Backup May Have Some Concerns
Pats looking at quarterbacks in the draft
Tim Yotter and Patriots Insider Staff
Charlie Frye is a good-sized quarterback (6-foot-4, 225) who played at the small college of Akron (Ohio). But these days, small-college prospects get noticed by NFL scouts if they are good enough, and Frye has proven to be good enough in his predraft workouts to date.
At least 11 NFL teams were represented at Frye's recent workout at Akron, including position coaches Rip Scherer of the Browns, Canton-native Josh McDaniels of New England, Rich Olson of Minnesota, Jack Burns of Washington and Greg Olson of Detroit. The Browns also were represented by Bill Rees, director of personnel. Tom Rossley of the Packers was the only coordinator present.
Any of those teams could pull the trigger on him with a mid-round draft selection and put him in a competition with their current backups. Although Frye only warrants a mid-round draft grade, according to most experts, that hasn’t fazed him.
“It's not where you start from, it's where you finish,” he said. “There's a lot of guys like Joe Montana and Tom Brady that weren't selected in the first round, and they've both won three Super Bowls, so it's not where you start from, it's where you end up.”
Frye was a four-year starter and all-conference QB who holds more than 50 school passing and offensive records. After a redshirt freshman year, the record-breaking began. In his freshman year, he set the school’s season interception record at 2.1 percent, among other season marks to fall that year. In his sophomore year, he set marks for passing yards, completions, attempts and total offense, all while playing with a broken bone in his right thumb for the final nine games, an injury that was easier to deal with than an earlier pinkie injury, he said.
His feats continued to climb despite the loss of numerous starters during his four seasons at Akron, and his career totals read: 913 of 1,436 passing (63.6 percent) for 11,049 yards, 64 TDs and 32 interceptions.
While he wants to become known as a quarterback who can make plays outside of the pocket, a la Ben Roethlisberger, another MAC Conference quarterback who led the Steelers to the AFC Championship game in his rookie year as a starter in the NFL, Frye considers himself a student of the game.
“I spend a lot of time in the film room, a lot of time with my coaches,” he said. “We came in with a new staff this year and I spent four hours as he was installing it with the assistant coaches, trying to learn. The day you think you've learned everything to know about football, that is the day you lose.”
Off the field, his exploits are impressive as well. He contributed to numerous charitable causes through the Akron football team and helped run Antoine Winfield’s summer camp last June.
And he has a fun, quirky side to him, too. He wears a Superman t-shirt under his jersey each game. His physical gifts are a little quirky as well. He throws right-handed, writes left-handed and kicks left-footed.
According to TFY Draft Preview, Frye “sets up in the pocket with good footwork, remains poised and goes through receiver progressions, buying time for wideouts. … Throws with an over-the-top delivery, displaying zip on the short throws and the ability to quickly get the ball into the intended target’s hands. Tough competitor who plays while injured. “
On the negative side, his arm strength has been questioned, which is why he isn’t expected to be draft in the first three rounds.
“Frye offers both the physical and mental intangibles for the next level,” says TFY Draft Preview’s analysis. “More athletic than given credit for and can be used in a variety of passing offenses.”
That variety is sure to include one NFL team that buys into Scout.com’s fifth-ranked quarterback in the 2005 NFL Draft.
PI's Take: The Patriots are getting serious about solidifying the backup position behind their starting quarterback Tom Brady. Rohan Davey has yet to establish a clear hold on the number two position behind Brady, and had to fight off Jim Miller, Kurt Kittner and Kliff Kingsbury for the job. Miller was easy, he was out with an injury, and the other two didn't possess the arm strength of Davey. The team is ready to bring in more competition for Davey, and that isn't a good thing for him. They don't appear that they're to wait for much longer for him to develop.
One Louisville quarterback, Chris Redman, is already signed and delivered waiting for his chance to get back into the NFL. The Patriots invited another Louisville QB in for a workout this week, Cardinals QB, Stefan Lefors. Lefors visited the facilities, and by all account will be a consideration for the team if he's available at the right price.
Charlie Frye brings the kind of intangibles Brady brought from the Big Ten. A QB who's going to have a chip on his shoulder and want to prove all the scouts wrong.
Add in the thought that we the Patriots were at UCONNs pro day where Husky's Dan Orlovsky worked out, it's a given there will be at least 4 QBs in camp. Unless the Patriots deal Davey away. Possibly to Cleveland, a team that has no veteran backup behind journeyman Trent Dilfer who was acquired from Seattle.
It's beginning to look a lot like this is the year Davey either steps up in camp, or finds himself in a different uniform.
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