The last time the Browns played Baltimore, Nick Chubb had 1,000 yards, and then he didn’t.
In the months since that memorable season finale, Freddie Kitchens has mentioned Chubb’s response -- or non-response -- to that moment as a reason why he loves Cleveland’s bellcow running back so much.
“Not a word was mentioned about it, not a word,” Kitchens said in early August. “I even apologized to him, but not a word was mentioned about going up and under 1,000 after he had 1,000. That tells you what Nick Chubb is, what he is here for and how he approaches the game, and what the game is about for him. It is about winning. It is about winning a championship. It is about putting yourself in the best position possible to succeed individually and collectively as a team.”
Nine months later, Chubb still doesn’t have much to say about that moment. That’s the way he’s always been with personal stats.
ClevelandBrowns.com caught up with Chubb as he continued his preparations for the Ravens.
CB.com: It’s your first AFC North matchup of the season, and you’re facing a tough Ravens team on their home field. Has the intensity elevated a bit?
Chubb: Yeah, because it’s a game that counts for two. It’s the AFC and it’s inside the division, so we know that, prepare for that and work for it.
CB.com: What makes the Ravens a tough defense to run against?
Chubb: They’re very big up front, very physical and they play hard -- every guy on that field. They all bought in and you can tell by watching on the film that they like to play for each other. They’re a great team.
CB.com: They’ve lost a few players from last year’s team, including LB C.J. Mosley, but do they just carry the same mentality?
Chubb: Yeah, it’s just a mentality. They have some guys on that team that carry the culture on. They are missing some key guys, some guys we notice aren’t there. It’s a little noticeable sometimes but they still do a great job of making the calls, getting aligned and making big plays.
CB.com: How do you feel about how the team has run the ball through the first three games?
Chubb: I feel good about it. We have a ways to go. I can do some things a lot better, too, to help everyone else out. I think overall we’re on the right track to be a great running team.
CB.com: What do you think you can do better?
Chubb: Sometimes not be as fast. Be more patient. When the big plays come, I’ve got to make them happen.
CB.com: You made some big plays against the Rams last week. One in particular was the 30-yard screen pass. How much can plays like that open up what you guys do on offense?
Chubb: It will help a lot just having the guys kind of have their eyes on me for a screen. They don’t know if I’m running the ball or going out for a screen or running a route. It will just help everyone overall because we can do a lot of things behind me, in front of me throwing the ball over their heads or just running the ball. It will help out a lot.
CB.com: You were on the field all but two snaps against the Rams. Do you notice it when you’re out there?
Chubb: No, you’re in the game, you’re in the zone. You’re not worried about your snap count or anything. You’re just trying to make some big plays for your team.
Chubb: Those guys are great. They can do pretty much everything you ask; running the ball, running after the catch. They stay here helping me out, telling me what I can do better, things like that. They’re great to play with.
Check out photos of the Browns preparing for their game against the Ravens Sunday by team photographer Matt Starkey
CB.com: How much better has Dontrell gotten since he joined the team last year?
Chubb: Oh, he’s ready. I think he’s been ready since last year. It’s more natural for him now, he’s doing things a lot faster and a lot easier. He’s a great part of this team.
CB.com: D’Ernest kind of came out of nowhere during training camp to earn his spot on the roster. What have you thought about what he’s contributed?
Chubb: He’s as good as any of us. He can play right now. He catches the ball well and runs the ball well. He does everything great. I’m excited to be on a team with him and I want to see him play more. That’d be great.
CB.com: There’s been a lot of talk this week about how close the offense is to breaking out. Have you noticed the team embracing that at practice?
Chubb: Yeah, I have. We’re still doing what we do. We just have to put it all together.
CB.com: What have you seen from Baker Mayfield this week and how have you seen him respond to these kind of adverse situations?
Chubb: I’m not worried about Baker at all. I know he’s going to compete and play his best and give it his all. It’s just a matter of time before we all put it together.
CB.com: What do you remember most about last year’s season finale at Baltimore?
Chubb: I don’t remember much. It feels like a long time ago. I know they were a very good defense.
CB.com: Freddie Kitchens has mentioned multiple times how you were completely unfazed by the fact you had 1,000 yards and then lost it during that game. How long have you been that way about personal stats?
Chubb: That’s how I’ve always been.
CB.com: Looking ahead, how much could a win Sunday propel this team going forward?
Chubb: It’d be great to get a win. We need to try to win all of them, but this one counts a little bit more because it’s inside the division. It would put us in first place, so it’d be a great win for the team.
CB.com: How much confidence have you gotten from your own defense to keep you in these close games?
Chubb: We know if we’re counting on them, we’re going to win the game because they’re playing very well the last two games and doing great things. It’s going to be on us to score some points to get a win.