Browns Coach Makes Strong Statement on Kareem Hunt, Nick Chubb

Getty Browns running back Nick Chubb.

If all goes as expected this offseason, the Cleveland Browns will have Kareem Hunt back next season to pair with Nick Chubb to form one of — if not the — most lethal running back duos in the NFL.

Hunt is a restricted free agent, but recent reports have indicated that he expects to be back with the Browns for his fourth NFL season. After an eight-game suspension, Hunt collected 179 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He also caught 37 balls out of the backfield for 285 yards.

After returning to the active lineup following an eight-game suspension, Hunt split time with Chubb, who was the NFL’s second leading rusher with 1,494 yards. It was the fourth most by a player in Browns franchise history and the most by a player not named Jim Brown.

Stump Mitchell: Browns RBs Have ‘Unfinished Business’

GettyBrowns running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.

Among the few holdovers on new head coach Kevin Stefanski’s staff is Stump Mitchell, who will continue to be the run game coordinator/running backs coach for the Browns.

“The most important thing was the type of talent we have here, knowing what we’re capable of doing even though we didn’t get it done last year,” Mitchell told the Browns official site. “(Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer) kind of said it best. It’s unfinished business. There’s things we should have accomplished but we didn’t totally get it done.

“Having the opportunity to come back with the running backs — Nick, Kareem, Dontrell (Hilliard) and D’Ernest (Johnson) — there’s definitely going to be a satisfying feeling. Now we’ve just got to learn a new system and go out and get it done.”

A word both Mitchell and Stefanski used was “continuity” when it came to Mitchell’s presence and the run game, which was one of the few things the Browns found consistency with last year.

“There’s plenty of people I called to talk about Stump. They all said the same thing. Just a good person, very knowledgeable, high-character guy,” Stefanski said. “He brings a level of toughness to the position. I think very highly of him. I think he’s a really good teacher. I’m really enjoying getting to know him. I think he brings a different perspective to our staff, which I’m really looking forward to.

“I think continuity is important. Unfortunately sometimes in the NFL you don’t get 10 years together. The continuity allows them to get back in the room and talk ball. There’s already a mutual respect built in, so it will allow them to operate at a high level while we start installing the scheme.”

Kareem Hunt, Nick Chubb Didn’t Mind Split Workload

GettyBrowns running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.

There were some questions about how two elite backs would function in the same offense, but Hunt and Chubb quickly proved that it would be no problem. The duo supported each other every step of the way.

“I learned to appreciate everything about Nick,” Mitchell said. “He just goes out and works and tries to get better and do the things he’s not so good at, and tries to be great at the things he’s pretty good at. That’s a good feeling.

“Kareem only having him half a year, hopefully we’ll have him the entire year but he’s a special talent as well. It’s a room of talent. We’ve just got to come in and do our part and hopefully we’ll build off what we did last year.”

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