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Browns Mailbag: What's happening at safety?

The Browns are going through a modified, yet productive day of work on this Thanksgiving holiday, and we're serving up a full portion of answers to your questions. [



Will the Browns draft a safety in 2017? Tell Hue Jackson that we believe that Cleveland will be in the Super Bowl under his command. -- Chris K., Austin, Texas

Tackling the draft portion of your question first, it's far too early and far too difficult to project how the Browns will distribute their picks in the 2017 draft, but what's known is they have plenty of swings at the plate. The more picks, the more likely a position will be addressed.

As far as the current state of the group, the Browns have been searching for consistency throughout the year, and that's resulted in a number of changes. Jordan Poyer was one of those sources of consistency, but he's been out for the season since the team's Week 6 loss to the Titans. Over the past two weeks, rookie Derrick Kindred and Ed Reynolds II have emerged as a reliable pair, and the Browns have been much better keeping the ball in front of them on deep throws. Reynolds, Jackson said, has been a "calming" presence for the group while Kindred, the fourth-round pick out of TCU, played one of his best games as a Brown in last week's loss to the Steelers. Neither have locked up a starting job for the final five games, by any means, but they've been signs of encouragement amid a season of instability on the back end of Cleveland's defense.

What makes the Cowboys a good team is not Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott or any of the other weapons. It all starts with a great O-line. If you watch their run game, they are 5 yards up the field before contact is made with the defense. The Browns have good running backs, and though a little young their wideouts are good enough. It's about time in the pocket. Don't trade picks. Pick O-line. -- Ron C. - Englewood

That's a lot of wisdom there, but I don't want to discredit the accomplishments of either Prescott or Elliott. They're playing at a high level and are two of the biggest reasons why Dallas has the best record in the NFL. That said, a great offensive line can benefit the entire offense, and that's what the Browns are trying to build heading into the future. That's why the Browns hope the early action a player such as Spencer Drango is receiving will bode well in the long run. The fifth-round guard has had his ups and downs as he's filled in for Joel Bitonio, but "he is going to be our future," Jackson said Wednesday.

Do you think the Browns would be a better defensive team if we ran a 4-3 instead of a 3-4? -- Larry P., Barnesville

The Browns, like a lot of teams in the NFL, have a base defense, in theory, but the flow of a game can force them into a lot of different looks. For Cleveland, it's been nickel, which has been the main look this group has provided throughout the year. And with nickel, that means four down linemen. That's helped rookies such as Carl Nassib and Emmanuel Ogbah make a swifter transition, as both came from a 4-3 at the college level.

Is it possible to come back from halftime and still want to play ball? I just think we're a first half team while others prepare and adjust better than we do for the second half. -- Rusty S., Southington, Connecticut

The numbers haven't been pretty for the Browns in second halves of games this season, and players and coaches alike have acknowledged as such. If there was a silver lining to take away from last week's loss to the Steelers, though, it's that Cleveland was objectively better on offense and defense in the final 30 minutes. Still, it takes more than one good half of football to win a game in the NFL, and the Browns have carried the goal of thriving for a full 60 minutes into each of their games.

"At some point in time, it is going to click where we play for four quarters and give ourselves the best opportunity to win," Jackson said. "I know everyone is doubting us and counting us out and saying we have no chance, but I feel like we have a chance every week if we play football the way I think we are capable of playing."

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