Cleveland Browns rookie running back Nick Chubb made headlines on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.
Chubb ripped off touchdown runs of 63 yards and 41 yards as part of a effort that saw him finish with 105 yards on just three carries. It was the most rushing yards a Browns rookie has posted since 2014, and his 63-yard scoring scamper was the longest by a rookie since 2003.
His performance has led to cries for Chubb - who only has 10 rushes through the first four games of the season - to see more carries starting this Sunday when the Browns host the Baltimore Ravens.
While that sounds like a grand plan, it is not that simple, as offensive coordinator Todd Haley explained on Thursday, according to clevelandbrowns.com:
“It is a fine line you are walking because – we have talked about this as a staff – if Carlos Hyde does not go into that goal line series with 15, 16, 18 carries – I do not know what it was, I do not know that you get the same. That was a great run down at the goal line – two great runs to get 1 yard and then closing out the game, we needed 10 yards from him and just knowing backs and being with good backs for a long time, those guys need the carries. It is not as easy as saying, ‘Alright, we need to split these carries,’ because (Carlos) is our starter. He is our workhorse, but at the same time, we have a guy that is making huge plays, difference-making plays. Around here, I believe strongly in you earn the right to make plays, and he has certainly earned the right with a couple of those runs.”
That might not be the answer that some Browns fans want to hear, but Haley has a point. While Hyde may not have put up the same highlight plays as Chubb, he has scored five rushing touchdowns this season. That is a number the Browns will take every day, especially after seeing quarterback DeShone Kizer lead the team in rushing touchdowns last season with five, and running back Isaiah Crowell leading with seven in 2016.
In addition, the Browns are second in the NFL in rushing with an average of 152.8 yards per game and are averaging 4.7 yards per carry, good enough to be ranked sixth in the league.
So Haley is balancing trying to get more carries to Chubb with not looking for a solution to a problem that does not exist.
Having too many good options in the running game is not something the Browns are used to, but is likely a situation they are more than happy to have to deal with.