Browns' Nick Chubb: Losing Rushing Title to Derrick Henry Serves as Motivation

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 11, 2020

Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb (24) runs with the ball during an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Cleveland. The Ravens won 31-15. (AP Photo/David Richard)
David Richard/Associated Press

Nick Chubb finished the 2019 season with 1,494 yards, just missing out on the rushing title to Tennessee Titans star Derrick Henry (1,540 yards), who jumped past Chubb with 212 yards in Week 17.  

This season, the Cleveland Browns running back has his sights set on the crown. 

"That doesn't really bother me. It's just more motivation. Just trying to do it this year," he told reporters Tuesday. "Just working out as I always do—working hard, running hard. I believe everything happens for a reason, and if you just keep working and striving, things will fall into place for you. So that's my mindset."

Chubb was fantastic in 2019, adding eight rushing touchdowns and 36 receptions for 278 yards. But there are questions regarding whether he can replicate last season's huge rushing output. 

Namely, the Browns will also have Kareem Hunt, who missed eight games last year due to suspension, for a full season. In his eight games, Hunt had a bigger impact as a pass-catcher (37 receptions for 285 yards and a touchdown) than he did as a runner (179 yards and two touchdowns), though the pair could see a more equal timeshare in 2020. 

Hunt rushed for 2,151 yards and 17 touchdowns in 27 games with the Kansas City Chiefs in his first two seasons. There's no questioning his talent, and he'll see major touches this season, though Chubb isn't sweating the possibility of a timeshare. 

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"Whatever happens, I trust in the coaching staff, and I trust in the team," he said. "I know they'll put us in the best position to win. So however that looks, I'm fine with it."

Figuring out those touches is a good problem to have for head coach Kevin Stefanski and offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt. And leaning on the running game should benefit quarterback Baker Mayfield, who had a disappointing season in 2019. 

"Baker looks good," Chubb said. "He's come back and is saying all the right things and not saying some things. I mean, it's great. We're excited about Baker. I've believed in Baker from day one, and nothing has changed my mind. I know he's excited to get out there and show the world who he is."