Kosar takes a role in Frye's development
The ex-Cleveland quarterback offered his old number to the second-year QB.
BEREA -- When Charlie Frye was a youngster growing up in Willard he idolized Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar.
Frye had a poster of Kosar taped to his bedroom wall.
With his unorthodox sidearm throwing motion and despite limited mobility, Kosar was one of the most popular players in Browns history, leading them to three AFC championship game appearances.
Kosar and Frye struck up a friendship last year shortly after the Browns selected Frye in the third round of the NFL draft from Akron.
Kosar, who doesn't have an official role with the organization, has quickly become Frye's friend and mentor.
Passing on his knowledge
And with disgruntled Trent Dilfer gone, Kosar likely will play an even bigger role in the development of Frye, the Browns' latest starting quarterback.
"Bernie grew up near here, got drafted by the Browns, and developed into their starter," Frye said.
"I'm in a very similar situation. My hometown is about an hour and a half from here, and the college I went to is 45 minutes away.
"I've bounced a lot of things off of Bernie since I first got to know him last year. One of Bernie's strengths as an NFL player was his smarts. He knew how to run an offense and how to win games. And he's tried to pass on some of that knowledge to me."
Kosar has taken such a liking to Frye that he suggested Frye wear his familiar No. 19 jersey.
Frye has resisted the temptation. He plans to keep wearing No. 9, partly out of respect for Kosar.
Frye, who played in seven games as a rookie last year, starting five, admits he has a long way to go before he can be compared to Kosar, who like Frye, is shy and steers away from the spotlight.
"Starting five games last year was a great experience for me, it was huge," said Frye, who is participating in the Browns quarterback school this week.
"You can't draw that kind of stuff up on a chalkboard or learn it in the classroom or on film. You need to be in the fire, so to speak, to really get a feel of what it's like, and I did that."
Started 2005 on the bench
Frye, 6-foot-4 and 217 pounds, spent the first nine games last season sitting on the bench behind Dilfer, who was traded to the San Francisco 49ers earlier this month for backup quarterback Ken Dorsey and a seventh-round draft pick.
Frye finally got his chance to play in the second quarter of a 22-0 shutout loss to the Miami Dolphins in week 10 after Dilfer was pulled from the game.
Dilfer was injured the next week against the Minnesota Vikings. Frye relieved him and then started the final five games for Cleveland, going 2-3.
Frye completed 59.4 percent of his passes (98 of 165) for 1,002 yards. He tossed six interceptions and four touchdown passes.
The Browns believe Frye is ready to fly solo.
"Charlie has worked extremely hard this spring, and he's been here basically from sun up to sun down," Browns general manager Phil Savage said.
"I think the players have gravitated toward him as the leader of the team on offense. I think he seems to be able to get the job done."