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Browns Mailbag: What's the latest with RB Robert Turbin?

Jetlag? What jetlag?

The weekly mailbag is here at its usual time and date after a trip to the West Coast.

Let's get right to it.

Any word on Robert Turbin? It's becoming depressing watching our RBs fail to make any big runs, while other teams routinely break ones for 40-50 yards. -- Ben S., Melbourne, Australia

A disclaimer: This question was submitted before Sunday's game, when Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson combined to lead a Browns rushing attack that had 100 yards.

Regardless, the Browns are anxiously awaiting to see what kind of impact Turbin, who was acquired shortly before the team's regular season opener, can have on a rushing attack that ranks 25th in the NFL with 89.3 yards per game. At 5-foot-10 and 222 pounds, Turbin is by far the thickest of Cleveland's running backs and is best suited for picking up yards between the tackles. At times, that's been a struggle for Johnson and Crowell, the latter of whom was challenged by coach Mike Pettine earlier this season to break more tackles.

Turbin has been hampered with an ankle injury but is working his way back in methodical fashion. He's expected to participate in some team drills this week and could be ready to play as soon as Sunday against the Ravens. If not, he should be ready for the Oct. 18 game against Denver.

I understand we want to rush the football first but our first-down carries have been predictable and not productive. How about more passes on first then some second-down runs? -- George W., Louisville

This may have been a trend earlier in the season, specifically when the Browns slowed down the tempo while holding a big lead against the Titans, but it certainly wasn't Sunday against the Chargers in a game that was never separated by more than one possession.

The Browns ran a total of 30 first-down plays Sunday. Sixteen of them, including a first-and-goal from the 1-yard line, were run plays and 14 were passes. Because the run game was having some success, those first-down runs helped set up some second- and third-and-manageables for a Cleveland offense that collected 20 first downs for the game. Sixteen of those first downs were via pass plays.

"It's just (offensive coordinator John DeFilippo's) feel and how he feels we can best move the football," Browns quarterback Josh McCown said. "Everybody in the huddle with me, we're reacting to the plays that come in and execute them accordingly. We've said it from Day 1, we want to be balanced and we want to be able to lean on the run when we have to if the games dictates and lean on the pass. We're getting closer to that. It was a good week for us this week to capture that."

If the Browns needed to admit that they were too hasty with their decision about Terrelle Pryor, do you think they'd go back to that well? -- Haywood A., Cleveland Heights

Roster moves are impossible to predict, so I'd never rule anything out. Since his release, Pryor has worked out with a handful of teams as a wide receiver but remains a free agent.

Props for Pettine sticking to his guns and going with Josh at QB. He was not the problem on Sunday. What do some people expect from Manziel? Maybe Johnny was going to play QB, offensive lineman and safety too?! -- Joe R., Toledo

Over the past two games, McCown is 60-of-90 for 697 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. His quarterback rating is 100.1 and he's one of just four quarterbacks in Browns history to throw for 300 yards in consecutive games. Simply put, the Browns can't ask for much more than McCown's provided in these last two games.

Why don't the Browns try to work the ball up the middle more in their pass game? It seems to me with their quickness and speed in the WR position that quick slants would be pretty effective. -- John C., Warren

The emergence of tight end Gary Barnidge and running backs Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson in the passing game has helped McCown pick up the bulk of his yardage and completions down the middle of the field.

According to advanced statistics from Pro Football Focus, McCown is 24-for-30 for 237 yards and two touchdowns on passes between 0-9 yards down the middle of the field. It's easily the most common area in which he's thrown passes. He's also 6-of-10 on passes between 10 and 19 yards down the middle.

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