If the title doesn't get your attention, my opinion will.
It doesn't matter if a veteran is behind Charlie Frye because the Browns aren't going anywhere in the 2006-07 season.
There I said it.
How can I declare the 2006-07 campaign over before it gets started?
Let me count the ways.
Significant dropoff at G, T and C after the starters. No true #1 WR (I don't think Edwards will be 100% this year). No star at TE (depending on what happens with Winslow). No depth on the DL and aging starters at two out of the three positions. New LB's trying to learn the ways of the 3-4, a youngster at SS (either Pool or Jones), and no shutdown CB on the roster.
Also, don't forget the Browns are in one of the toughest divisions in football.
Does it sound like a QB is going to make a big difference this year?
Face it, year two of Savage/Crennel is still a rebuilding year.
No matter what, the Browns are faced with two choices.
Play a new QB and grow with him and his mistakes (Frye, Harris or Dorsey--and the last two choices aren't an option) or start a signal caller that's way past his prime like Testaverde, Blake or Collins (REALLY not an option).
Tom Brady's clone isn't coming to Cleveland this season and even if he were, the Browns still aren't hitting the playoffs.
The team hasn't drafted a proven first rounder or pro bowler since it came back (the jury is still out on Winslow, Edwards and Wimbley) so its crazy to think that two offseasons and drafts are enough to overcome years of ineptitude from the front office.
Do I believe that the Browns will be significantly better than they have been?
Do I believe they have a prayer of going anywhere beyond 9-7?
(which would be a GREAT season).
Simply put, it doesn't matter what happens with the Browns QB's in 2006-07 because this is not a team poised for anything except building for the future.
It would be nice to see Charlie Frye continue to grow because it is a QB league and the Browns will be even further behind if he's not the answer but no matter what, Cleveland is in for another up and down year.
And I don't buy the "veteran teaching the youngster" argument.
It can help a young QB to get adjusted to the league but ultimately they have to have the natural ability to rise to the elite level.
Ben Roethlisberger has that kind of talent. Did a veteran teach him to uncanningly sense the rush from the backside and slip up in the pocket to deliver a perfectly thrown pass at a critical time as we've seen him do so many times over the last few years?
Uh, the answer would be no.
I'm not saying that Big Ben learned nothing from the veterans on the roster but it was him and not them that ulimately had to move the team over and over again when it counted.
At a certain point, his ability had to take over.
Put another way, plenty of NFL 3rd string QB's could go to " passing school" around the clock for the next 6 months with Bradshaw, Montana, Elway, Aikman, Young and other former all-pros and still never play like Roethlisberger does. Or Brady. Or Manning.
You can only watch and listen so long. Frye did that. He got advice for a full season from Dilfer. He's been getting schooled by Kosar.
Now it's time for him to play and see if he's got the legs, arm and intangibles that it takes to be a quality starter in the league
If he falters, then so be it.
The playoffs weren't on the radar screen anyway this upcoming year so maybe the Browns will improve their draft position to get a QB of the future in 2007 plus other pieces of the puzzle if things go way haywire.
I do believe the Browns are headed in the right direction but the real fruits of victory are to be savored in 2007 and beyond if the team made the correct decisions the last 2 offseasons (which I believe they have).
Don't worry about the lack of veterans behind Frye.
It doesn't matter this season.