BEREA – Charlie Frye passed his second test as quarterback in the NFL, according to Romeo Crennel.
At least he did good enough to remain the starter—at least for another week.
"It's safe to say he will start this game," Crennel said. "I said all along that we were going to try to get him some reps and he's passing these tests."
Although he didn't mention him by name, Crennel felt Frye did a good job against the Bengals.
"Offensively, the young kid (Frye), showed he has some poise on the field and can get out of trouble and can handle the offense pretty well," Crennel said. "He handled the test pretty well. He knew he'd start and they knew.
"As all rookies, I'm sure there are plays he would like back, but he'll learn from it," he said. "We were able to score touchdowns in the red zone. There were some things we can build on."
Frye outplayed potential Pro Bowl quarterback Carson Palmer and was 16-of-24 for 138 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. His QB rating was 78.1 to Palmer's 53.5.
"He handled the game," Crennel said. "There was some crowd noise and he handled. He handled the hostile crowd pretty well. He wasn't scared. He was a methodical quarterback."
Frye was slow to assess his performance, but his teammates were impressed.
"I don't think he's playing like a rookie," Aaron Shea said. "He's doing well and has a good demeanor in the huddle."
Frye scrambled four times for 14 yards, including one for a touchdown. He was used that way a lot at Akron.
"It's no big adjustment for me to get out of the pocket and move," Frye said.
Crennel likes Frye's mobility.
"In college, he had some experience rolling out and on the move," he said. "It looks like he's pretty decent at that."
Frye likes the opportunity to have the ball in his hands in big situations, despite being just a rookie. He feels he's gaining the confidence of his teammates.
"I want to embrace the situation," Frye said. "I don't think it's been tough. I come to work every day and give it all I can. If I play hard, I will get the respect of my teammates."
Crennel did mention one area he needed to work on.
"One of their guys said he stared the receiver down, so he needs to improve on that," Crennel said.
Crennel said that Frye's playbook will expand and he is allowed to change the play at the line.
"Some of our plays, we have confidence in him to make the changes and he's handled it nicely," Crennel said. "The more opportunities he gets the more comfortable he will get. The more he shows he can handle, the more we'll give him."
"Any time you get experience, it helps," Frye said. "The more experience I get the more it will help me."
"I agree with Romeo that you don't want to give him too much, too soon," Dennis Northcutt said. "As he develops, he'll expand what he can do."
A Little Progress: Crennel said if you compare the two games against the Bengals, the Browns have made progress. The Browns lost the first game, 27-13.
"We went down there and played pretty hard the whole game," Crennel said. "We felt good about that. We don't feel that good about the outcome but we did compete against a playoff team.
"A sign of progress is from the first game to the second game," he said. "We kept it close the whole game. We still have a lot of work to improve this team, but if will play hard with energy and passion will win our share."
Problem with the Run: The Browns still have not been able to stop the run consistently all season. They gave up 185 yards against the Bengals, including 169 to Rudi Johnson. The Bengals averaged 5.4 yards per carry.
"Defensively, we've had trouble with the run all year," Crennel said. "It showed up again and that's a problem. We'll keep working at it and try and improve.
"Rudi had those plays early," he said. "We did adjust a little bit and were able to cut it down to five or six yards a carry. We had a hard time with him because we couldn't stop him when we needed to."
Injury Update: Crennel had a lengthy list of injured players, but felt most of the players would be able to play this week. The only players he didn't know about were CB Michael Lehan (hamstring) and TE Aaron Shea (calf). He listed the following: OL Joe Andruzzi (knee), CB Leigh Bodden (slight concussion), OL Cosey Coleman (knee), RB Reuben Droughns (knee), QB Charlie Frye (knee), TE Steve Heiden (ankle), CB Ray Mickens (groin), DL Orpheus Roye (knee).
"We had a long list last week, but most played," Crennel said. "To my knowledge there's nothing major."