While running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt have a lot to do with that, a considerable amount of credit needs to go to the offensive line, which checks in this week at the league’s third-best unit, according to Pro Football Focus:
One of Cleveland’s big offseason tasks was to revamp its offensive line and ensure that it could no longer be a reason for Baker Mayfield’s regression in play. The Browns attacked the problem in both free agency (Jack Conklin) and the draft (Jedrick Wills Jr.), and so far, both players have provided clear upgrades at the two weakest points on the line from a year ago.
Conklin’s success was always probable, but Wills also hitting the ground running is a complete win for the Browns. It’s likely no coincidence that Mayfield has looked much more comfortable in the pocket — outside of the Week 1 game against the Ravens — than he did in 2019.
Conklin putting an end to the misery at right tackle and Wills holding his own at left tackle have certainly been huge for the Browns, but right guard Wyatt Teller also deserves considerable praise for his play through the opening weeks of the season.
Top-graded guards through 3 weeks:— PFF CLE Browns (@PFF_Browns) September 29, 2020
1. Ali Marpet - 88.5
2. Michael Onwenu - 87.6
3. Wyatt Teller - 87.5✅
4. Bradley Bozeman - 84.9
5. Joel Bitonio - 84.5✅ pic.twitter.com/LAymX5xoUx
Teller took over at right guard midway through last season and, if we’re being kind, was not very good. Part of that could be attributed to the fact that Teller was still transitioning to playing on the right side of the line after playing left guard in college at Virginia Tech and in eight games as a rookie with the Buffalo Bills.
An offseason of working on his body in the gym and on his technique has clearly paid off for Teller, assistant offensive line coach Scott Peters told clevelandbrowns.com:
“Wyatt showed me that this was extremely important to him. He kept in touch with me, and he would always be asking questions on FaceTime calls just to try to cover some things. We felt like we covered some ground that we thought we otherwise lost given the circumstances.
“He’s being the hammer, not the nail. He’s putting it on these guys, and I love to see his game improve.”
Conklin and Wills may be getting the headlines because they play the tackle position, but Teller’s play at guard has been just as important to the success the Browns have found on offense.
And if he can keep it up, the Browns offense should be primed to make very difficult for opposing defenses.