I'm getting tttthhhhiiiissss close to being officially tired of Charlie Frye. In fact, I think all it's going to take to push me over the edge is one more viewing of that abysmal performance.
I know it's only thirteen starts. I know he's not even two years into his career. But, for the love of God, could we at least see some progression from last year to this? Even minimal. Minimal would be good. But instead, we get this? Staring down receivers. Throwing late. Not having the arm to get away with throwing late. For crying out loud, the 'Bolts left three gift-wrapped TD's on the turf due to some combination of the previous three. And then there is the throwing high, low, left or right on a consistent basis, so much so that Rick Vaughn was heard to say "damn that kid's wild". Speaking of which, who's the Browns QB coach, Rick Ankiel?
This offensive line is far from perfect and could use an upgrade or two or whatever. At least and especially for the running game. But they are providing more than adequate pass protection for the kid from Willard, OH, who had a Bernie Kosar poster above his bed when he was an up-and-coming Spergon... errrr... Luke... errr... Chuck. The OL should be one of the very last excuses the organization trots out for Frye's play and lack of progression.
Maurice Carthon may have held back this offense for the first six games of this season, but it's looking like Frye will be playing the role of anchor in James Cameron's next disaster-at-sea flick for the next eight. Unless, of course, he improves from "really bad" to "not quite so really bad", which, based on the last thirteen starts and the regression on his personal bar graph, does not look promising. As does Frye's future as a starter in this league.
Both Frye and the Browns could use a good, solid vet on the roster right about now don't ya think? One for the wisdom said vet could impart on the struggling Akron product, and two for the option to pull the struggling Akron product based on his performance of the last thirteen games. The latter might give the Browns a chance to pull out a win or two, but won/loss wasn't the goal of this season, was it Mr. Savage and Mr. Crennel? You came, you saw, he hasn't conquered. Using the 2006 season as the testing ground for young Frye has all of the hallmarks of a rigged NBC Dateline automobile expose'. And, oddly enough, that experiment involved the subject going up in flames as well.
The duo of general manager and head coach certainly avoided a QB controversy, though, didn't they? With Dorsey and Anderson waiting in the wings, there is no controversy, even though Frye's play certainly screams for one. There will be no "DER-EK, DER-EK, DER-EK" chants at the next home game. No "DOR-SEE, DOR-SEE, DOR-SEE" echoing in a half-empty stadium. No cheers for a starter being concussed. Nope, that problem was taken care of in the off-season.
You know, I really don't want to beat Charlie's near-comatose horse. I really don't. I want the kid to succeed, if only for the fact that it would/would have make/made for a helluva story. But, at some point, the excuses get washed away by the on-the-field performance.
And there's a reason why Frye was the subject of the first seven notes in this column. It's a simple one, actually. It's because this loss falls squarely on his Ohio-bred shoulders. Spade, you're looking a lot like this "Spade" character I used to know.
I really hope I can come back and eat every last bit of feathers of the above crow.
OK, seeing as how I'm in a bitter mood, let's continue the bitterness, shall we?
I would really prefer to not hear anybody bitch, moan or bitch and moan about the defense. Really would like to avoid it. No Orpheus, no Leigh, no Willie, no Daven (that was really odd to include that name) added to a healthy Ralph Brown spells trouble for most NFL teams. After three quarters, the injuries and relying on second-hand secondary hand-me-downs finally took their toll. If not for the guts and heart that defense displayed, it would've happened a lot earlier. Especially given the fact that they watched from the sidelines as the offense squandered field position and a parade of first-half three-and-outs by the explosive San Diego offense.
As an aside, did it seem like the end zone was Ryan Tucker and the "O" was afraid to go anywhere near it for fear of catching the mystery?
But, I'm not here to bury the Browns in totality, I'm here to praise them partially. Particularly...
What else can you say about the job that defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and his entire coaching staff has done this season? It's time for a new expression, because the phrase "making chicken salad out of chicken #!&%" doesn't do justice to the job this staff has done this season. And, again, is there any wonder why Grantham's name is being mentioned in regard to the Michigan State job, and that he will get an interview or two for an NFL head-coaching job in the off-season if he doesn't land the Spartan gig?
That being said, an upgrade to the defensive line in the off-season would not suck. The pass rush is intermittent and spotty, which, to be fair, is a decided upgrade over last year's non-existent rush.
Kellen Winslow II is simply a MAN lining up against a bunch of men. He talked it during the week, and he walked it on Sunday. Too bad "splitting the seam" is Spanish to an English-speaking quarterback.
When Leigh Bodden went down two and a half minutes into the first quarter, was your first response "I'm surprised it took that long"? Yeah, me too.
Welcome back, Dennis. I'm sure Josh appreciates your presence.
Ho-hum. Another game, another coupla "WOW!" plays from future Pro Bowl safety Sean Jones. I could get used to this kind of redundancy, though.
And speaking of future Pro Bowlers, Kamerion Wimbley, after being hushed for the better part of three weeks, finally cleared his throat and made his voice heard with several big plays. 1.5 sacks gives him 4.5 at the halfway point of the season. He's getting almost nil national publicity, but, when it's all said and done, his name will litter numerous post-season All-Rookie teams.
(Yes, I know, both Jones and Wimbley were far from perfect, but I'm looking for that sliver, that silver lining. The Frye rant has me exhausted and pissed off. My apologies for going Cope there for a second.)
Nice papal baseball cap, Marty. Did the Vatican bless that Pope hat?
Terrelle Smith is an absolute and utter waste of a roster spot. Don't believe me, watch the tape and pay particular attention to the third-down play from the Chargers' three-yard line early in the second quarter. During that particular sequence, the ball was snapped and Smith went untouched into the end zone. Unfortunately for both the Browns and Smith himself, he didn't have the ball and he was the lead blocker on the play. The fraud taking up a roster spot was exposed on that play. Rewind the tape and watch it for yourself. You'll be embarrassed for the "fullback".
Phil Dawson isn't buddies with Shawne Merriman, is he? I mean, dayum. He's booming his kicks deep on a semi-consistent basis after years of being fodder for having a Nancy-like leg on kickoffs. Odd, to be sure.
Could announcers please stop using the phrase "friendly fire" when a player inadvertently causes injury to a teammate? I'm the least PC person on the planet, but, in light of the whole Pat Tillman affair, it seems a bit ghoulish to hear an NFL broadcaster refer to it as such.
Non-Browns note: Man, on that third-quarter reversed-fumble in the Ravens-Bengals game, Ray Lewis went down like he got stabbed or something didn't he?
Yeah, I know, the last note doesn't make sense given the note before that. Sue me.
Who would like to take a shot at Charlie first, his receivers or his defense? I would lean toward the former, but the latter would have a solid case as well.
At the halfway point of the 2006 season, the Browns are one of eight teams with two wins. The Cardinals lead the rear with one win. Let the Brady Quinn Sweepstakes begin in earnest.
In closing, I'll leave you with this:
The defending champions of the bottom of the AFC North are a robust 2-6.
The defending Super Bowl champions of the NFL are 2-6.
That's gotta count for something, right?
I didn't think so either.