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Browns Mailbag: Who's getting the most carries behind Isaiah Crowell?

It's a travel day for the Browns, and we're answering six of your questions before we head to Tampa. [



Who is the leading contender to back up Isaiah Crowell at running back since Duke Johnson is playing all the different positions? -- Ronald C., Champion

As displayed Monday in Cleveland's 10-6 victory over the Giants, Johnson remains the backup to Crowell, who was out with a groin injury. He carried the ball nine times, more than anybody on both sides of the field, and was rarely used in the various other places he's been spotted throughout training camp. Johnson has essentially split his time between wide receiver and running back since late July and has shared the field with Crowell on plenty of occasions. That becomes an easier thing to do when a player such as rookie Matthew Dayes emerges the way he has. Dayes has been a constant playmaker since rookie minicamp and has positioned himself to have a significant role on the team.

"He has flashed. He has flashed every day," Browns coach Hue Jackson said. "He is really competitive. He is further along than even I thought he would be. He makes plays in the running game. He makes plays in the passing game. He is not afraid to pass protect. He is a young man who demonstrates three-down ability."

What's the chance Emmanuel Ogbah could shine brighter with Myles Garrett taking double teams? -- Rusty S., Southington

It can't hurt to have a dynamic pass rusher on the opposite side of the line, and that's been the mindset ever since Garrett arrived. Ogbah's had a solid camp, and his opportunities are only going to increase the more the league takes notice of what Garrett, even as a rookie, can do.

"Anytime you play with an impactful player or you play with a player that you can trust to do his job, you will be better," Browns defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said. "Lots of times when you can't trust the guy playing beside you and you try to overplay, there is where your mistakes come in. We have to trust everybody that is out on the field and that is coverage and rush, rush and coverage, but yes, you can benefit from that because he knows the impact the other guy can make."

Why didn't the Browns re-sign Austin Pasztor? I thought he played well and is better than any other option we currently have. -- Justin R., Mercer, Pennsylvania

The Browns appreciated what Pasztor, who recently signed with the Falcons, was able to contribute last season but decided to go in a different direction at the position. The team is high on 2016 third-round pick Shon Coleman, who is poised to be the starter after winning the job in training camp.

"There are some things that I have talked to Shon about that I want him to improve," Jackson said Thursday. "He is working at it every day. I love his temperament. He is a young player. He has to continue to grow and get better, but the thing I like about him is he comes in every day and he is working at it. He is one of our tough guys. We like him."

Who will most likely back up Joe Thomas, whose vital position is key to building a strong, stable offensive line? -- Duncan W., Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts

That's a tossup at the moment between Cameron Erving, who is sidelined with a calf injury, and rookie Rod Johnson, who started Monday against the Giants. There's also a situation where Coleman could slide over to the left in the event Thomas went down with an injury. It all depends on what gives the Browns the best possible five on the field.

Why have we not given John Greco a shot at RT? Also do you think we could sign a veteran RT off the street? Michael Oher or Sebastian Vollmer? -- Steven D., Elk Grove, California

Greco is one of Cleveland's most versatile linemen and likely could play the position in a pinch but he's been a guard or center through the entirety of his nine-year career. As for adding a veteran right tackle, nothing is out of the question, and the Browns could be active next Sunday, when they get their first crack at the hundreds of players available on the waiver wire after roster cutdowns.

With his versatility, has Jabrill Peppers seen any reps on offense in training camp? -- A.J. P., Columbus

We didn't see anything during training camp periods but the Browns have plenty of other opportunities to install certain tweaks and packages, so you can't rule it out. We'll just have to wait and see on this one, but Jackson said he planned to use Peppers "every which way I can."

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