Browns Mailbag

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Browns Mailbag: How can Browns incorporate TEs more into passing game?

LONDON -- The Browns are officially overseas and on the ground, and a walk-through is right around the corner.

Before we hop on our double-decker bus to watch, we're answering a few of your questions.

Could we use Seth DeValve as a wide receiver? Didn't he play WR at Princeton? -- Dale W., Mansfield

Why don't we use Njoku as a slot receiver? Great mismatch for linebackers,safeties and slot corners with his size and speed. Use Devalve as TE. -- Dave T., McCormick, S.C.

Questions like these have been popping up a lot lately, and it's indicative of the team's lack of consistent production at wide receiver. Right now, three of the team's top playmakers in the passing game play something other than wide receiver, as running back Duke Johnson Jr. leads everyone with 32 catches and 314 yards, Njoku has more receiving touchdowns than anyone else with three and is tied for third on the team with DeValve with 16 catches. Both Njoku and DeValve have been on the receiving end of some of Cleveland's biggest gains through the air. Where they're lining up isn't the problem. In fact, it's been part of the relative success of the Cleveland offense, no matter who's at quarterback. On top of that, Njoku and DeValve have been spotted all over the field, including the backfield, slot and the traditional tight end spots. Rookie DeShone Kizer said earlier this week he needs to embrace these weapons even more as the Browns prepare for the Vikings.

"We know that through some of our specialty guys like Duke and David and Seth, a 2-yard completion can turn into a 20-yard gain," Kizer said. "Those guys can do wonders with the ball in their hands."

Who can the Browns trade for to fix their QB problems? -- Timmy J., Ravenna

Finding a franchise quarterback is a tall task for anyone, and few have ever landed one via trade. If a team believes a player has "franchise" qualities, odds are he's not available, even if he's the backup. A prime example is AJ McCarron in Cincinnati, which has kept him as security behind Andy Dalton even while many other teams would love to have him under center as their starter. For what it's worth, a rare quarterback trade did occur shortly before the season and has helped out the Colts, who acquired New England's Jacoby Brissett in exchange for former first-round receiver Phillip Dorsett. Brissett isn't viewed as the "franchise" guy, though, as Andrew Luck continues his recovery from shoulder surgery.

Come on! Pull Bug Howard off the practice squad and make good use of that talent! He's strong and healthy. What are you waiting for? Not getting far with what you are doing now. -- Florence D., Bristol

Howard certainly looks the part at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds. He's one of two wide receivers on the practice squad along with Rannell Hall, who was one of Cleveland's top performers during the preseason. It doesn't appear the Browns are making a move at wide receiver this week, but both players remain in the hopper in the event they do.

Do you think we will ever see Jabrill Peppers get any reps at offense? With so much struggle with our passing game, I feel like he could really help. -- Bradley H., Dayton

Peppers has yet to play an offensive snap but I'm not ready to completely rule it a lost cause. Hue Jackson seemed excited about the opportunity during the preseason, and there's a lot of football left to be played. The focus for Peppers now is his health, as he missed last week's game with an injured toe and has yet to practice this week. I'd think he'd need a full, clean bill of health before he has anything else added to his full plate of duties at safety, punt returner and kick returner.

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