Editor's note: Tony Grossi covers the Cleveland Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR.
Hey Tony: We all know you were for drafting Carson Wentz in ‘16 draft, for drafting Deshaun Watson (especially at 12th pick) in ‘17 draft and anti-drafting Mayfield in ‘18 draft. As of today, would you take Wentz or Watson over Mayfield as the Browns starting QB?
-- Andy, New Albany, OH
Hey Andy: I love Wentz and Watson, and believe either eventually would have taken the Browns to the Super Bowl if he’d landed in Cleveland. But I wouldn’t trade Mayfield for either. It appears Mayfield has more special qualities than the others – such as unusual feel for the pocket, uncanny sense to avoid injury, charismatic leadership ability, indefatigable will to win, and remarkable accuracy with the ball. Both Wentz and Watson have been unable to avoid injuries in their careers. I think both might be too willing to leave the pocket and run while Mayfield’s nature is to always look to make plays with his arm rather than his legs. All the best quarterbacks have that.
Hey Tony: Other than “quarterback play,” what do you think will be the most important area Browns will need to excel at to make playoffs this year?
-- Cory, Phoenix, AZ
Hey Cory: Special teams. It is the area of the team that can make the biggest improvement over a year ago. Few playoff teams advance very far with inferior special teams, even with top 10 offenses and defenses. Ultimately, bad special teams derail a season.
Hey Tony: Can Browns really go thru season with Drew Stanton as the back-up QB? Ouch. To me, there is no greater risk to a promising season than if Baker Mayfield goes down and the Browns are forced to start Stanton.
-- Gavin, San Francisco, CA
Hey Gavin: You can point to Stanton’s mediocre TD-to-INT ratio of 20-to-24 and his below-average passer rating of 66.3 and understandably be unimpressed. But I think Stanton’s 11-6 career record as a starting QB speaks to his ability to manage his team to victory. I know that former Cardinals coach Bruce Arians trusted Stanton immensely – and that’s good enough for me. There is no better alternative league-wide, in my opinion, unless Garrett Gilbert lights it up in preseason. I think concerns about Mayfield going down are overblown, too.
Hey Tony: Ceiling and floor for this team.
-- Mike, Pittsburgh, PA
Hey Mike: This season? Ceiling: Super Bowl. Floor: 7-9.
Hey Tony: How much is the O-line hurt by the release of Desmond Harrison? Was the cutting justified?
-- Pat, Jersey City, NJ
Hey Pat: Until you asked, I never gave his release a second thought. I don’t think the balance of power in the AFC North shifted whatsoever by this transaction.
Hey Tony: When Kareem Hunt comes off suspension, how do you see the running back snaps being split up between Kareem and Nick Chubb?
-- Scott, Hilliard, OH
Hey Scott: I can’t answer this question. I’m not sure Freddie Kitchens and Todd Monken can at this time, either. Let’s wait to see where the offense is when Hunt is reinstated and what is the health of Chubb and others.
Hey Tony: Hearing any rumors on the uniform changes for 2020?
-- Chad, Erie, PA
Hey Chad: I’ve heard two rumors: 1. A return to the classic, plainer look. 2. Polka dot tops and pin-striped pants. We’ll see which is right.
Hey Tony: Is it possible the Browns D will be more improved than the offense? They seem to be flying under the radar and somewhat under reported on the hype train, but vastly improved (on formidable paper of course).
-- Patrick, Baltimore, MD
Hey Patrick: Freddie Kitchens has said basically the same things as you. My opinion is that the offense is loaded and the defense is improved, but not Hall of Fame-bound. However, the defense should get a big boost by the fact the offense should no longer resemble the June Taylor Dancers – one, two, three, kick.
Hey Tony: Can you think of any reason not to be extremely excited about the upcoming Browns season? When people tell me to pump the breaks I tell them I cut the break lines.
-- Jay, Cleveland, OH
Hey Jay: Tell them to pound salt. Until further notice, be excited.