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News » HEY, TONY!


Your Browns questions answered

Got a Browns question? Send it in. Submit your question to cleveland.com/heytony, and Plain Dealer Browns beat writer Tony Grossi will choose several to answer each Sunday here in the sports section. All of Tony's answers are archived online.

Q: Hey, Tony: What do you think about going after (linebacker) Bart Scott and (safety) Jim Leonhard of Baltimore, and (offensive tackle) Willie Colon of Pittsburgh this off-season? They would fill needs, but also allow the team to focus on younger developmental talent in the draft. The first-round pick has to be a starter, preferably a pass-rushing OLB. Also, would you agree they need to cut Kevin Shaffer, Hank Fraley and Donte' Stallworth to free up cap space? - Dave Pieschalski, Lakewood.

A: Hey, Dave: Leonhard was a personal favorite of new Browns GM George Kokinis. Of course, any Baltimore Raven is a possibility. Colon would take away from the Steelers. As for cutting players to save cap space, you must understand that sometimes it is costlier to cut a player than to keep him. It depends on the details of each player's contract.

Q: Hey, Tony: Any chances of getting Anquan Boldin? Maybe a trade including Braylon Edwards? - Eric G., Costa Mesa, Calif.'

A: Hey, Eric: Boldin's contract demands will dwarf the figures the Browns have already committed to Edwards. I would be more inclined to have the new coaching staff work with Edwards to maximize his potential.

Q: Hey, Tony: Any thoughts on possibly bringing back Leigh Bodden now that he's been released by the Lions? Phil Savage and Romeo Crennel are gone, so hopefully any grudges from his trade went out with the old regime and he'd consider coming back. He had a great 2007 here, knows the city, and our secondary could use the help. - Hoa, Los Angeles.

A: Hey, Hoa: Bodden held no grudge against the Browns. He actually was grateful they granted his wish to be traded. He rolled the dice on having a great year and it didn't happen. He had an exaggerated opinion of his contract worth. Whether that has diminished may determine if the Browns pursue him. His best year, I believe, was 2006. I'm not sure if he peaked then or can be a better player.

Q: Hey, Tony: You've stated several times that the Steelers and Ravens have strong Football organizations, and that the Browns do not. I agree completely; as a longtime Browns fan, it pains me to say it, but comparing the Browns' organization to the Steelers' organization is like comparing the Keystone Cops to the FBI. But what specifically are we missing? The Butch Davis era is over; we no longer have a coach and his buddy running everything. And we have an owner who has some plusses - he's willing to spend money on top-drawer free agents and he stays out of day-to-day Football decisions. So, what exactly is our problem? - P.T. Cooper, Dillonvale, Ohio.

A: Hey, P.T.: The short answer is the absence of a true Football seer at the top of Football operations - an accomplished, experienced executive to oversee the coach and general manager, to establish an overall franchise philosophy and vision and to make sure the coach and GM abide by it. This is especially important when the owner prefers to be - and is most qualified to be - an absentee owner.

Q: Hey, Tony: You indicated that during the James Harrison TD in the Super Bowl, Larry Fitzgerald legally tackled Harrison without a penalty even though he was out of bounds for several yards. My question is, if a Steeler would have blocked Fitzgerald while he was out of bounds, would the Steelers have been penalized for hitting a player out of bounds? No one has been able to answer that part of the question. - Alan Donatelli, Brecksville.

A: Hey, Alan: Yes, it would have been a penalty - if an official would have seen it. But it's pretty hard for the officials to keep track of the players on the field, let alone the ones on the sideline, during an interception runback.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: February 18, 2009

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