Two Rumors Down
Phil Savage speaks to the Cleveland media on January 7, 2005 (Barry McBride /

Posted Nov 2, 2005

Tuesday night's radio show put the kibosh on two local Browns stories...


On Tuesday night's edition of the Bernie's Insiders Radio Program, we had an opportunity to put to rest two rumors/news items which came to light earlier in the day. In one case, we were the first to follow up with Browns General Manager Phil Savage to get his view of the story.

Here is a summary of our analysis of these stories during last night's program.

ITEM 1: Phil Savage declared Trent Dilfer the starter for this Sunday's game

A Tuesday news item, which quickly became a focus on the internet and talk shows, was that Browns general manager Phil Savage declared in a local radio interview that the situation at quarterback was "status quo", which meant that Trent Dilfer would start the game against Tennessee.

Excerpts from the interview played later by the radio station later seemed to confirm this interpretation for many Browns fans.

In a town with somewhat of a quarterback controversy, a declaration by the team's front office that one particular player would start is big news.

Following some non-committal remarks by Browns head coach Romeo Crennel on Monday, the statement took many Browns fans by surprise.

Questions quickly appeared in the Ask the Insiders forum and elsewhere based around the notion that Savage appeared to be usurping Crennel's authority to make on-field and depth chart decisions.

Many visitors to the Bernie's Insiders forums were also aware of rumors published via out-of-town Internet sites that there are problems in the Savage / Crennel relationship (rumors which we have discounted here at

The morning's news item, particularly as it cascaded through the Internet, seemed to back up these rumors of front office problems.

On the Bernie's Insiders Radio Program, Jeff Schudel of the Lake County News-Herald provided a much different view of events, based on a discussion with Savage himself some time after the WTAM interview.

"I asked (Phil Savage) if that is what he said (that Dilfer would start)", Jeff told us last evening.

"That's not my call, that's Romeo's call", was the response from the team's General Manager.

"He did say that things were status quo", Jeff told Bernie's Insiders listeners, " ...but what that meant was that nothing had changed as of that moment. That was interpreted... as saying Dilfer would start."

"That has to really get out there", Schudel continued, "... and we have to nip that rumor in the bud that (Savage) made that declaration that Trent will start".

A minor furor started by radio in the morning, hopefully ended by radio in the evening.

ITEM 2: Braylon Edwards is urging that Charlie Frye be made the team's starting quarterback

This item was originally generated by headline placement in a major Cleveland newspaper, which later influenced the commentary of radio personalities and discussions on Cleveland Browns message boards.

"Change at Quarterback Urged" blared the headline, which spanned a commentary from a newspaper columnist asking for a change in the quarterback position, as well as a story about Edwards comments on Frye's abilities.

Fred Greetham, our daily Berea reporter as well as a contributor to Bernie's Insiders magazine, was covering the Browns locker room on Monday when Edwards made his remarks.

"He wasn't asked who he would go with (as starting quarterback)", Fred told our listeners, "He was asked what would be a positive of Frye coming into the game."

"It wasn't anything in disrespect (to Dilfer) or saying 'Hey, it's time to go to Charlie'. The quotes (reported in the local press) were accurate, but it was in the context of the decision already having been made."

While the news reports were accurate, host Barry McBride added, "A fan giving a cursory glance to the headlines could be left with the impression that Edwards was there advocating Charlie Frye as the next quarterback, but that's not what he was saying."

The misinterpretation is mostly due to the way that the headline was assigned and laid out, not the contents of the actual story in the paper.

You can listen to an archive of the program at or by subscribing to the podcast by using the URL

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