Mandatory minicamp is in the rearview mirror, and we're staring down a six-week break from on-field action.
Will we be able to fill the content void? You know it.
We're hoping Browns Mailbags like this one — and the one we have on the docket for Friday — keep you excited for what lies ahead at training camp and beyond.
Will Chubb get the most snaps this season? — Dick W., Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania
Hard to say at this point, and it could vary game by game. The Browns have vowed to get even more creative with how they deploy Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb — arguably the league's best RB tandem — and they'll have an entire offseason to come up with these concepts and plans. That's the simple way of answering it
"I think we felt very comfortable with how we used them last year – kind of the one-two counter punches and keeping them both fresh as long as we could into each game," offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said last week. "However, you want to put your most-talented players on the field, and Kareem is definitely deserving of getting playing time, along with Nick in certain packages. Those are things we have looked at in the offseason and will continue to grow.
Here's what we know from their first full season together. Kareem Hunt was available for all 16 games and played 548 snaps. When you take away the 201 snaps Hunt played in games Chubb was either partially or completely out, it works out to 31.5 snaps per game. Chubb, meanwhile, played 410 total snaps. When you take away the Week 4 game in Dallas, when Chubb injured his knee in the second quarter, it works out to be 36 snaps per game. Ultimately, Chubb averaged more snaps per game but it was a fairly equal distribution when both players were healthy. And as we know from hearing them both discuss it, Chubb and Hunt are totally fine with that arrangement.
"I always think there is more we can do," Chubb said. "Kareem is an awesome teammate and an awesome player. Every year, it is great to go out there and play with him. I think every year is a chance for us to go out there and show how we can continue to be a dynamic duo every year."
Andrew, with all the expectations and talk of the Super Bowl I am sure Coach Stefanski has a contingency plan to implement and keep players grounded and able to concentrate week to week. Would you agree this Browns team has the right mixture of veterans and a good class of young rookies that will create a competitive training camp and see the cream rise to the top and have a very successful 2021 season coming off a good 2020 campaign? What say you? — Chazz B., Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
I do think the right makeup is there, and it starts with Stefanski. During the early part of the offseason program, he made it clear 2020 was in the past. It was a great season filled with a number of memorable accomplishments, but it won't have any effect on what needs to happen to make 2021 an even better season. The roster has also been constructed in a way where players won't be able to rest on their laurels. This is as deep and talented of a Browns team we have seen in a long time, and that will play a big role in increasing the intensity at training camp.
"It is very, very easy to talk about that. It is very easy for me to say that we want to do this and we want to be this, but we are going to focus on the work," Stefanski said in April. "That is what we did last year, and I promise you, that is what we will do this year. We are not going to focus on anything out there that people are talking about because ultimately, we are going to be about the work."
QB Baker Mayfield echoed that mindset and said "it's not even comparable" when skeptics bring up how the team struggled in the face of lofty expectations in 2019.
"When it comes to culture, that is just a process," Mayfield said. "It was not exactly fun the first few years trying to build that. It just takes getting people in the right mindset and having people on the same page. That is one of those things that it takes time."
The Browns could improve in the turnover department this year. What are your thoughts Andrew? — Rob M., Charleston, West Virginia
The Browns single-handedly won games with the turnovers they forced throughout the 2020 season — Week 3 against Washington comes to mind — but they weren't as consistent as they would have preferred. Turnovers seemed to come in bulk for the Browns in 2020, as 19 of the team's 27 turnovers came in just five of their 18 games (playoffs included). Turnovers, though, were truly vital to the overall success of the team and typically dictated whether or not it won the game. The Browns won just once (Jacksonville) when they lost the turnover battle within a game. They lost the turnover battle in all six of their losses.
Ultimately, the Browns ranked 19th in the NFL with 21 total turnovers during the regular season. There's certainly room to grow.