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Nick Chubb is about to become the NFL̵
Some may be surprised by the previous statement. After all, Derrick Henry claimed status as the league’s best back by rushing for 1,540 yards last year, and Brown is still considered by some to be the best player in NFL history.
Chubb almost took the rushing crown a year ago, but Cleveland’s former coaching staff didn’t show the same level of commitment to the team’s best players as the Tennessee Titans did–which is part of the reason why these coaches were fired after just one season.
Chubb had fewer than 20 cars in each of Cleveland’s last five games and the Browns limped to a 1-4 finish as a result.
Meanwhile, Henry built on a dominant second half with 377 rushing yards against the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens during the postseason.
The Titans’ plan for success is not complicated: Commitment to the ongoing game is necessary to take advantage of a special backfield talent.
Cleveland lacked this commitment a year ago. Former head coach Freddie Kitchens often went long distances without using his most effective weapon, and the offense never found its rhythm.
Chubb now sits at the bottom of something special because the brows have laid the table perfectly to launch him into super stardom.
High expectations have been heaped on the Cleveland Browns in the past just to see the team disappointed. So setting high expectations for an individual artist who plays for the league’s biggest tease seems to be the opposite.
Before proceeding, one must take into account how good Chubb has been so far.
The earlier mention of Brown was not intended to build unrealistic expectations. Instead, the comparison holds how effective the second round of 2018 has been to start his career.
|Jim Brown and Nick Chubb’s first two seasons|
|Pro football reference|
Today’s game and the overall offensive approach are of course very different.
At the same time, some historical context is necessary to understand Chubb’s initial effectiveness. His rushing rush in 2019 ranks fourth all-time in Brown’s history. Brown holds the franchise service’s second six highest rushing efforts for a season.
None of this is to say Chubb is the next Brown. That kind of statement goes too far. However, the possibility of Chubb taking over some more of these peak season efforts is really possible as he gets into a situation that is much more favorable to elite production and suitable for his overall skill.
Again, a look is necessary to further explore Chubb’s exciting upside. The 227-pound stood out despite poor game planning being only part of the equation.
Brown’s offensive front, previously constructed, was not powerful at the point of attack. As such, the group did not consistently win on the line of scrutiny, which made life quite difficult for Cleveland’s backs.
Over the past two seasons, Chubb tied for 28th (2.1) and 23rd (2.1) on average laps before contact per carry, per Pro football reference. Conversely, the Browns have back generated it second most lap after contact (1,480) of all runs in the league since 2018.
According to Pro football focus, Pro Bowler 2019 is the only runner since 2006 averaged over four plus turns after contact per carry for his career.
Chubb’s ability to parry defenders stems from a combination of outstanding vision, crucial cuts, a powerful lower body and surprisingly burst through the hole with better speed than average. The first defender almost never takes him down, while attempts at arm handles are laughable. Broken tackles are often left in his wake.
Life should be a lot easier in 2020 and then thanks to new head coach Kevin Stefanski, his system and an improved surrounding role.
Stefanski gives both a commitment to the ground game and a schedule that is perfect for Chubb’s strengths. Last season, for the first time, the head coach served as the Minnesota Vikings’ offensive game-caller. The Vikings were one of only three teams to run the ball more than they passed.
The wide zone will serve as the base for the entire offense, which will simplify everything for the Browns and at the same time make Cleveland harder to defend.
“You can create more explosive runs and within that limit negative gigs,” offensive line coach Bill Callahan told reporters. “The most important of all is that it ties into the passing game. It looks the same … So many things can come from the wide zone: bootlegs, wagons and shooting games. There is a lot of variation, but it is starting to look the same, but it’s different. ”
Chubb was arguably the NFL’s best zone runner before participating in a schedule that will commit to a zone-heavy ground game. Now his patience and determination will be rewarded, as he will be the focal point of the focal point.
Cleveland’s expected increase in tight end use will also provide Brown’s more options for creating a number advantage in the box. Stefanski took advantage two-plus-tight ends put up 54 percent of the time last season, according to Sharp Football’s Warren Sharp. In fact, Minnesota became the first team since the Tennessee Titans in 2015 not to use 11 personnel at least 33 percent of the time, per Football Outsiders’ Aaron Schatz.
Both Austin Hooper and Harrison Bryant, who acquired the front office this season, are versatile tight ends with average-to-above-average blocking skills. They are not the only software improvements.
General manager Andrew Berry signed Jack Conklin, the best available offensive tackle in the free agent market. The 25-year-old right-hand man agreed to a three-year, $ 42 million.
“You’re talking about a system fit. You couldn’t get a more perfect tackle in the free agency than Jack,” Callahan said. “He fits the position of the wide zone game and his pass protection sets, how he sets briefly and he jumps on the line of scrutiny, which is a tough skill to acquire.”
Vasha Hunt / Associated Press
The Browns used the 10th overall pick to pull out the left dimension Jedrick Wills Jr. According to Pro football focus, Wills graduated as the top zone blocker in the class of 2019. He will also add on demand physicality. The 21-year-old blocker explodes out of his attitude and bury opponents.
“Being able to change teams and having a guy that is just as good [as Henry] and being able to win that record again next year, that’s my goal, “Conklin said of wanting Chubb to win the 2020 rushing title, pis it Akron Beacon Journalis Nate Ulrich.
To top the aforementioned factors, Berry traded for fullback Andy Janovich, who will lead the way as another blocker.
Comparisons will be made between Chubb and Henry as they were the league’s two best runners last year and the power they possess. Chubb is in a better position this year as the Brows continued to improve this season, while the Titans might regress without Conklin.
An alternative analogy might better suit what the Browns did for Chubb this season.
Last season, the Baltimore Ravens committed to their best offensive weapon, quarterback Lamar Jackson, by changing his entire offensive schedule and adding the right personnel to maximize his ability. The Browns have done the same for Chubb, which will make him a field force that Cleveland has not seen in decades.
Brent Sobleski covers the NFL for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @brentsobleski.