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Mailbag: How would Joe Flacco fit in QB room?

Q: Even if Joe Flacco would stay on as the practice squad, that would help the quarterback room. And he might have enough in him. He would find Amari Cooper. Hopefully Dorian Thompson-Robinson will be the answer, but I like the upside, and who knows … crazier things have happened.

— @krow_dawg

A: I realize that isn’t exactly a question, but it serves the purpose and allows me to address the potential of a Flacco signing.

He’s not the perfect addition or a savior. He’s 38 years old and hasn’t been on a team this season. But he would be a valuable asset and might be as good as the Browns can do at this late stage of the season. I don’t think Tom Brady is coming. Matt Ryan or Philip Rivers, either. Robert Griffin III wants to come, but the Browns have been down that road and don’t appear interested in walking it again.

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After loss of Deshaun Watson, Dorian Thompson-Robinson knows what’s at stake as goals remain lofty

We can argue whether Flacco was ever an elite quarterback — remember that discussion? — but he’s started 183 regular-season games and was Super Bowl MVP when the Ravens won the championship after the 2012 season. As evidenced by his time with the Jets last season, he can still throw it, which was always what he did best. Perhaps most importantly, it sounds like he’d be a great resource for Thompson-Robinson. Receiver Elijah Moore played the last two years with Flacco in New York and endorsed his signing. Flacco could arrive on the practice squad as the No. 3 before potentially becoming the backup when he learns the system. The Browns would love for Thompson-Robinson to take the chance and run with it, but Flacco offers another alternative to P.J. Walker if Thompson-Robinson flops or gets hurt.

Flacco signing isn’t a done deal but feels likely as the Browns are committed to adding a third quarterback early this week.

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Q: It’s a mantra in the NFL that backups, especially QBs, need to prepare every game as if they are the starter, so it is hard to understand why the Browns are giving a mulligan to DTR for the Ravens game because he did not have a full week to prepare as the starter. Is playing DTR for the rest of the season not more about giving him precious game experience, especially since P.J. Walker has shown moxie and has a track record of winning more than losing?

— John Palazzo

A: You make a good point about backups preparing as if they’ll start and I’ve thought the same about Thompson-Robinson and his disaster vs. the Ravens on Oct. 1. Watson also didn’t throw much that week and Thompson-Robinson got more repetitions than normal. It’s true that Deshaun Watson told people all week he would start, so that needs to be taken into consideration. I’d also say the coaches and teammates continually mentioning the difficult spot Thompson-Robinson was in vs. the Ravens resonated with me. It’s worth remembering he is a rookie who hadn’t played.

Players endorse idea of signing Joe Flacco, who worked out for Browns

As for the decision to go with Thompson-Robinson over Walker following the season-ending injury to Watson, I think there are multiple reasons. Walker was a turnover machine during his three games, and I think how he played late in the loss to the Seahawks was unacceptable to the coaches. So with eight games left, it made sense to try Thompson-Robinson again. They liked him enough to draft him and make him the No. 2 at the start of the season, so he deserved a second chance. Getting experience will also be beneficial considering the Browns want him to be the No. 2 moving forward.


Q:
Don’t understand how you get fined for something you didn’t get penalized for.

— @joegrubb11

A: It’s a system of checks and balances. And you’re referring to receiver Cedric Tillman, who wasn’t penalized for his blindside block of Ravens linebacker Kyle Van Noy but was fined Saturday.

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The officials miss calls, and the league wants the players to be held responsible regardless. League officers go through every play of every game looking for significant infractions and levying punishment accordingly. The fines are the final arbiter. If it should’ve been a penalty, the play draws a fine. If there isn’t a fine, it shouldn’t have been a penalty.


Q:
Not sure what’s affecting the Browns more this week — God’s dislike of them or Karma. What’s your take on this?

— @MrEd315

A: I don’t have an answer but thought the question was too good to ignore.

I also think God’s too busy to dislike the Browns. Now the football gods might be a different story.


Q:
To me here’s where the Browns are still dangerous and that is I still feel defense wins championships and I think DTR can be an asset even over Watson and be more consistent. He can play relaxed thinking I can let it all hang out and have nothing to lose.

— @ObenstineRusse1

A: Another non-question that lets me give my take.

We will learn so much about Thompson-Robinson and this team vs. the Steelers. If he is composed and limits mistakes, the Browns will be positioned well for the stretch run. If he falters, the final seven games become a crapshoot.

Having said that, I’m predicting the Browns will reach the playoffs. I agree the defense is good enough and the schedule soft enough. It’s all about getting competent quarterback play.

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.

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