Seth DeValve learns something new every day.
The Browns' rookie tight end last week described this season as one of constant growth and development.
"Progress," he said. "There's a process to everything that we do."
With a month left in the season, it's an approach that's starting to turn into production as the former Princeton standout continues to see his role increase. Perhaps his most meaningful game came when he caught three passes for 39 yards against the Giants two weeks ago and played 20-of-58 offensive snaps in lieu of an injured Gary Barnidge. Before that, he netted his first touchdown — a 25-yard catch — against a tough Ravens defense in Baltimore last month.
"I'm just doing my role, I'm happy to contribute any way I can," DeValve said. "We're trying to get a W and whatever I can do to help, I'm very happy to do that."
Before any of this could happen, though, DeValve had to learn the ins and outs of playing tight end. The 6-foot-2, 245-pound player was mostly used as a slot receiver or wing back at Princeton. But his athleticism and knack for the ball intrigued the Browns, who viewed him as a potential mismatch for opposing defenses.
"He possesses outstanding speed," Browns tight ends coach Greg Seamon said. "He's a 250-pound guy that people don't realize that he does have the size and strength. That's just how they decided to use Seth."
DeValve also had to battle past a pair of setbacks — including a hamstring injury that forced him to miss time in training camp — as he tried to master the playbook and nuances of a new position.
"His development here was inhibited a bit by the fact that he missed time in the summer and a short period of time he missed again during the season, but he's a hardworking, earnest young man who has unusual, in terms of his ability, to run at that position," Seamon said.
"The future is very, very bright for him. I'm pleased that he's coming along as a blocker. I had expected that we would see him emerge as a receiving threat because of his background, but he's going to have to be able to play in the run game, too, and he's doing that. This last game he was more involved. He's making great progress. It's good that we have him out there every day now. The future is very bright for Seth."
DeValve is among a handful of young players who caught the eye of head coach Hue Jackson against New York. In defeat, Jackson pointed to a handful of bright spots, including DeValve's on-field maturation.
"I saw Seth DeValve get better today. It's not just because he caught the ball. It's just certain things he did in the passing game," he said.
DeValve, who described himself a "sponge," said he's going to stick with what's become something of "a rhythm of how to succeed here."
"I'm learning a new position still and getting better and working on something new each day," he said. "And hopefully taking strides in the positive direction each day and luckily for me, it's showing up on the field."