BEREA — Charlie Frye knew he’d be in for a battle when training camp opened, so he spent the last part of his offseason in the boxing ring.
“They said if it weren’t for my football career, I would be the next Muhammad Ali,” Frye said Monday with a laugh as he talked between practices. “My feet are a little too heavy for boxing. You go one round in the ring and it feels like four quarters of football. It’s tough. I have a lot of respect for the condition those guys are in.”
Frye, who trained with Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb in Arizona, said his only opponent was a pair of boxing mitts.
“I didn’t want anybody to mess with my face,” he said.
Frye is fighting to keep his starter’s job, as Derek Anderson breathes down his neck and rookie Brady Quinn looms in a holdout.
Besides his time in the ring, Frye ran, threw and observed McNabb.
“He had some of his guys out there and just seeing how he interacts with his players,” Frye said. “Being around a player that has gone to the Super Bowl and to Pro Bowls — I really learned a lot.
“I picked up some ideas about his scrambling abilities and why he doesn’t do it anymore.”
“It’s a secret. You guys will be able to tell why during the first couple games of the season,” Frye said.
Frye plans to be the starter Sept. 9 when the Browns host the Steelers. He’s had a solid, if unspectacular, beginning to camp and knows the true test is yet to come.
“You’ll be able to separate more in game situations,” he said.
Coach Romeo Crennel said he’s played phone tag with former Browns guard Joe Andruzzi, who is battling a form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
“When training camp started, he left me a message,” Crennel said. “He said he’s gone through one series of chemotherapy and had another series coming up, starting today.
“He sounded optimistic, said he’s fighting the battle and wished us well. He said to tell all the guys hello from him.”
On the couch
Right tackle Ryan Tucker is one of two offensive players (tight end Steve Heiden) who played with quarterback Tim Couch in Cleveland. Couch, the No. 1 pick of the expansion team in 1999, signed with Jacksonville on Sunday.
“Did he? I didn’t even know that,” Tucker said Monday. “I know he’s worked really hard.”
Couch was with the Browns until 2003 but lost his job to Kelly Holcomb. He had arm injuries and has been out of the league since spending the 2004 preseason with Green Bay. He’s had multiple arm surgeries during his comeback try.
“He’s a young kid,” said Tucker, who ate with Couch recently. “He needed to get healthy and get a fresh start.”
A day of rest
Defensive end Orpheus Roye left the field in the morning and returned with an ice wrap on his right knee. Crennel said it was a scheduled rest to keep Roye, 34, fresh after a knee injury last year.
Tight end Kellen Winslow was limited during the morning workout in pads, but was a full participant in the evening session.
Cornerback Leigh Bodden made a good play reading and reacting to a bubble screen to a receiver.
- Rookie cornerback Brandon McDonald dropped one and juggled another during a punt-catching drill.
- Oberlin College coach Jeff Ramsey brought his staff to watch practice. He’s excited about the Yeomen’s chances this year.
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