By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, June 11th, 2009 at 9:54 am in Oakland Raiders.
A funny thing happened to Charlie Frye when he visited the Raiders early in free agency.
He was asked to stay an extra day so he could talk to Al Davis.
“When they say, `Can you stay an extra night? Mr. Davis wants to meet you,’ you just kind of say, `What?,’ ” Frye said following Wednesday’s OTA practice.
When Frye visited Alameda, the Raiders hadn’t yet signed Jeff Garcia and were looking for a potential backup for JaMarcus Russell, perhaps realizing Andrew Walter had every intention of blowing off all voluntary workouts in hopes of getting out of town.
Frye had won in Oakland twice. In 2005, in his third professional start after replacing Trent Dilfer, Frye guided the Browns to a 9-7 win on a late field goal by Phil Dawson. The following year, with Cleveland trailing 21-10, he did it to the Raiders again, rallying the Browns to a 24-21 victory.
Those games were a topic of conversation in an office Frye said “had a different aura. You can just feel the history.”
Said Frye: “He was re-living plays like they happened yesterday. I was like, `Did you just look at the film or something?”
Frye said Davis told him he had not.
In the second game, Frye said Davis said, `You remember that fourth down when you hit Winslow across the middle? That was a backbreaker.”
Frye said he didn’t remember it until Davis mentioned it. (For what it’s worth, and it’s not much, I don’t remember it at all).
Sure enough, the game play-by-play shows a 22-yard pass to Winslow over the deep middle on fourth-and-8 to the 9-yard line. After a 7-yard run by Reuben Droughns, Frye flipped a 2-yard score to Winslow on the next play to bring the Browns within 21-17.
Frye said he spent time in the offseason working with Julian Edelman, an undersized Kent State quarterback eventually drafted by New England in the seventh-round as a return specialist/slot receiver in the Wes Welker mold.
He tried to sell Davis on Edelman.
“He knew all about him. Said he was a 4.6 guy,” Frye said.
In other words, not fast enough for the Raiders.
Realistically, with Russell as No. 1 and Garcia at No. 2, Frye’s best hope is to unseat Bruce Gradkowski, who has a head start in the system but doesn’t have Frye’s physical skills. Frye said he doesn’t know what his role will be.
“That’s up to the coaches, the personnel (department), Mr. Davis,” Frye said. “They’ll let me know what my role is.”
–Forgot to mention Wednesday safety Mike Mitchell will be at next week’s OTA session because school will be out at Ohio University.
– Got a chance to talk briefly with passing game coordinator Ted Tollner, or at least exchange pleasantries. He remembered a conversation we had before the 2008 draft about preparing Stanford quarterback Trent Edwards for the combine.
Tollner or any other assistants have not been cleared to speak to the media as Tom Cable is taking the Bill Callahan “one voice” approach preferred (but not necessarily demanded) by Davis.
– How much have opponents tested Nnamdi Asomugha over the past few years? According to stats in Jim Trotter’s story on Asomugha in this week’s Sports Illustrated, Asomugha gave up two touchdown passes in 72 attempts in 2006, one in 38 in 2007 and none in 35 last season.
– In giving his reasoning for reporting to training camp last season, Asomugha used the word “apocryphal” in describing the stories about a potential hold out. He laughed when I told him at the time it was the first time I’d quoted an athlete using that word in nearly a quarter-century in the business. He told me he’d try and come up with another one at some point.
In the SI story, Asomugha noted “It can be a bit sententious in the Nigerian household.”
In case you were wondering, “sententious” is defined in the Webster’s on-line dictionary as “given to or abounding in aphoristic expression” or “given to or abounding in excessive moralizing.”