The Browns made one of the biggest moves of the offseason when they traded for wide receiver Odell Beckham and the wideout’s arrival combined with the already high expectations for quarterback Baker Mayfield‘s second season has made the team’s passing game a focus of attention in recent months.
Mayfield wasn’t the only rookie to make an impact on the offense last season, however. Running back Nick Chubb ran for 996 yards while gaining over five yards a carry and the Browns’ strong second half coincided with his rise to the top of the depth chart.
The Beckham trade may have taken the spotlight off that work, but Mayfield offered a reminder of how important it is last week.
“We still need to be able to run it in our division,” Mayfield said, via the Canton Repository. “Mentality wise, it is a tough division. We have people talking about our receivers and tight ends, but we have to be able to run the ball in short yardage and in cold weather. I’m hoping everybody not talking about the running backs kind of [ticks] them off.”
When people have talked about the running backs in Cleveland, the discussion tends to be on Kareem Hunt‘s suspension or Duke Johnson‘s desire for a trade. Whether or not those guys are in the lineup, Chubb will be a vital part of the plan in Cleveland this year.