Browns expect to ride the “hot hand” at running back this season

AP

The Browns made a variety of moves at running back this offseason.

They signed Carlos Hyde as a free agent and drafted Nick Chubb in the second round before signing Duke Johnson to a three-year contract extension this month, which answered the question of their plans for Johnson beyond the end of his rookie deal. The biggest question facing them now is how they will divide the work in the backfield during the season.

Offensive coordinator Todd Haley said earlier this month that it has “yet to be determined” and running backs coach Freddie Kitchens suggested that the answer may be a shifting one. Kitchens said the team will ride the “hot hand” because it doesn’t make much sense to fiddle with something that’s working.

“Ultimately, all three of those guys can run our running game,” Kitchens said, via the team’s website. “Duke can do a few more things in the passing game. Ultimately, we feel like that is a position of strength. Coach [Bill] Parcells taught me a long time ago, do not turn a position of strength into a weakness. You would like to keep it a strength, and we are fortunate that is where we are.”

Johnson’s role in the passing game may mean that the Browns are picking between Hyde or Chubb on early downs. Hyde’s experience may get him the first crack at showing he can do the job, but Kitchens suggests he’ll need to make the most of it to keep Chubb from making his bid for a big role right out of the gate.

14 responses to “Browns expect to ride the “hot hand” at running back this season

  1. Hyde will likely get the least amount of work for them. Chubb’s high-draft status and potential, along with Johnson’s talent and versatility, will probably assure them of the lions share of the playing time.

  2. Hyde will likely get the least amount of work for them. Chubb’s high-draft status and potential, along with Johnson’s talent and versatility, will probably assure them of the lions share of the playing time.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Hyde is easily the best back in that backfield atm and I think his work will prove that during the season. Chub is the least likely to participate this season imo.

  3. It easy to root for the broncos offense.
    It’s like rooting for those kids in the special Olympics. You know they really can’t win. 5-11
    Worst coach in the NFL. Worst te. Worst rb. Average wr. Bad o-line. Bottom 5 qb with career losing record. It must have sucked watching your team quit on their coach the last 2 years

  4. madmannkc says:
    June 22, 2018 at 2:09 pm
    It easy to root for the broncos offense.

    *****************************

    Please do not play the “blankety blank spell checker” card on your posting error. We’ll accept ‘brain cramp,’ ‘mad cow disease’ or any of several other reasons. You can even gripe about the lack of an EDIT button.

    Anything but the spell checker.

    Thank you.

  5. Johnson will get a whole different set of plays than the other two. He’s primarily a pass catching back and though he can certainly run it out of the backfield, I suspect they’ll reserve the between the tackles role for the other two. This is the best RB situation for Browns in many years. The big ??? is the offensive line. They were sub-mediocre in the running game last year. I didn’t love Crowell but he wasn’t helped much by the line. Losing Joe Thomas doesn’t help I’m not even joking a tiny little bit that the LT position and the knock-on effects for the rest of the line could mean a difference of 3-6 games this year. If the line somehow, miraculously, against all odds play way above their pay grade, this offense is really not bad. Like, actually above average. But I’m reasonably confident that won’t happen. Lots of tackled RBs behind the LOS and passes hitting the turf as the QB gets waxed 1.2 seconds after the snap. and 3-6 games they coulda shoulda won but for the swiss cheese OL.

  6. The Browns’ line, despite having Bitonio and Thomas, suffered greatly last year, especially running the ball. Crowell is not a game changer, but he wasn’t awful and most of the offensive slow down was due to the line. Chubb and Hyde can both pound it inside and can handle a lot of carries, but Johnson is a great pass catcher who will also make things happen on outside runs if the tackles can set the edge for him.The Browns have a good situation-Hyde will likely start the season as the primary back until Chubb breaks in to the NFL, with Johnson coming in on passing downs or as a change of pace back, possibly as a reciever.

  7. Forgot also to add that Johnson provides a couple of interesting options motioning out to the receiver position particularly if Tyrod Taylor plays, as that could change the look in the box to suit either a quick pass or a QB run.

  8. Isn’t that cute……now they’re using the cowboys owners own idiotic statements……like….’hot hand’…….wow. No wonder the browns and cowboys have the same chance winning…..not much.

  9. doesn’t matter wo runs the ball, the clowns will still blow. 1-15 at best losers. GO STEELERS!!! HOORAH!!!

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