I am expecting the Cleveland Browns to announce that
Trent Dilfer is questionable for this Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, as he is suffering from ‘Quarterbacktus Interruptus’.
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
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.
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.
While I don’t have any objection to the way the
quarterback situation has been handled, it is fair to question the handling of
Braylon Edwards, through the first ten games. Until the Miami game, the third
pick in the draft was almost non-existent. Other than the recent emergence of
running back Reuben Droughns, Edwards appeared to the only real game-breaker on
Although I can’t confirm this at this time, one
veteran observer thinks that there is a rift between the head coach and the
receiver’s coach, Terry Robiskie who finished out last year as the interim head
coach. That observer feels that it is never good to have any holdovers from a
previous staff still around when a new coach comes in, especially one who served
as a previous interim head coach. The thought is, to the detriment of the team,
that there has been a disagreement between the two as to how the one-time
holdout should be used.
sense, however, should dictate that Edwards should get the ball eight to ten
times a game.
have my rhythm broken a couple of times during the course of this column, I
am happy to report that I was able to finish it without any serious
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