Kareem Hunt’s return could complicate Cleveland’s offense

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Good news for the Browns: They’re finally getting running back Kareem Hunt.

Bad news for the Browns: There continues to be only one football in use at any given time.

With Browns coach Freddie Kitchens recently saying that Hunt “will definitely have a role” with the team, this necessarily means that he will eat into someone else’s role.

It remains to be seen who loses touches as Hunt gains them. Will it be starting running back Nick Chubb? Or will it be the passing game, which eventually could mean fewer opportunities for receiver Odell Beckham Jr.?

Beckham is averaging fewer than five catches per game, and fewer than 72 receiving yards per game. He has one touchdown in eight games.

Already, the urgency to get the ball to OBJ seems to be adding undue stress to quarterback Baker Mayfield. Why else would he have the lowest passer rating in the league when not facing pressure? Is he spending too much time looking for Beckham before moving to the next receiver, since Beckham won’t hesistate to point out that he’s not getting the ball as much as he’d like to get the ball?

It’s an odd dynamic, one that invites speculation that Cleveland simply isn’t big enough for both oversized personalities. The arrival of Hunt will serve only to potentially exacerbate the tension regarding offensive opportunities, unless and until the NFL adopts a multiball approach.

Wherever it goes from here, adding another highly-skilled skill-position player won’t provide the easy fix that some assume it will. The Browns have plenty of guys who can do good things with the ball in their hands. The challenge continues to be getting the ball in their hands.

26 responses to “Kareem Hunt’s return could complicate Cleveland’s offense

  1. Nick and Hunt should be getting the majority of the touches. Grind and pound the ball all game and tire out the opponent’s defense while keeping the opponent’s offense off of the field. Turn Mayfield into a game manager instead of relying on him to win the games. If the receivers want to be divas trade them for draft picks or offensive lineman. But like they say, winning cures everything. Start winning games everybody will be smiling is my guess.

  2. Unfortunately Florio you glossed over the obvious. Less touches for Dontrell Hilliard who’s done nothing of note and who’s roll is Hunt’s strength- 3rd down conversions.

  3. “Why else would he have the lowest passer rating in the league when not facing pressure?”
    Or maybe he’s just not that good…yet

    This is a treasure trove of ‘skill-player’ talent. One with which many coaches could make serious hay.

  4. “unless and until the NFL adopts a multiball approach.”

    Florio, please stop with such suggestions, no matter how humorous they may sound at the moment. Goodell and his ship of fools don’t need any additional help ruining the game. No need to suggest they turn it into over-refereed pinball.

  5. I knew as a browns fan this would happen with Odell. People fawn over him and his one handed catches . Meanwhile he has had a key drop in every game this year, on easy passes. I’m sick of seeing him run his mouth about the ball when the little fella cant get open. He is a small 5’11 WR that maybe fast but he cant climb the ladder and gets alligator arms going over the middle. If he thinks a hit is coming he dives onto the ground. Guy didnt show up for OTAs ,got the star treatment in camp and never practices. Still had to blow a vital time out when Odell didnt know where he was supposed to line up. He is a locker room cancer and a culture killer even if guys say “good teammate” just like TO , it’s always the QBs fault Odell cant run the right route. He has hurt baker far more than he has helped . I wish that trade wouldnt have happened . If I was Dorsey, any team that wants to give up this year and next years 2nd rd pick. Take him please. Fanboys will slobber over his pregame catches .

  6. Maybe Freddie has an idea at giving Hunt a shot at left tackle…. Or, maybe Freddie will put Hunt in on 4-1, or 4-4 instead of his best player on the team so far? Or, maybe Freddie will give him a shot at QB. Whatever the case, i’m sure it won’t be the right one.

  7. I mean he may “eat” into someone’s playing time but really, you can never have enough offensive weapons to keep defenses guessing. Getting a guy like Hunt into the game, who was one of the top RBs before his off the field issues, should help this team. The real question is, how much will it help and can it be enough to turn things around for the Browns.

  8. Complicate Cleveland’s offense 😂😂. I dare you to show me a single circus that was ruined by adding one more clown

  9. Isn’t it possible that this improves the offense, increasing the number of plays run? I’m sure if they’re on the field longer offensively, each will have his chance to pad numbers. I’m sure touches and NOT wins are what the Browns are concerned about.

  10. Even worse, Kitchens is in charge. At what point do they realize it’s a mistake and show him the door? No matter what he says, Jim Harbaugh could probably do Cleveland a lot of good. They have some offensive weapons and Mr. Khakis showed he can turn an offense around. Of course that would mean someone in the front office has any common sense–hiring Kitchens doesn’t cause me to believe they do.

  11. They need creative offensive and defensive coordinators. The offense has too many weapons to be struggling, ditto the defense.

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