Wyatt Teller: Pancakes, anyone?
Offensive linemen get zero publicity, and Wyatt Teller is the guy who got his job because everybody else flopped last year. He only became a starter after Eric Kush crashed and burned as the right guard last year. Rookie Drew Forbes was hurt, and Kendall Lamm was banged up as well. Austin Corbett was also traded to the Rams.
After the Baltimore debacle, Teller was graded first overall among NFL guards. Truthfully, it’s amazing that a Cleveland Brown could be ranked first at any position while the team was scoring only one touchdown the entire afternoon, in a game that they lost 38-6. But Teller was that good against a defense that was third-ranked overall last season. And if you look at the stats, Baltimore never stopped the Browns running game, with both Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb gaining over five yards per carry.
On Thursday, that dominance continued. He pancaked Sam Hubbard several times. Hubbard is a very good player. However, he also committed two penalties. One was a gratuitous shove which may not have been necessary to call. Nobody’s career was going to be ruined from being shoved, but it was illegal. The other penalty was a false start. Other than those two boo-boos, Teller was a monster out there.
To be honest, this fan was mad at John Dorsey for giving up two late-round picks for Teller in 2019. To my thinking, a team that has not won anything yet just does not give up draft picks for a player that was essentially an insurance policy for Eric Kush and the others. How can Dorsey justify two draft picks for a position that had four guys ready to play? But Dorsey is an astute judge of talent, and maybe he saw something in Teller than dumbbell sportswriters like me did not see. Once Wyatt got his chance in, the offensive line started to settle down.
Re-watching the films on NFL Game Pass, Wyatt Teller has been absolutely, positively dominant in the first two games. In fact, the entire Browns line has been rock solid, tackle to tackle, including backup Chris Hubbard, who was markedly improved from last season. Much of the improvement has to be credited to offensive line coach Bill Callahan, who also happens to be the father of Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan.
Teller’s emergence should give the team confidence that their running game is going to be monstrously good. No more will the Browns finish 22nd in the NFL in rushing attempts because of timidness about running the ball. Chubb and Hunt are running between the tackles, NFL. What can you do to stop it?