Carlos Hyde has been busy.
The fifth-year veteran leads the NFL in carries, piling up more than 20 per game through the first quarter of the season. That’s the way Hyde likes it. The more he’s running, the more he’s wearing down the opposition.
ClevelandBrowns.com caught up with the former Ohio State star as he wrapped up preparations for Sunday’s AFC North showdown with the Ravens.
CB.com: How are you feeling about the running game and offense in general after the first quarter of the season?
Hyde: I’m feeling really confident in the running game this week. Last week and each week, we just keep taking steps forward in the run game and getting better. With my role, it’s the same. Coach calls my number, I’ve got to go out and execute. Nick (Chubb) is definitely getting some carries, also. It should work out for both of us. We feed off each other and stay fresh.
CB.com: This is the first time in your career you’ve averaged more than 20 carries per game. Is that what you expected coming into the season?
Hyde: I didn’t know what to expect. I looked at that stat, also, and it put a smile on my face to see that we really want to run the ball here. We’re sticking to running the ball here. I’m excited about it.
CB.com: What is it about you that you’re a running back that gets better as the game goes on?
Hyde: I just think in the beginning of the games, I’m just trying to adjust and see how the defense is playing. Once the second half and fourth quarter gets going, guys are usually worn out. You’ve just to keep punishing them and guys start to give up.
CB.com: It seems like the opportunities have been there a lot around the goal line. Has that been different, too?
Hyde: Yeah, and it’s exciting, knowing you’re down on the goal line and I’m definitely going to be getting the ball. I’m trying to get that touchdown. If I get a touchdown, it helps put points on the board and helps put the team in position to win, I’m all for it.
CB.com: Have you had to get more creative with your touchdown celebrations?
Hyde: I definitely need to come up with some more. I’m going to celebrate with the O-line, though. I told the boys that I need to celebrate with them because they’re the reason I’m in there, so my touchdown celebrations will be with them.
CB.com: It seems like the offense has gotten a jolt since Baker Mayfield took over at quarterback. What have you noticed from your position?
Hyde: Coming off the performance last week, we put up 42 points. That was good for us and we went over our goal. Our goal was, like, 30. From that performance to now, the offense is just growing. Each week we just keep getting better. If we can minimize the turnovers, the mental errors and stuff like that, I think we’ll be set.
CB.com: When the passing game is going the way it has, what does that do for the running game?
Hyde: It just opens up the holes for us. It makes it easier for the O-line, it makes it easier for everybody that’s blocking. It makes it easier for the running back to hit the hole and be decisive. When the pass game is going and the run game is going, the offense is clicking.
CB.com: How have you seen Chubb come along?
Hyde: Nick is the same dude every day. He comes in and works hard every day. He not only has to focus on offense but he also has to do special teams. He has a lot on his plate. I think he’s all for it. He’s up to the task and he’s been doing a great job.
CB.com: Did you know he had that kind of speed?
Hyde: Oh yeah, I knew. It was just a matter of time. It’s good he got to showcase his ability. I’m looking forward to getting into this next game with him and keep building off each other.
CB.com: How much has “finishing” been emphasized this week after all of these close games?
Hyde: Not that much, but we know that as players that we keep having these close games. What do we need to do to fix those so we can come away with these wins? That can help us down the road for the rest of the season. I think we’ll figure it out. We know. We had turnovers. That hurt the defense, put them in a bad position. On the offense, we’ve got to protect the ball. I think we’ll do a good job protecting the ball and we’ll be all right.
CB.com: How tough of a test is it this week going up against a tough Ravens defense?
Hyde: It’s a division game, so it’s a big game for us. The goal is that we want to be in the playoffs at the end of the season. If we want to lead our division, we need this one.
CB.com: Third game at FirstEnergy Stadium for you. What have you thought of your experience so far in Cleveland?
Hyde: The fans are crazy here. I love it. They bring the energy every home game. I love it and look forward to seeing those guys Sunday.
CB.com: How’s fatherhood been treating you so far?
Hyde: It’s been really good. My little man is getting bigger each day. It’s just an exciting feeling to go home and see him. He’s changing every day.
CB.com: Were you surprised at the national reaction to the story about his birth?
Hyde: I was surprised by how much exposure it got. I wasn’t expecting all of that. It was for a good cause, so it’s all right.