Nick Chubb knows how that whole backfield-committee thing works.
The Cleveland Browns rookie saw it work quite well during his time at Georgia en route to being selected No. 35 overall in the 2018 NFL draft. He saw his college roommate, teammate and position-mate go four spots before him, too.
“We went a long ways last year with splitting the carries and things like that,” Chubb told reporters at Browns training camp in Berea, Ohio on Friday, via ClevelandBrowns.com. “It has proven to work.”
But Chubb would note that it was a series-by-series and play-by-play personnel approach between he and New England Patriots newcomer Sony Michel. They weren’t often in the backfield together.
“No, not really. We had the package, but we never had to use it,” Chubb said.
One at a time would be enough. In 2017 alone, Michel and Chubb found themselves running the ball a combined 379 times.
The results were 2,572 yards and 31 touchdowns for the two Bulldogs seniors. And in the Rose Bowl versus Oklahoma, Michel and Chubb amassed 326 rushing yards while eclipsing the FBS’s all-time tandem record that’d been set by Southern Methodist’s Eric Dickerson and Craig James from 1979 through 1982.
No. 1 and No. 27 finished with 8,259 career ground yards dating back to their freshman year at Georgia, when eventual NFL offensive player of the year Todd Gurley’s campaign was cut to six games and ACL complications shut Keith Marshall down after three.
Chubb collected SEC freshman of the year, first-team All-SEC and second-team All-SEC honors during his tenure. As for Michel, he concluded his Georgia career with the third-most rushing yards in school history and 16th-most in conference history – behind Chubb and College Football Hall of Famer Herschel Walker – 39 total touchdowns and a staggering 7.9 yards per carry in 2017.
So, being part of a platoon instead of being the bell-cow back? Not so bad.
“Oh, no. Not at all,” added Chubb, who is on depth chart featuring Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde in Cleveland. “That makes it more fun, I feel. Me and Sony are very good friends and we’re both successful, both had success, we both got drafted fairly high. To do that with someone who you started in college with and you lived with four years, did everything with – I don’t think it can get any better than that.”
Michel agreed during his post-draft conference call in April.
“It was a wonderful experience,” said Michel, now alongside Rex Burkhead, James White, Brandon Bolden, Mike Gillislee, Jeremy Hill and undrafted rookie Ralph Webb in Foxborough. “We had so many cool memories. We had moments that were just precious. We had moments where it was not so precious. I’m excited to be a part of an organization that has great running backs, guys I can learn from, and I’m excited just to see what they have to offer.”