There have been no shortage of storylines surrounding the Cleveland Browns through the opening weeks of training camp.
From the professionalism of wide receiver Jarvis Landry and quarterback Tyrod Taylor, the growth of rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield, the ongoing drama of wide receiver Josh Gordon, the continued development of the second- and third-year players who are creating the foundation of the team, and the questions surrounding the left tackle position, there has been plenty for Browns fans to sink their teeth into.
One name that is rarely mentioned, however, is that of right tackle Chris Hubbard.
And that is a very, very good thing.
The Browns signed Hubbard in the offseason to a five-year, $37.5 million contract to solidify the right tackle position. Where it not for the retirement of left tackle Joe Thomas in the offseason, the spotlight in training camp would shine bright on Hubbard.
But all the attention being placed on the left side of the line as the Browns shuffle through their options has allowed Hubbard to come to work every day and simply focus on getting ready for the season.
Hubbard spent four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers - no word yet on if Steeler fans are bemoaning Hubbard as “one who got away” — and while it may be hard for Browns fans to hear it, Hubbard brings with him something the Browns have been lacking in recent years, as he told cleveland.com:
“In Pittsburgh, you know it’s going to be hard during training camp. You know it’s going to be tough. You know they’re going to scheme as much as possible, and you know they’re going to run the ball. Being in Pittsburgh taught me to be tough, mentally tough. Coach (Mike) Tomlin has installed mental and physical toughness in the way he does practices and how things are set up.”
Offensive line is the one position on the field where being anonymous is the goal. If a lineman hears his name called during the game it is rarely a good thing.
Which means the Browns will be quite content if Hubbard remains one of the offensive line’s quiet men throughout the fall.