John Taylor's 'Tales From A Notebook'

Finally, our long national nightmare is over. At least, that's what The Notebook says. And The Notebook is never wrong. Ever. For the most part. Anyway, congrats Charlie. You've "earned" it.

Notes, thoughts and quips—presented in Banalvision2000—on the Cleveland Browns' exhibition/preseason/fake match-up with the Denver Broncos, straight from The Official Notebook of The Orange & Brown Report, available in book stores and office supply outlets nowhere.

---Exactly.  What.  They.  Needed. 

---From the opening drive through the briefer-than-expected end of his playing stint, Charlie Frye very closely resembled a real-live NFL quarterback.  One who could keep the seat warm and still maintain some semblance of a chance to win.  This team needed somebody--anybody--to step up at the position.  And the kid from Willard did just that, at least for now and for the first time this preseason.  No, he's not the long-term answer at the position.  But, until Brady Quinn is ready, he could allow the Browns to get by without rushing the future.

---And that QB competition/controversy?  It's over with.  Done.  Nothing but a distant and painful memory.

---At least for the early portion of the schedule or until the next #9 interception.  Whichever comes first.

---It is over with, right?  That QB derby thingy, I mean.  Right???  Romeo, please tell me and everyone else that it's over with.

---Even though I think Frye's future in the NFL is not as a starter but rather as a backup, I couldn't help but root for him tonight.  The way he's handled this whole situation--and, granted, he's a very large part of there even being a "situation--with class and strength of character should not go unnoticed or unmentioned.  Say what you will about his on-the-field abilities, nobody can question the man off the field and in the locker room.

---I'm trying very hard to ignore the potential of Derek Anderson, who shows flashes that Frye could never, ever hope to attain.  And, if it were up to me, I would come to a different conclusion than what I think is the inevitable decision by the coaching staff regarding the position.  That being said, he will not be the starter and there is very little need for him to take precious reps away from a certain Notre Dame product.

---Here's hoping that DA can catch on somewhere and realize his potential.  Not at the expense of the Browns, mind you, but he does deserve a shot somewhere if it's not going to come to fruition in Cleveland.  As much of a class act as Frye is, DA's at least his equal in that department. 

---Quinn gets the second possession of the second half.  With and against a significant portion of both team's first-stringers.  And he finishes what he quasi-started in the last half.  That means buh-bye Derek, hello Ken Dorsey as the #3 QB.  With Brady as your new #2. 

---Speaking of Quinn's first possession, those two throws--one complete to Kellen Winslow, the other incomplete to Joe Jurevicius in the end zone---were... ummm... good.  

---And his second possession, starting with a short field?  For those that DVR'd/taped the game, watch the replay of the TD pass to Josh Cribbs.  Specifically, the replay that zooms in on Quinn's eyes as he's going back to pass.   Watch his eyes directed at a receiver flashing at the bottom of the screen.  A receiver who wasn't the intended/eventual target.  That was something you can't teach, and yet another small data point in the processing of "sooner rather than later".

---Anybody notice that the offensive line, throughout this entire preseason, has provided--gasp!--protection on most passing plays?  What a novel concept, that whole "giving the man behind center time to view the field" thing.  And that's without Eric Steinbach on the field and with the suspension cloud hanging over future starting right guard Ryan Tucker's head.

(WARNING: Deceased Equine Assault Ahead)

---I absolutely cannot wait to see a healthy Jamal Lewis do his regular-season voodoo.  If I were a thirteen-year-old of the female persuasion, I'd say the thought of him in brown & orange when the real bullets start flying makes me downright giddy.  Since I'm not, I won't.


---Damn, D'Qwell Jackson, who pissed in your pregame Cheerios?  You need to check into that.  And when you do identify the culprit, ensure that he/she does it every Sunday because that's the type of play you're capable of week in and week out. 

---Ditto for Chaun Thompson.  Well played, young man.  Well played.

---It was good to see Dave Logan--sans his unparalleled porn 'stache--on the pregame show.

---Just a thought that stumbled into the furniture of my beer-addled mind: Could being on the road and away from the pressure cooker of Cleveland Browns Stadium actually have helped Frye and Anderson?  And, if so, is that necessarily a good thing?  Just something to chew on...

---If Kamerion Wimbley were entering his second season in New York... or Chicago...  or Dallas... or New England...

---Better Half's Line of the Night, in reference to Quinn's new defensive line-induced lid: "Brady, he's like the new Brittany Spears." 

---Travis Wilson, WTF???  Way, way, way too many drops.  It's a constant theme with you, whether it be in practices or practice games.  If it walks like a blown third-rounder, talks like a blown third-rounder, and looks like a blown third-rounder, then by god it's a blown third-rounder. 

 ---Phil Dawson, enjoy your last competition-free season in Cleveland.  And that's probably the best thing that could happen to you.

---Bottom line: after the debacle/future hope of last Saturday night, this is just what this club, this organization, needed.  They got their short-term starter at QB figured out, and their long-term solution to the position continued to show precisely why he is just that.  Win, win all around.  Plus, scoreboard.  Coming out of tonight, they could not have asked for anything more.

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