Baltimore kicker Justin Tucker is one division rival player I would rush to acquire for the Browns. (Baltimore Ravens)
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Editor's note: Tony Grossi is a Cleveland Browns analyst for TheLandOnDemand.com and 850 ESPN Cleveland.
Hey Tony: If you could pick one player off each of the other AFC North teams to put on the Browns who would the three be?
-- Rick, Barberton, OH
Hey Rick: I love this question. Here we go: T.J. Watt from the Steelers, Ja’Marr Chase from the Bengals, and Justin Tucker from the Ravens. The Browns would win the Super Bowl with these additions, don’t you think?
Hey Tony: Aside from injuries, what is your biggest concern going into the season?
-- Kevin, Plano, TX
Hey Kevin: I suppose living up to expectations should be a concern. The Browns will be favored in the majority of their games, so the days of living off the underdog role are gone. I don’t think they will be crushed by the hype, like in 2019, because the core players have grown from that experience. I guess a legit concern is how coordinator Joe Woods will incorporate up to nine new starters, plus another three or four situation substitutes, into a cohesive defense.
Hey Tony: Will the Browns be in AFC North contention with at least 10 wins in Week 18 against Cincinnati?
-- Leslie, Manhattan, KS
Hey Leslie: Yes, as long as they are 3-2 in division games heading into that finale. The two games against Baltimore – wrapped around the Browns’ bye week – will determine the division champion, in my opinion. So if the Browns and Ravens split, the Browns would have to beat the Bengals and, perhaps, hope for the Steelers to beat the Ravens in their finale.
Hey Tony: With so many improvements made to the team, have the Browns also considered upgrading a kicker?
-- Jeff, Elkhart, IN
Hey Jeff: Re-signing Cody Parkey to a one-year contract wasn’t exactly a strong commitment, but it indicated the Browns are fine with him winning the job. They added journeyman kicker Chase McLaughlin for competition. Parkey came through in the playoffs with 11 of 11 made kicks and now has two seasons of experience in FirstEnergy Stadium. It’s his job to lose. I don’t think he will lose it.
Hey Tony: Who has more touchdowns this season -- Hollywood Higgins or Odell Beckham, Jr.?
-- Andrew, Madison, OH
Hey Andrew: They will tie with 10 apiece.
Hey Tony: Heard the “put a chip in the football” conversation last week and wondered how technology would determine the point when a ball carrier is marked down. Any ideas?
-- Dom, Middleburg Heights, OH
Hey Dom: I’m not sure how it would work in the middle of the field, but on goal-line plays the chip would detect whether the ball broke the plane of the goal line. I suppose there would be a blip on a monitor in the NFL communications center overseeing instant replay of every game when the ball breaks the plane. The technology is there to make this work, but there must be glitches to iron out before it can be put to a test.
Hey Tony: Which of the non-divisional road games are you looking forward to the most, in terms of attending the game? I say Green Bay and then LA (because of the new stadium).
-- Bernie, Calgary, Canada
Hey Bernie: Sure, if I were just watching at home, the Christmas Day game would be “must-see” TV. But traveling to Green Bay on Christmas Eve and returning on Dec. 26 is not something anyone would look forward to. It’s among the busiest days of the year in airports. The Oct. 10 game against the Chargers in SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA, would be my choice. That stadium looks like a spaceship. The Browns played the Chargers in 2017 in a quaint outdoor soccer stadium. I think the experience in SoFi will be the No. 1 road attraction of the season.
Hey Tony: Do you think Browns will look to trade for Julio Jones?
-- Andrew, Orlando, FL
Hey Andrew: No.
Hey Tony: What are the odds that Jordan Elliott gets cut?
-- Kenneth, Chicago, IL
Hey Kenneth: The competition for perhaps four roster spots among seven defensive tackles will be fierce. But I think Elliott would have to flame out in preseason not to win a spot. He was a third-round pick in 2020 and is entering the second season of a four-year rookie contract. Those factors work in his favor.
Hey Tony: Will the Browns suffer (especially defense) with JC Tretter pressuring players to not participate in voluntary workouts?
-- Jim, Bay Village, OH
Hey Jim: I don’t think Tretter is pressuring players not to participate. He is looking out for players and trying to affect change and modifications in the offseason program that may keep players healthier over the course of a new, 17-game season. I would suggest the Browns’ own analytics and sports science departments may agree with Tretter’s message that offseason programs don’t need to be as physically demanding as they’ve become.