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Browns' Barclay bounced Chiefs

CLEVELAND -- The coin flipped in Charlie Frye's favor, and the rest of the night went his way, too.

Frye played better than Derek Anderson in their competition to become Cleveland's starting quarterback and the Browns got a late kickoff return for a TD in a 16-12 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday.

Rookie Brady Quinn stood with a clipboard and studied his Cleveland playbook during his first NFL preseason game, watching as Frye and Anderson duked it out for a job the former Notre Dame star hopes to someday own.

Frye finished 12-of-15 for 122 yards. He made several strong throws downfield, but those positive plays were overshadowed by two bad ones. Frye had a botched swing pass in the backfield returned 56 yards for a touchdown by Kansas City's Benny Sapp in the first half.

And moments later, Frye's mismanagement of the clock in the closing seconds cost Cleveland points.

Still, Frye was pleased with his performance.

"I think I was putting the ball where I wanted it," Frye said. "We moved the ball pretty well, but we need to get touchdowns. That's what the coaches want from me."

Before kickoff, Frye won a coin toss held in coach Romeo Crennel's office to decide his starter.

"I called tails," said Anderson, who went 7-of-16 for 76 yards. "I stuck with it, but it didn't work for me."

Crennel, who hasn't given any indication when he'll name his starter, felt both players looked good once they settled in.

"Charlie was able to get into a rhythm a little bit sooner than Derek," he said. "Both were hurt by some dropped passes. We'll look at the tape and make an evaluation."

Phil Dawson kicked three field goals for the Browns, who trailed 12-9 after Kansas City's Justin Medlock kicked a 42-yarder with 1:48 left.

But Barclay returned Medlock's ensuing kickoff 88 yards for a TD, and the Browns recovered a fumble inside their 20 to seal it in the final seconds.

Quinn, a first-round draft pick, missed 12 days of training camp in a contract holdout before signing a five-year, $20 million contract on Wednesday. Quinn's absence probably cost him any chance of starting the Sept. 9 season opener against Pittsburgh, but unless Frye or Anderson steps up, it may not be long before the former Notre Dame star is calling signals.

For now, Quinn's listed behind Frye, Anderson and even Ken Dorsey on the Browns' depth chart, which could undergo several revisions in the months ahead.

Browns fans already have their favorite as chants of "Bra-dy, Bra-dy," broke out in the fourth quarter after the Chiefs sacked Dorsey in the end zone for a safety. Quinn never got in, but should play next week against Detroit.

Kansas City, too, is looking for a starting quarterback and neither Brodie Croyle nor Damon Huard looked as if they want the job.

Croyle, a third-round pick last season, got the start from coach Herm Edwards and went 5-of-8 for 49 yards with one interception. Huard, who led the Chiefs to a playoff berth last season after Trent Green sustained a serious concussion, was just 2-of-4 for 19 yards and also threw a pick.

Kansas City's coaches love Croyle's high-powered arm. It's his decision making that drives them crazy.

On the Chiefs' second possession, Croyle made one of those head-scratching plays.

After stepping away from linebacker Kamerion Wimbley's rush on a blown-up play, Croyle threw a pass directly to Browns cornerback Leigh Bodden for an interception instead of throwing the ball away.

"I made a stupid mistake trying to make a play," Croyle said. "I was trying to be Superman. I have to not make stupid plays."

On his first play, Frye forced a pass over the middle intended for tight end Kellen Winslow that was nearly picked off by Chiefs linebacker Donnie Edwards. After a Kansas City turnover, Frye drove the Browns to a 27-yard field goal by Dawson.

Frye completed five straight passes before his short pass for Jerome Harrison turned into seven points for the Chiefs.

Frye overthrew his running back, but the toss was behind the line of scrimmage and ruled a lateral. When the officials didn't whistle the play dead, Sapp alertly scooped it up in front of Kansas City's bench and outraced Frye to give the Chiefs a 7-6 lead.

"I saw nothing but grass ahead of me," Sapp said. "Getting turnovers and getting points on defense has been something the coaches have talked about all camp."

The Chiefs were without running back Larry Johnson, who remains at odds with the club over a contract extension and hasn't reported to camp.

It was the first event held at Cleveland Browns Stadium since a massive flood caused extensive damage during a concert by country star Kenny Chesney on July 14.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

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