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We have questions, do Browns have answers?

Jan 23, 2013 -- 6:00am


By Tony Grossi

The Morning Kickoff …

Inquiring minds want to know: It’s early in the Joe Banner-Mike Lombardi-Rob Chudzinski regime. But they should provide answers at some point to these legitimate questions.

1. Will one of them offer a salient observation about quarterback Brandon Weeden on his own, or will it come from a collaborative effort after weeks of group video study?

2. Does Chudzinski intend to incorporate some of the zone read option concepts he used to help Cam Newton acclimate to the NFL game the past two years in Carolina? If so, will coordinator Norv Turner, who has never strayed from his deep drop vertical game, be on board with them?

3. Does the infatuation with the zone read apparent in Banner and Lombardi spell doom for Weeden in Cleveland?

4. Would each dispel rumors about his alleged personal-favorite QB coming to town: Banner and Vick, Lombardi and Ryan Mallet, Chudzinski and Derek Anderson? Or will Alex Smith be the seventh Browns Opening Day starter in seven seasons?

5. If Troy Aikman is correct in stating that Turner is the “best offensive play-caller in football … not even close,” then why doesn’t Chudzinski give Turner those duties right now?

6. Would Chudzinski do us all a favor and promise not to bring back Kellen Winslow 2?

7. Can Banner explain why special teams coach Chris Tabor received a new contract while Pro Bowl kicker Phil Dawson and Pro Bowl return specialist Josh Cribbs apparently will not?

8. Does the war of words between Banner and Philadelphia owner Jeff Lurie mean the Browns will drop the Eagles as their farm team? Does Lombardi’s unbridled loyalty to Bill Belichick mean the New England Patriots will take over that role?

9. Can anyone guarantee Belichick won’t fleece the Browns of draft picks for rejects like he did to Josh McDaniels with Denver and Scott Pioli with Kansas City in recent years?

10. Can somebody explain the infatuation with the 3-4 defensive system when heralded 3-4 aficionados Romeo Crennel and Eric Mangini could not make it work here?

11. And while we’re at it, can somebody explain what exactly is a hybrid 4-3/3-4 defense and why doesn’t the variations in roles make it too taxing mentally for a young unit?

12. Why didn’t anyone see the wisdom in continuing a defense under Dick Jauron that posted the highest statistical ranking against the run since the Browns returned in 1999, and did so beset with a half-dozen key players with one year experience or less?

13. Joe Cullen?

14. Will Lombardi weigh in on incredible allegations by former Oakland receiver Tim Brown and supported by Jerry Rice that then-Raiders coach Bill Callahan sabotaged the team’s Super Bowl appearance in 2002 by mysteriously changing the game plan at the last minute? Lombardi held the title of senior personnel executive with the team.

15. Can Banner promise the Browns will not become the first NFL team in history to trade out of the top 10 in the draft three times in a five-year span?

Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and

He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 46 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Email your “Hey Tony” questions to

Follow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi


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