Training camp is finally right around the corner.
In two weeks, the Browns will be back in Cleveland and begin preparations for 2022. We're preparing for them to come back with a comprehensive breakdown of each position on the roster, starting with a position that has thrived the last several seasons and remains one of the best in the league.
The Running Backs
Johnny Stanton IV (Fullback)
What we know: When both Chubb and Hunt are healthy, the Browns are capable of gashing opposing defenses — particularly late in games. Chubb's hard-nosed, bruising rushing style has led to three consecutive Pro Bowl seasons where he's topped 1,000 yards, and Hunt's unorthodox, reckless run style and pass-catching ability complete a tandem designed to fatigue defenses each week. The depth behind them has always been strong with Johnson, who shined in multiple games last season when he was placed in a featured role, and it might've grown stronger with the addition of Ford, a fifth-round rookie who averaged 6.1 yards per carry with Cincinnati last season. The group will also run behind an offensive line that will hold just one new starter (center). Cleveland has finished top five in the league in rushing the last two seasons, and that mark could stretch to three in 2022.
What we don't know: How many of the guys will the Browns be able to keep? The addition of Ford could push one or more of the returning guys in the room off the roster, but even he will have to prove in training camp that he's worth a spot among a fairly deep roster that will need to be trimmed to 53 players by Aug. 31. Other questions include how the Browns split Felton's training camp reps between receiver or running back and if the offense will still keep a fullback, which would affect Stanton's roster status.
The X-Factor: Chubb, which is no surprise. Even with a new quarterback and possible new-look offense in 2022, the Browns will still look to run the ball — a lot. A big performance from Chubb usually means the Browns are able to build and, most importantly, maintain a lead. The Browns are also much more efficient when they can rotate Hunt in place of Chubb and use his versatile skills to keep the defense guessing.
The biggest number: 5.3. That's the yards per carry average combined last season between Chubb, Hunt and Johnson. Chubb (5.5 yards per carry) and Johnson (5.3) both finished in the top 10 in the league in that category last season among rushers who totaled a minimum 6.25 rushes per game. Hunt (4.9) might've been able to crack the top 10, too, had he had been available for more than eight games.
Says it all: "It's always a plus to have a lot of good running backs. I feel like my whole career, I've been crowded with great running backs. Even at Toledo and Willoughy South (High School). It's good to have some extra backs who can get the job done, too." - Hunt
How many were kept on the initial 53-man roster last year?: 4 (Note: Felton was included as an RB in this count).
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