still around when a new coach comes in, especially one who served as a previous interim head coach.  The thought is, to the detriment of the team, that there has been a disagreement between the two as to how the one-time holdout should be used.

Common sense, however, should dictate that Edwards should get the ball eight to ten times a game.


Despite have my rhythm broken a couple of times during the course of this column, I am happy to report that I was able to finish it without any serious problems.


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