2. Receiving out of the backfield
Baker Mayfield made a lot of noise as a rookie quarterback due to his willingness to air it out. Mayfield has never been afraid to go deep and he’s incredibly accurate when doing so. As great as that is, he does have more options as well which would include getting the ball to his running back out of the backfield.
Taking advantage of the playmakers he has lined up behind him will only make things easier on him and so far in camp, this is being stressed. Thankfully for Cleveland, they have a couple of players who excel in this area in Duke Johnson and Kareem Hunt — however, both players have reasons they can’t be leaned on to carry the load in this department just yet.
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Hunt is able to practice now but will miss the first half of the season due to suspension. Johnson, who is expected to be the backup until Hunt returns, has asked to be traded and is currently out with a hamstring issue.
That means the one player they know they will have to start the season (barring any injury of course) is Nick Chubb. The second-year back had 20 receptions last season which was more than he ever had in a single campaign with the University of Georgia.
While he isn’t bad in this area, the coaches want him to improve here and they’re forcing the ball to him a lot, with good success so far. Dan Labbe of Cleveland.com had a report breaking down the offense and says that Chubb is doing well in this area.
"“The ball is going to Nick Chubb a lot in the passing game. It’s the area of his game that is still unproven at the NFL level. He found the endzone on a screen at one point and has been a reliable target so far.” — Labbe, Cleveland.com"
For Chubb, this could help him get into open space more which allows him to take on linebackers and defensive backs who he can punish. For Mayfield, it allows him to get some free yardage while tossing low-risk passes. Sounds like a win for everyone.