Carthon Sticks to the Basics

It's a rare event that an assistant coach is made available to the press, but Friday was such a day. Maurice Carthon, the Browns offensive coordinator, spoke to the media, and tells them he will remain a conservative play-caller...

Maurice Carthon knows the heat is on him as offensive coordinator, but he does not plan to stray far from the play-calling philosophy he used last year.

"I feel like I let Romeo down personally last year," Carthon said before practice Friday. "That really hurt me. He deserves to be where he is and he deserves to win. That's what I'm going to try to make happen this year."

As for conservative play-calling - he said it worked for Ron Earhardt as offensive coordinator of the Giants when the Giants won the Super Bowl in 1986 and 1990, and he believes it will help with the Browns. He also said having Joe Jurevicius and Kellen Winslow as weapons should help the Browns climb out of the NFL scoring basement.

"I feel like if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything," he said. "I've been in this system for a while as a player and a coach. I believe in this system. We have to score more points and not turn the ball over. I can't do it physically. I just have to do better in play calls and time management."

Carthon didn't want to talk about butting heads with former Browns quarterback Trent Dilfer. One reason Dilfer was traded to the 49ers was he and Carthon did not get along.

The trade left Charlie Frye as the undisputed starter. Carthon said Frye has a tremendous relationship with his teammates.

"He has that look," Carthon said. "That look is tremendous when you're in the huddle. When you're down in Pittsburgh and they hit you in the mouth, and your quarterback comes back to the huddle and it looks like he's been beaten and his eyes are big, that affects the other 10 guys. He never has that (beaten) look.

"When he played last year, he'd come to the sideline and say, 'Coach, let's do this. Let's do that.' I like that type player. He's a fighter. I'm looking forward to seeing him play, because I think he'll be a lot better than he was last year."

Frye has only five NFL starts, but the playbook is simple enough that it won't have to be streamlined, Carthon said. He said the Browns will have to adjust to not having LeCharles Bentley.

"It's hard to do when you lose a good player, but somebody has to step up," Carthon said. "That's what usually happens. I always go back to when Phil Simms got hurt in the 10th game. Jeff Hostetler came in and it was business as usual and we went on to win the Super Bowl.

"That's the way I try to get the offense to think. We have enough good guys to step in and play well. Our coaches did a great job with the playbook and studying other teams. I'm excited about this offense. I'm excited about this season."

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