What is that all about? Until the last two or three weeks, Dilfer has been the model for veteran QBs who have been asked to bridge the gap until the rookie, Charlie Frye, is ready. He has even been better than the last successful Browns interim Quarterback, Gary Danielson, who broke his leg and gave up his position to Bernie Kosar, long before he was scheduled to do so.
But Dilfer must have taken public relations classes with Cavalier guard Damon Jones, who, earlier this week, dropped his three-week boycott of the media, by saying ‘I would like to apologize for my boycott of the media, and I will accept your apology, too'. Jones went on to answer every question, except for the three had to do with Eric Snow winning the starting position. On three different occasions, Jones said, ‘Next question'.
That was similar to Dilfer's response, when asked when he knew that Frye would be taking snaps in the Miami game. Dilfer's terse answer, aimed at the questioner, was ‘none of your business'. In a previous meeting with the press, Dilfer offered the opinion that the media wanted him to put a gun to his head. Until these occasions, Dilfer has been giving his best imitation of Bull Durham's Nuke LaLoosh by giving all of the right answers. In fact, a couple of weeks ago, I intended to talk to him privately in the locker room after he met with the press, to let him know that I thought he was handling everything in a highly classy manner. I didn't get the opportunity (and I'm now glad that I didn't) because his attention was diverted when he left group.
Now, if I had the chance to talk to him privately, I would question his recent actions. He had to know that Frye would be getting a chance sometime this year. As far as Frye's appearance in the first half, if Romeo Crennel wanted to see him in game conditions, then it was the right thing to do. If he waited until the fourth quarter, with what became a 22-0 lead, the object would be to work on the clock, and the coaches would never have had the opportunity to see the rookie with the game still in the balance.
Despite all of this, I think Dilfer has been getting a bad rap by the fans. I realize he has missed some connections that should have been made, but for the most part he has done what he has been asked to do. If Crennel really believes that the Browns have been one play away from winning another game or two, then Dilfer must get credit for getting them into that position. Dilfer, known for managing a game (good enough to get to---and win---a Super Bowl), has done just that. There is no guarantee that Frye, or anyone else, would have made enough plays in the early parts of those winnable games to put them in to that position.