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Kosar on Frye

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  • Kosar on Frye

    Bernie Kosar is connecting again in the NFL, this time as mentor to Browns quarterback Charlie Frye, the rookie's boyhood idol
    Sunday, December 11, 2005
    Mary Kay Cabot
    Plain Dealer Reporter


    -- Browns quarterback Charlie Frye still has a poster of Ber nie Kosar hanging over the dresser in his bedroom back home in Willard, Ohio, but Kosar is no longer just Frye's boyhood idol.

    Kosar is now his friend and mentor. He's also helping him coordinate some of his marketing and charity events.

    But most of all, Kosar is trying to help Frye avoid the pitfalls of being an NFL quarterback -- especially so close to home.

    "We met at a charity event right after the draft, and we hit it off right away," said Kosar. "We talk at least once a week, mostly after games. Seeing him now reminds me a lot of what I was like 20 years ago."

    Like Kosar, Frye shies away from the spotlight and isn't overly chatty with the media.

    "I didn't want to do interviews, and I didn't want to string 10 words together," said Kosar. "I see so much of that in him that it's eerily similar to me. He's so team-oriented that he doesn't care about publicity or making commercials or getting his name in the headlines. All he wants to do is play football."

    Like Kosar, Frye was born and raised in Ohio (Kosar is from Youngstown). Both grew up diehard Browns fans. Like Kosar, he dreamed of one day playing for his hometown team.

    "With Charlie being from near Cleveland, he's got so many family and friends around that it can get you distracted," said Kosar. "I was never able to focus solely on football because I had so many people pulling me in so many different directions. One of the first things I did was advise Charlie to hire people who could handle all that stuff for him."

    Like Kosar, Frye - who will make his second straight start today against the 9-3 Bengals - has demonstrated he has that certain intangible for making something out of nothing.

    "I've heard Trent Dilfer call it 'it,' " said Kosar. "It's a God-given gift. It's something you can't teach or coach. When you're as slow and skinny and I was, you better have something - and Charlie has shown me he has 'it.' "

    Kosar said Frye displayed that special gift on a play against Miami in his first NFL game. He saw an eight-man front and called an audible out of a running play to a pass. His throw was on target, but Braylon Edwards couldn't hang on and it ended up being intercepted.

    "But that type of confidence early in your first game shows he's got what it takes to play at this level," Kosar said.

    Frye showed it again last week against Jacksonville when he noticed the offsides. He scrambled and hit Edwards with a TD pass in the end zone, Kosar said. He saw it again when Frye hit Antonio Bryant on a 30-yard fade down the right side, placing the ball where only Bryant could get it.

    The officials, however, ruled Bryant out of bounds by a toe, but Kosar said Frye couldn't have thrown the ball any better.

    "Every chance he's gotten, he's shown he can make something happen," said Kosar.

    "Frye isn't the prettiest athlete, but he finds a way to get it done. He's more athletic than I was, but his mental approach, his competitiveness and his confidence all bring back memories."

    Frye has been thrilled to get to know the quarterback he watched as a kid at Municipal Stadium, leading the Browns to three AFC Championship games when Frye was in grade school.

    "Bernie's a real cool dude, man," said Frye. "He's real down to earth. He talks to me like he's known me forever, and we've only known each other for a few months. He watches the games on TV and played for years, so he knows what's going on. But he's mostly helped me with the off-the-field stuff since he was from here, too, and he's been through it."

    Frye said he has a ways to go before he can be compared to Kosar.

    "Bernie was a real smart quarterback," said Frye. "He ad-libbed a lot and used his brain a lot on the line making checks and things like that. That's the biggest thing I remember about Bernie, checking to the open guys. Hopefully, I can get to the point where I can do that."

    Kosar has taken such a liking to Frye that he told him he should wear No. 19.

    "I'd love it," said Kosar.

    But Frye will stick with No. 9.

    "That's Bernie's number," he said. "I just want to be myself."

    If things go as the Browns hope, maybe Kosar will have a poster of Frye in his house someday.

    To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:

    [email protected], 216-999-4670

    The Browns are gone; I'm not a fan of the Impostors

    The real Browns are in Baltimore, see?

  • #2
    Since nobody around here besides me will reply to this one:

    If you give Frye the team that Kosar had, then yes Frye can be awesome. People need to wake up, and stop sleeping on him.