Browns planning more passes to Nick Chubb

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Last year, Browns running back Nick Chubb rarely got involved in the passing game. This year, that will change.

Browns running backs coach Stump Mitchell said Chubb should get more passes thrown his way this year. In 2018, Chubb got just 29 targets in 16 games as the Browns passed far more often to running back Duke Johnson, who got 62 targets. This year Johnson has been traded and Chubb will take more of an every-down role.

“I think he’s going to be special like he was last year,” Mitchell said, via Cleveland.com. “He’ll be used a little more in the passing game than he was last year. Nick just continues to improve on the skill set that he has, and I think he has a fantastic skill set.”

Presumably when Kareem Hunt returns from his eight-game suspension, he’ll take some targets away from Chubb. In the first half of the season, however, expect Chubb to catch plenty of passes.

At the same time, it remains to be seen whether the Browns can throw to Chubb and do so effectively. As noted by Ben Baldwin of TheAthletic.com, analytics research shows that passes to wide receivers and tight ends are far more effective than passes to running backs. The Browns have devoted significant resources to acquire receivers Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry and tight end David Njoku. When you have those three players on your roster, you really ought to be throwing to them, not to your running back.

So while Chubb may get some of the targets that went to Johnson last year, the smart money is on the Browns targeting Beckham, Landry and Njoku far more than they target a running back.

9 responses to “Browns planning more passes to Nick Chubb

  1. I can’t wait to see if this offense is as explosive as it appears…or it fizzles and flops because of all the big egos. I hope its the former because Browns fans deserve some fun for a change!!

  2. With those other receivers, it makes sense to throw it to Chubb every once in a while. It takes another defender away from the others to cover Chubb. Nothing new here, football 101.

  3. Is this article for real?

    I guess the Rams shouldn’t have thrown so much to Todd Gurley because they have Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks, and Cooper Cupp?

  4. So while Chubb may get some of the targets that went to Johnson last year, the smart money is on the Browns targeting Beckham, Landry and Njoku far more than they target a running back
    ==================================================

    Ya think?

  5. Remember when Hue Jackson couldn’t figure out how to get Chubb more carries? Amazing how easy it is when you have a coach with an IQ above single digits.

  6. This is what I hate about “analytics.” People act like the data are collected in a vacuum. You see that passes to wide receivers are more effective than passes to running backs, so you conclude that you should never throw a pass to a running back. How effective are those passes thrown to wide receivers if they’re in an offense that never throws to the running back? By and large, the context isn’t considered enough in these analyses. A lot of passes to running backs are checkdowns when the wide receivers are covered. Are you supposed to force the ball to a covered wide receiver rather than take an easy 8 yards to a wide open running back?

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