Browns Mailbag

Browns Mailbag: Diagnosing where Cleveland goes next on the O-line

It's a rainy, dreary day in Northeast Ohio, but that's not slowing us down when it comes to this week's mailbag questions. [



Is Mike Matthews that was with the Browns in preseason still around as a possible center? -- Gary K., Laguna Woods, California

Matthews, the undrafted center from Texas A&M, was released at the end of the preseason and remains a free agent. The Browns have gone in a couple of different directions at center since Cameron Erving suffered a bruised lung Week 2 against the Ravens. First, they signed Austin Reiter off Washington's practice squad. Reiter played well in his one and only game before going down with a torn ACL. This past week, with Erving's status up in the air a bit after missing last week's second half, the Browns added Gabe Ikard, who can play the position.

Does Jonathan Cooper get the start now that Joel Bitonio is injured? -- Lucas J., Clinton, North Carolina

For now, the Browns are rolling with rookie Spencer Drango at left guard. Drango played all but one snap last week in Cincinnati in his first extensive NFL action. His appearance came one week after Alvin Bailey filled the void. Browns coach Hue Jackson liked what he saw from Drango, who has learned a handful of positions along the offensive line after playing tackle in college.

"He did some good things. He is tough," Jackson said. "He got hurt early in the game, went out for a play and came back really quickly. I really appreciate our guys, the want to, the drive. He is a young player. He is learning how to play. He is playing his first game with as many snaps as he has ever played. He is a battler. I'm glad he is here."

I know that Scooby Wright III is on the practice squad. Is he going to have some time on the field? -- Blandon G., El Paso, Texas

As of now, it's unlikely in the immediate future because inside linebacker has been one of the only positions of stability on the entire Browns roster. Christian Kirksey and Demario Davis have been on the field for nearly every play this season. Tank Carder and rookie Dominique Alexander have been two of the mainstays on Cleveland's special teams units.

How do you compare what the Browns are doing to what the '89 Cowboys (1-15) did, which was "build through the draft?" -- Andrew A., Kettering

It's an apples to oranges comparison, but it's clear the Cowboys built arguably the best team of the 90s by hitting on a number of their numerous draft picks. Their first picks in the 1989 (Troy Aikman) and 1990 (Emmitt Smith) are in the Hall of Fame. Because the drafts were longer during that era, the Cowboys made 39 picks from 1989-1991. Even then, it was a lot of picks. The Browns, meanwhile, had 14 picks in the 2016 draft and are poised to have a similar number in 2017, including two each in the first and second rounds. Hitting on those picks is essential toward building what the team wants to become.

Cody Kessler is the best looking rookie QB the Browns have started since their return in 99 and he looks better every week. My question is when RG3 is ready do you think they should sit down Kessler? I am very pleased with the way he plays and handles himself. Just think how better he would be with a healthy O-line and receivers. This guy is going to a good one. I get excited thinking about it. -- George H., Caldwell

Kessler's performance in five starts has been one of the bright spots in this tough first half of a season for the Browns. He's come leaps and bounds from where he was at in the preseason and has continued to display what made him so successful at USC. It's unclear whether or not Griffin will be able to return in 2016, so this could be a topic well into the offseason and throughout training camp next year. Kessler has played well enough to warrant starting consideration no matter who else on the roster is healthy, and that's all you can ask from a young player on a young team.

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