BEREA – What a difference a year makes!
A year ago, Charlie Frye was a wide-eyed rookie entering his first NFL training camp after being a third-round draft choice of the Browns. He was nestled comfortably behind the veteran Trent Dilfer and a veteran quarterback backup in Doug Johnson. He had time to sit back and learn the ropes of the NFL game until the powers that be deemed him ready to take over the reigns at quarterback.
That time has come.
Gone are Dilfer and Johnson and Frye is clearly in the center stage as Browns training camp officially opened today.
Frye, despite having started just five NFL games is confident he's ready to do the job.
"Last year, everybody knew Trent was going to be the starter," Frye said. "This year, I'm much further along. I know the play book. I know what to do.
"I feel much more comfortable being the starter," he said. "I've always been a starter and now I'm much more ready to be in that position."
Frye said he defers to the coaches as to how much playing time he'll get in the preseason.
"I'm just going to go out there and take advantage of the opportunities I'm given," Frye said. "Whatever the coaches want me to do, I'm willing to do."
He played in seven games in 2005 and was 2-3 in the five games he started. Frye was 98-of-164 (59.8 percent) in passing for 1,002 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions. His QB rating was 72.8.
"The good part is he's been here for a year and he has some experience," Romeo Crennel said. "We need to let him work with those guys. We want to give him a lot of reps and get used to the guys around him."
His best game, statistically, was in a 20-14 loss to Jacksonville when he was 13-of-20 for 226 yards, including two touchdowns. His QB rating was 136.7.
Newcomer LeCharles Bentley likes what he's seen of Frye thus far.
"Charlie's a leader," Bentley said. "He has all of the intangibles. It's obvious what he did in college and the potential he has to do here."
He was sacked 22 times for 135 yards as he had a tendency to hang on to the ball too long. He's worked on that in the off-season, but the Browns have tried to beef up the offensive line in the off-season in the additions of Bentley and left tackle Kevin Shaffer.
"If the guys around him if they're performing and producing that will help him," Crennel said. "A lot depends on the offensive line and if they will allow him to have some time."
Crennel said he has confidence in Frye.
"In the five games he played (last year), he showed he could perform," Crennel said. "I don't think he was rattled or scared. For him to bounce back after the Pittsburgh game showed a lot."
Frye said the last five games of the 2005 season helped him immensely.
"I think those five games last year helped me a lot," Frye said. "Anytime you gain experience, it helps you somewhere down the line."
Romeo's Ready: Crennel enters his second season at the helm and is excited to get going.
"The Browns have had a lot of success and tradition here in the first 60 years," he said. "We want to bring some of that back.
"With this 2006 team, improvement is an area we are striving for," he said. "Overall, we feel a lot better of having everyone in place. With the guys we've added in free agency, we've improved the talent. That makes us better on paper, but we have to be better on Sundays."
No News on Wilson: Third-round draft choice Travis Wilson was the only holdout at the start of training camp and Crennel let it be known it will put him behind.
"I can only work with the guys here," he said. "The No. 3 isn't here and I imagine it will take him longer to be ready. Last year, the No. 1 wasn't here and it took him time to be ready."
Injury Update: DB Demario Minter was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. He is having surgery on Thursday according to Crennel. WR Braylon Edwards is also on the active PUP until the medical staff clears him.
"Overall, we feel good about his rehab and him coming back this year," Crennel said. "Getting Braylon and Kellen Winslow back on the field will help us."
Crennel didn't rule out Edwards could be cleared to play during training camp.
The X Factor: Frye said TE Kellen Winslow is the X Factor.
"We can move him all around," he said. "He can line up at tight end or out wide or even in the backfield. He creates a lot of mismatches."
Notes from Friday's practice: Ryan Tucker feels something in his knee, Bentley and Minter go under…