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Wednesday, December 24, 2014
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Published: Friday, 11/4/2005

Crennel is right to stay with Dilfer

Looks like Cleveland Browns coach Romeo Crennel will wait until next season - or at least until next week - to prove Charlie Frye was worth a third-round draft pick.

Smart decision.

By supporting starter Trent Dilfer, Crennel admitted the obvious: Frye, the popular rookie from the University of Akron, isn't ready yet.

A former Browns defensive coordinator, Crennel understands that Cleveland football fans are passionately loyal - and incredibly impatient.

He understands the second-guessers are poised to pounce on his reluctance to make a quarterback change in the face of mounting evidence against Dilfer.

He also understands that rebuilding the Browns is going to take time.

So, despite increasing pressure from fans and the media, Crennel is sticking to his guns.

The Browns can't change a culture of losing in one off-season and one training camp, or with one draft, one free-agency period, a new coach, a new general manager and a new quarterback.

You can't erase the last seven years of bad Browns football in one fell swoop.

This isn't what long-suffering Browns fans want to hear, but they should remain patient and supportive of Crennel.

Crennel has enjoyed tremendous success during stints with New England and the New York Giants. He's entitled to do things his way.

So for now, Crennel will stay the course. The last thing the Browns need is Frye taking a physical beating for no good reason.

Look at rookie quarterback Alex Smith, the No. 1 pick in the draft and supposed savior of the San Francisco 49ers.

First-year 49ers coach Mike Nolan rushed Smith into the starting lineup. Now Smith is sidelined with a partially torn ligament in his right knee.

Changing quarterbacks would be a sign of panic for Crennel. Not to mention being hazardous to Frye's health.

The second-guessers will suggest that since Dilfer isn't getting it done for the 2-5 Browns, Crennel should put the kid in.

Put a dress on a pig, and it's still a pig.

It's foolish for Crennel to throw Frye into the fire, just for the sake of making a change to appease the masses.

Cleveland doesn't have any true playmakers on offense. Wide receiver Braylon Edwards doesn't count because he's a rookie who has spent more time in the trainer's room than on the playing field. He's a work in progress.

That goes double for tight end/Evel Knievel imitator Kellen Winslow Jr., who's out until next season.

The Browns don't have the right ingredients for Frye to be successful. Better for Dilfer to get beat up than Frye.

Frye was a good pick-up. The Browns needed a young quarterback to grow with, and Frye has potential.

He's also playing for a team woefully lacking in talent. Forcing the issue with Frye this early in his NFL career would only add pressure and create unrealistic expectations.

Crennel believes that Dilfer, a 12-year veteran, gives the Browns the best chance to win. If he believed otherwise, Frye would already be the starter.

Crennel watches Frye up-close-and-personal every day in practice. Let him decide when to put the kid in.



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