BEREA - Charlie Frye is excited and welcoming being on the hot seat.
Frye knows he has to have a great training camp and preseason to win the starting job at quarterback. After an injury-riddled 2006 and a less than stellar season, Frye has competition for the quarterback job. The Browns think Derek Anderson can play and they also drafted Brady Quinn in the first round.
Frye was 4-9 as a starter last year and three 10 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. His QB rating was 72.0. He completed 64.1 percent of his passes and threw for 2,454 yards.
He feels he’s improved his arm strength and his overall game. He stayed after practice and was throwing tight spirals down field 30-40 yards.
“I think we’ve improved, myself included, but there haven’t been any live bullets flying yet,” Frye said. “We’ll soon find out.”
Romeo Crennel was asked if he thought Frye’s arm strength had improved.
“I agree with him,” Crennel said. “He has worked hard this off-season and he seems to be stronger. He’s getting a grasp of the offense, as are all of the quarterbacks.”
Crennel was asked who had the strongest arm of the Browns quarterbacks.
“DA (Derek Anderson) has the best arm, but the quarterback also has to run the offense,” Crennel said.
Frye said the new offense under Rob Chudzinski suits his style.
“One of my strengths is moving the pocket,” Frye said. “It is more for the defense to game plan for when they have me rolling out.
“I can move,” Frye said. “We have a really good quick game. There’s really not much of anything (in the playbook) that I don’t like. The motion and shifts I like.”
Crennel said moving the pocket puts pressure on the defense.
“Every offense that moves the quarterback adds another dimension to what is being done,” Crennel said.
Frye admits the real test will be when the pads are put on in training camp.
“We won’t have a full grasp of the offense until the live bullets are flying in training camp,” he said. “I think we’ve accomplished a lot in this camp. From starting at ground zero, we’ve put into the whole offense. All in all, we’re all making strides.”
After mini camp concludes on Thursday the Browns are officially off until training camp begins July 22. However, Frye said he doesn’t plan to go too far, rather spend his time in Berea getting ready for the upcoming season.
“I don’t want to take too much of a break,” Frye said. “The season is coming fast and I want to try to speed up the learning curve.”
Crennel has not put a timetable on when to start letting one quarterback get the majority of reps with the first team, but knows it is coming.
“At some point we have to make a decision so (the starter) can get more reps,” Crennel said. “But when that’s going to be, I can’t answer that.”
Cribbs Says He Can Be the Punt Returner: WR/KR Josh Cribbs said he can take on the added duty of punter returner that was vacated when Dennis Northcutt left via free agency.
“I expect to be the punt returner,” Cribbs said. “It’s open so anyone can shine and take it.”
Cribbs returned one punt in his rookie season and had six last year. His longest was for 34 yards, which spiked his average to 9.2 yards per return.
Cribbs said he learned from Northcutt and is ready for the challenge.
“I’ve learned how to judge the ball and make decisions,” he said. “You can’t be indecisive back there.”
Cribbs is in competition with rookies Syndric Steptoe, Eric Wright, Sean Jones and Brandon McDonald for the return job.
“I’m confident in my ability,” he said. “I feel whenever I have the ball in my hand, I can make something happen.”
Crennel admitted if Cribbs can handle multiple roles it would help the team.
“Josh has made progress as a punt returner,” Crennel said. “It depends on how the other guys do and if the other guys make the team at another position.
“It would be a plus if he could handle both roles because it would fill a roster spot,” Crennel said.
Prime Time Brady: The NFL Network had a crew at mini camp and had Brady Quinn as a featured guest. Also Jim Brown was with them, among others.
Heating Up: A couple of this year’s draft choices got into it in the morning practice. No. 1 draft choice Joe Thomas and sixth-round choice DL Chase Pittman had to be separated by teammates after the pair started swinging at each other after a play.
“I told those guys if they break a hand, they’ll be fined,” Crennel said. “Fighting in a game is a penalty and we can’t have that.”