Browns notes: Hue Jackson to get Nick Chubb more touches

Chubb's 2 long TD runs in OT loss to Raiders were eye opening

Daryl Ruiter
October 01, 2018 - 5:07 pm



Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – After ripping off runs of 63 and 41 yards for touchdowns Sunday in Oakland, rookie running back Nick Chubb has earned a few more touches.

Head coach Hue Jackson acknowledged Monday that Chubb needs to get the ball more.

“He has to get some,” Jackson said. “Hyde is playing well, but this guy is scoring touchdowns from long ways away. I was impressed. I watched those two touchdowns on tape today, and they were even better than they were on the field. He ran away from some people on the first one and ran away from some people on the second one. It just looked natural and easy. He was gone. They could not touch him. He made a guy miss, broke a tackle. It was impressive.”

Chubb, selcted 35th overall in April, did not take the credit for the two highlight runs that were eye openers for his coaches.

“Definitely the blocking up front,” Chubb said. “The two wide-open holes that anybody could run through. The line gets their props and the receivers blocking down field. They all play a role in explosive runs and I think that’s where it starts.

“They all did a great job for me and I took it upon myself to get into the end zone.”

Chubb carried just three times but scored the two TDs and racked up 105 yards rushing in the loss.

The rookie from Georgia entered the game averaging just five offensive snaps per game through three weeks, but it appears that is about to change, but how remains to be seen with Carlos Hyde remaining the lead back and Duke Johnson the No. 2.

“We have good backs. We know that,” Jackson said. “Sometimes it is going to be hit and miss where some other guy is making it happen and then the other guy goes in and does it. Between those two guys, they had big days. Carlos has been the bell cow. We have handed it to him a lot. Obviously, Chubb has gone in there and made some plays here lately. (RB) Duke (Johnson Jr.) started catching the ball yesterday. I think that it is a good problem to have. I think that we have three good answers back there. We have continue to find ways to use all three.”

In his short time on the field Chubb, who is being asked to contribute on special teams, has come to realize there’s more to playing in the NFL than just running the ball.

“Running the ball is one thing but knowing pass protection and knowing who to pick up and how to block and catching the ball also and for me being a rookie running back special teams is huge also,” Chubb said. “I’m a primary guy on punt team and kickoff return team so I’ve got to do my job in all phases.” 

Communication breakdown – Browns center JC Tretter acknowledged that a miscommunication with quarterback Baker Mayfield led to a fourth-quarter fumble that opened the door for the Raiders to take a 31-28 lead Sunday.

“It deals with our silent count mechanics,” Tretter said. “There was a miscommunication and I can’t have that happen and we just have to correct that. I don’t see that ever happening again but there was just a little miscommunication but I’m not going to get into what happened.”

Jackson was a little more specific on what went wrong.

“JC thought that he felt pressure. There was not pressure,” Jackson said. “That is what it was. It was a silent snap. Pressure of his (Mayfield’s) hand underneath of his (Tretter’s) bottom. Did not feel it. Did not do it. JC thought it was. It was loud. He thought that he felt something that did not happen. Those things can’t happen.”

Fixing special teams – The disaster that is special teams won’t be easy to fix but Jackson pledges they’ll find a way to improve in the coming weeks.

“We are going to work our butts off is what we are going to do,” Jackson said. “I think that we can do some things better. We have to cover better. We have guys going down there taking shots at the returners, and we are not close.”

How bad are the coverage and return units?

The Browns average 19.6 yards per kickoff return while opponents average 27.6. Cleveland gains an average of just 5.0 yards per punt return while opponents are averaging 12.8.

Twice Jabrill Peppers got stopped inside the 20 by Oakland. He either runs into his own teammates or where there is no blocking and gets swallowed up quickly. Unfortunately, Peppers currently has the highest kickoff average on the team at 21.3 and the lowest on punts at 4.3.

“There are a couple of decisions [that were a problem Sunday],” Jackson said. “Antonio Callaway’s ball that came out, and Jabrill’s ball that came out. Sometimes let’s just play from the 25-yard line, and it might give us the best chance because we sure were not blocking them.”

To be fair, two positives for the unit – punter Britton Colquitt has been outstanding and new kicker Greg Joseph has made all 4 field goal tries, is perfect on 3 PAT attempts and has 12 touchbacks on 14 kickoffs.

Hoping for a return – Jackson hopes that Terrance Mitchell’s broken right wrist won’t be a season-ending injury.

“I do not think so. I do not think that it will be season ending,” Jackson said. “Obviously, he had the surgery. It is going to be some time, obviously, but I do not think that it may be season ending.”

Mitchell underwent surgery Monday morning to set the break after suffering the injury in the first half.

Mitchell, who signed a 3-year, $10 million contract as free agent in the offseason, had one interception and two forced fumbles in four games.

“That is a tough loss because I truly believe that he was playing well,” Jackson said.