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University of Akron Zips blog

Why it's time for Frye

By mrasor Published: October 25, 2005

Football


As promised, here is the Rasor's Edge for Tuesday, Oct. 25...


It was a Browns game that turned into an episode of The O'Reilly Factor at my friend's house Sunday.

Each interception thrown by Browns quarterback Trent Dilfer spilled gasoline on the fire. I, the ever-opinionated columnist, stayed relatively silent.

Coming into this weekend, I considered myself a quarterback traditionalist - a person who believes you should spare QBs from physical and mental danger in their rookie season.

Now I'm not so sure.

Dilfer performed dismally Sunday. He threw for only 73 yards. He completed 10 passes to fellow Cleveland Browns. He completed three passes to Detroit Lions defensive backs. Three interceptions, no touchdowns.

The week prior wasn't much better. Dilfer threw for 147 yards with one interception, no touchdowns.

Lately, the Browns defense has kept the team in the game while Dilfer does his best to keep the team off the scoreboard.

As you know, the Browns drafted the University of Akron's Charlie Frye in the third round of last year's draft. Frye played great during preseason, but would wait to start. Dilfer is a Super Bowl champion, so the job was not open for competition. Until this weekend, I agreed with that decision.

Football analysts say quarterbacks should wait until their second or third year to start. They warn that you don't want to "ruin a young quarterback" with mental pressure and physical harm.

The physical harm does not apply for Frye. He is much more mobile than Dilfer. At Akron, he eluded sacks like Michael Moore avoids salads. If Dilfer can remain healthy, Frye should be able to stay off the injured list, too.

Mental pressure, I believe, is a faulty argument. Look at young quarterbacks who have crumbled due to mental pressure, such as former San Diego Charger Ryan Leaf. If Leaf was so mentally unstable that he cracked his rookie year, he had little chance to be a clutch performer anyway.

In short, any quarterback who is "ruin-able" has very little chance to succeed in the first place.

Frye is humble and tough. He won't alienate his teammates with cockiness. And he won't break down as soon as the boos inevitably rain inside Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Am I saying that Frye's preseason performances certainly mean he will be a star? No. But Frye did show he could be a serviceable quarterback in 2005.

Moreover, Dilfer has done little the past two weeks to show Browns fans that he deserves to keep his job over anyone.

The Browns should also want to avoid a quarterback controversy. So I favor giving Dilfer one last start to show he's not washed up.

The Browns play the winless Houston Texans, who are the worst defensive team in the conference.

If Dilfer fails to move the team in the first half, give Frye the ball after halftime.

Hopefully, that will lead to peace around the television next Sunday.

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