Chubb spoke to reporters on Thursday, September 14, and said both the weather and the Browns’ execution were “sloppy” — disadvantages he doesn’t expect to continue, including when Cleveland heads to the Northeast for a Monday Night Football showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“I think for the most part it was kind of a sloppy game for us,” Chubb said. “That wasn’t even our best, I don’t think, under those circumstances with the rain and the weather. But I think we have a long way to go. But I think we made a small glimpse of what we can do.”
Nick Chubb Believes in Browns’ Rookie Tackle Dawand Jones
Chubb led Cleveland’s rushing attack last Sunday, tallying 106 yards on 18 carries (5.9 yards per attempt). Quarterback Deshaun Watson chipped in with five carries for 45 yards (9.0 yards per rush) and one touchdown. Backup RB Jerome Ford added 15 carries for 36 yards and the team’s lone fumble of the afternoon, while wide receiver Elijah Moore also got in on the action with two rushes for 19 yards, per ESPN statistics.
The Browns will head to Pittsburgh without starting right tackle Jack Conklin, who was lost for the season in Week 1 with ACL and MCL tears. Replacing him in the lineup will be fourth-round rookie Dawand Jones, who is 6’8″ and 375 pounds.
“I’m impressed by him,” Chubb said of the rookie lineman. “He’s definitely a big guy. It’s hard to get around him, but he’s also young and he lacks experience. So, I know the coaches have been on him this week. I look forward to watching him play and playing with him.”
The Steelers will be short-handed as well, playing without Pro-Bowl defensive tackle Cameron Heyward who is on the injured reserve list (IR) with a groin injury sustained in Pittsburgh’s Week-1 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
“He’s definitely a big player for them,” Chubb said of Heyward, “but I’m sure those guys are pumped up coming off a loss like that. I’m sure they’ll be ready to go against us no matter who’s out there.”
Deshaun Watson Says Browns’ Pass Attack Can, Will Improve Against Steelers
One of the few question marks for the Browns coming out of an impressive 24-3 victory to open the season is whether Watson can finally find his stride and post a breakout game.
The quarterback was unable to do so across six starts down the stretch last season, and while he was adequate on Sunday against the Bengals, he was far from spectacular. Watson finished the afternoon 16-of-29 passing for 154 yards, a touchdown and an interception. When factoring in his ground game, an argument can be made Watson played well, but issues remain.
The weather wasn’t fantastic and a clement evening in Pittsburgh — should Cleveland be lucky enough to find one — should help Watson’s cause.
“Yeah, I mean, it [was a] factor on both sides,” Watson said of the weather during a press conference Thursday. “It was very wet, so the ball was heavy. Sometimes the weather factors in and you have to change your game plan. But hopefully, it’s clear skies on Monday night and we can really get the offense going and throw the ball around a little bit.”
The QB also talked about the deep shots he missed last weekend, which he hopes to remedy Monday night.
“The opportunities were there. We didn’t capitalize on them and there are going to be more opportunities for deep shots down the field,” Watson said. “We just got to make sure we pick out our spots when we want to take them and hopefully this game, we can capitalize on those and make big plays and you know, get this offense really explosive.”
Considering how effective Cleveland’s run game was and how well the defense played against the Bengals, if Watson can get the passing attack together the Browns should be a tough team to beat every single week this season.