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Frye's Gone: Operation 'Quinn' Accelerated

The news has been out for over a day now: Charlie Frye is no longer with the Cleveland Browns. If you've been hiding under a rock in an attempt to recover from the misery of our opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, I don't blame you. However, with this type of unprecedented move made by the organization, I believe Phil Savage is committed to giving the fans what they want sooner than they had planned.

Everybody knew that Brady Quinn was going to play at some point this year, probably some time after the Bye Week. The only thing that may have prevented that would have been extraordinary play from Frye, which obviously went down the drain after just a quarter and a half. As Sports Illustrated's Peter King asked in his column, what has this team been doing all of training camp? To the casual NFL fan, it appeared as though our pass protection was horrible, or running game was inept, and our receivers couldn't get open. In reality, all three of those issues can partially be attributed to just how much Frye made everyone around him look bad.

Frye was sacked five times over a few series. The Steelers are notorious for blitzing, but Frye didn't even consider using his mobility to his advantage to counter his slow decision making. Perhaps the coaches told Frye to become more of a pocket passer for some reason, but that's not who Frye is. He failed to play to his strengths, and because of that, everyone involved suffered. The offensive line can't hold their blocks for a guy who is oblivious of who is coming from where on any given play. In turn, the Browns found themselves losing early on against the Steelers, forcing Rob Chudzinski to neglect the running game. I'm sorry, but if I had to deal with anything similar to that over the next five weeks with a quarterback that was not the future of this team, it would have driven me off the edge.

Savage was able to trade Frye to the Seattle Seahawks for a sixth-round draft pick instead of outright releasing him. The Browns ended up losing out on a former third-round draft choice, but nobody can really go back and say that the "Charlie Frye" experiment was a mistake. Due to the local ties he had with the team, some people were hoping that we'd actually take him in the second round that season. He showed passion during his stay with the Browns and there should not be any animosity towards him, since he never conducted himself inappropriately. Frye was not going to be with this team past the end of this season anyway, unless he had a miracle "Drew Brees" type of season. With the chances of that happening being highly unlikely, the move does not hinder the potential that this team still has in the tank.

With that said, we'll have to wait still before Quinn takes over the starting role. The team announced that Derek Anderson would start this week against the Cincinnati Bengals. While I wish it would be Quinn starting, I'm glad that we'll at least have somebody in the game that will not hold onto the ball until a defender is bringing him to the ground. In terms of Quinn playing this Sunday though, all hope is not lost if Anderson struggles:

"I think it just depends on how the game goes," said Crennel. "If there's evidence, or I get the feeling that things can be straightened out, you can give the guy [Quinn] a chance. But if things can't get straightened out, then, I think you have to do something quickly."

Crennel also stated that he expects Anderson to perform well. That should be expected, but then again, by starting Frye Week 1, I'm sure the organization felt the same way about him. Now that Ken Dorsey is on the team though, at least we have Quinn's personal mentor back on board.

"I expect him [Anderson] to play the way he played against Kansas City (bringing the Browns back from a 14-point fourth quarter deficit to win 31-28 in OT) when we put him in the game last year. He did win that game for us. I don't know if we remember that but he did play pretty decently in that game.

"Then, in the following week against a tough Pittsburgh team, he started off really good with his reads and delivering the ball. We didn't help him any because we dropped a lot of balls (seven) but he did start off pretty good in that game. I did tell him this morning that that's what I expect out of him."

There have also been comparisons made by Savage that they do not want to do to Quinn what the organization did to Tim Couch back in 1999, basically throwing him to the wolves. If that's the case, then it would strongly suggest to me that Savage has no faith in all of the offseason moves the team made, because the amount of talent on the team in 1999 versus the amount of talent on the team in 2007 is not even comparable. Quinn may struggle through some of the minor aspects of the game, or he may struggle on some more significant aspects. I'd rather watch our quarterback of the future struggle a little than deal with a quarterback conflict every other week - I think we've had enough debates about that since returning to the league. Now, it's finally time to put those debates to bed once and for all. The final solution may not come this Sunday, or two weeks from now, or even three weeks from now. In the end though, the process was accelerated due to Frye's horrid performance this past Sunday, and that is the only thing that can make me stomach that loss a little bit easier.