An offseason filled with rumors of a wide-open offense in Cleveland led some to believe Nick Chubb might quickly become obsolete.
The numbers aren't exactly encouraging. While Chubb finished with 12 rushing touchdowns in 2022, once Deshaun Watson took the field in Week 13, Chubb didn't find the end zone once from then through the end of the campaign.
Those totals don't tell the whole story, though, according to Chubb.
"You can't really look at the numbers," Chubb said, via the Akron Beacon Journal. "Twelve is the most I've ever had since I've been here. I don't think it had much to do with it. I think we did have to figure some things out, get the kinks out on offense and I don't think I'm hindered by Deshaun at all.
"No, I'm not worried at all. I can't control what I can't control. When the ball is in my hand, I have full control, so I'm not worried about anything."
Cleveland's offense as a whole wasn't great once Watson entered the lineup, and visions of a wide-open attack give some Browns fans the hope their team will be much more productive in 2023. The downside, though, is that Chubb might not factor into that output very much, prompting some in Cleveland to wonder whether the Browns should trade Chubb.
The running back isn't concerning himself with such speculation and suggestion. With 6,341 yards and 48 rushing touchdowns to his name in five seasons, Chubb has proven how essential he's been to Cleveland's cause. No matter how the offense might change, Chubb is going to continue to do his job.
The appearance of his job might change; Chubb could end up seeing more snaps out of the shotgun, and might be tasked with catching more passes out of the backfield than he has over the course of his career, which has included a total of 119 receptions (as compared to 1,210 rushing attempts). But Chubb has been preparing for this type of shift for some time, first focusing on improving as a pass-catcher way back in the 2019 training camp.
He'll adjust accordingly, and ultimately, the Browns will still know they have an elite runner in their backfield. They just might use him a little differently in 2023.