BEREA, Ohio (AP) -Charlie Frye slipped on boxing gloves and stepped inside the ropes a few weeks ago.
He already was set to fight for his starting job.
Looking to hold off Derek Anderson - and maybe rookie Brady Quinn - as Cleveland's No. 1 quarterback, Frye spent several weeks in the scorching Arizona heat last month working out with Philadelphia QB Donovan McNabb and others before reporting to training camp.
Instead of going to one of those cutting-edge gyms with the latest in weightlifting equipment and technology, Frye chose a no-frills place to break a sweat. There were no juice bars or resistance-training machines. Just barbells, jump ropes and heavy bags.
``It's an old-school, Rocky Balboa-type gym,'' he said. ``We did everything from boxing to running to throwing.''
Frye boxed a few rounds, throwing jabs and left hooks at an imaginary opponent.
``I didn't want anybody to mess up my face,'' he said with a laugh. ``So I was just swinging at the (sparring) mitts. 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 what kind of condition those guys are in just from messing around with it for a little bit.''
So, what kind of boxer is he?
``They said if it wasn't for football, I'd be the next (Muhammad) Ali,'' he cracked.
The greatest quarterback in camp would be good enough for the Browns.
Frye is vying with Anderson and Quinn, the first-round draft pick who has yet to report to training camp because of a contract holdout, to start the season opener against Pittsburgh on Sept. 9.
Last week, Browns coach Romeo Crennel said Frye had a ``leg up'' on the competition.
Frye went 4-9 in 13 starts last season, and the former third-round pick from Akron came to camp confident he can hold off Cleveland's other QBs and keep his starting job. It's a mind-set he has had to develop during two tough seasons with the Browns.
``I think that's the biggest part of playing quarterback and being successful,'' he said. ``If you look at Peyton (Manning) or Tom Brady, they have a lot of confidence and that's the key factor in being a successful quarterback.''
Hanging around with McNabb made a huge impression on Frye, who missed three games with a wrist injury before in 2006 returning to play the season finale. Frye tried to absorb all he could from McNabb, who brought some of his Eagles teammates along with him to the desert.
``Donovan has been through everything,'' Frye said. ``To see how he interacts with his players, I picked up some different ideas from him as far as his scrambling abilities and why he doesn't do it anymore - just little stuff like that.
``Just being around a guy with that experience and guy who has been to the Super Bowl and to Pro Bowls. He's a great guy and I think I picked up a lot in those couple weeks.''
One of Frye's biggest failings last season was a tendency to tuck the ball and run as soon as his pocket protection broke down. Did McNabb give him any pointers on when to run and when to stay put?
``That's his secret,'' Frye said with a smile. ``But I think you guys will be able to tell during the first couple games what the secret is.''
Frye doesn't expect to be on the run nearly as much this season. Cleveland revamped its offensive line during the offseason, signing free agent guard Eric Steinbach, re-signing center Hank Fraley and drafting left tackle Joe Thomas with the No. 3 overall pick.
``I think they'll give me a lot of time this year,'' Frye said.

Recent NFL Discussions

SUPER BOWL PLAY on Mon, Feb 2017 by MichaelF12
2017 NFL Draft Props on Fri, Feb 2017 by Blade
Handicapping Week 1 on Fri, Feb 2017 by Blade
Blade what time do you get up on Thu, Feb 2017 by Blade
VIR- V TECH GAME on Sun, Feb 2017 by Timmy1961

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Krik Cousins Next Team Prop Odds Which team will Kirk Cousins be playing for in Week 1 of the 2017 NFL regular season?
Thumbnail Tony Romo Next Team Prop Odds Which team will Tony Romo play for when the 2017 NFL regular season begins? Oddsmakers have weighed in.
Thumbnail Taylor could be fit in Cleveland Could current Bills Tyrod Taylor be a fit for the quarterback-needy Browns next season?
Thumbnail Palmer, Fitz both returning for Cards The Arizona Cardinals will have their starting quarterback back for 2017, as Carson Palmer confirmed he will return to play next season.
Thumbnail AFC Championship Odds In no surprise, the Patriots are favored to win the 2018 AFC Conference Championship over the Steelers and the rest of the field.

NFL Team Pages