In Like Quinn
Hmmm. Well, that was fast.
Look, by all means, bring back Ken Dorsey, the journeyman who was a good mentor for Brady Quinn in learning offensive coordinator (and former U. of Miami offensive coordinator) Rob Chudzinski's schemes, and who never shoud've been cut, anyway. But trading the mediocre Frye instead of the godawful Derek Anderson is just pigheaded and foolish: neither guy's going to take you to the promised land, but if you're looking--as all comments have indicated-- for a warm body to get beat up on Sundays until Brady Quinn is ready, Frye is a better guy: more experienced, more consistent (relatively speaking), and a calmer guy in the pocket. Here's GM Phil Savage:
"Our whole thought was Charlie [Frye] and Derek [Anderson] keeping us functional through the tough part of our schedule,'' Savage told me. And now? "If you ask 70,000 people in our stadium today, the process got accelerated. We'll meet [Monday morning] and discuss it. But I think you run into trouble if you change your plans after one game. Back in 1999, we lost to Pittsburgh 43-0 in the first game of the season with Ty Detmer playing and we threw Tim Couch in there. You saw how that turned out. Once Brady goes in, that's it; there's no turning back. To do it after the first week ...''
Anderson looked awful in the preseason, and not much better against Pittsburgh on Sunday. GM Phil Savage mentioned today that Anderson "has a big arm," but he hasn't used it with much effectiveness so far this year, finding a way to brain cramp at least once every game and make a key fumble or interception that's cost the team. Scuttlebutt on a fansite had it that since Savage brought Anderson with him from the Baltimore Ravens, he had an ego investment in keeping him around and making him work out; I like to think that Savage, who's otherwise made good draft choices and trades, and has done a lot to clear out the expansion deadwood of the last seven years, is bigger than that, but it's possible Anderson is the Toni Kukoc to his Jerry Krause: the discovery with whom he can't bear to part.
This is already a transitional year for the Browns: Romeo Crennel is likely a lame duck, they are fielding rookies at several positions, and they face a schedule that would be tough even if they were much, much better than they are. So, go for it: pull a Troy Aikman and see how Quinn responds, because he's certainly their best option (and I'm going to the game this weekend, and would be thrilled to see him play in person). To paraphrase Robert Redford in All The President's Men, I don't mind what the Browns did, I mind how they did it. At some point, the Dawgtown gang is going to have to stop settling for mediocrity as a management strategy, going to have to stop being the farm team, the finishing school for the rest of the NFL (lots of Browns have Super Bowl rings; they just got them somewhere else). Forty-three years without a championship is a long time for a loyal city to suffer.
Speaking of football and suffering, here's my favorite strained comparison of the week, courtesy of the normally reliable Sports Illustrated football writer Peter King, as he makes a prediction about Monday's NFL double-header:
Remember when Seinfeld said he had a hankerin' for some Doublemint gum? Well, that's America tonight.