Kareem Hunt looking for more in year 2 with Cleveland Browns
This time last season, the Cleveland Browns were unsure of what they had in Kareem Hunt. Yes, he was a former NFL rushing leader but he was new to the team after being released by the Kansas City Chiefs for an ugly off-field altercation with a female.
Hunt was not only cut by the Chiefs, but he also was hit with an eight-game suspension by the NFL. Considering there was a precedent that he should have only been given six games, Hunt could have tried to fight the suspension.
To his credit, he took the punishment and vowed to learn from it — rather than trying to fight. In the end, he played eight games for the Browns and while he didn’t do a lot on the ground, he provided a solid pass-catcher out of the backfield.
Now looking ahead to the 2020 season, Hunt wants more. And he’s putting the work in to make sure he can obtain that.
This offseason, Hunt is healthier than he was in 2019 and has no looming suspension. He’s also been working with his former track coach to be even quicker than he has been in the past. And so far, it’s working as Dan Labbe of Cleveland.com says he simply looks different this season than last.
"“Hunt looks different in training camp this year. This time a year ago, he was facing an eight-game suspension to start his first season in Cleveland. He was about to undergo surgery to repair a sports hernia. The NFL was not going to allow him to be in the team’s facility during his suspension. When he returned, he showed flashes in the second half of the season, but the Browns only scratched the surface of what Hunt could do playing alongside Nick Chubb.” — Labbe, Cleveland.com"
Hunt is listed behind Nick Chubb in the Cleveland backfield but he’s been given a chance to get more reps in practice with Chubb in the concussion protocol. That’s also been a great reminder of just how talented the Browns backfield is. They can lose the No. 2 rusher in the NFL from 2019 and turn the ball over to the No. 1 rusher from 2017.
Some could contend this could be a potential problem when the two are both healthy but that’s not the case. Head coach Kevin Stefanski wants to operate under a run-heavy offense meaning there’s not going to be any problem getting both of the players north of 15 touches a game — especially when you factor in Hunt’s ability as a receiver.
Hunt and Chubb are a great fit in the Cleveland backfield and they have the perfect coach to help gameplan for them. This should lead to a big season for No. 27, who is doing all he can to make sure he takes advantage of that.