Editor's note: Tony Grossi is a Cleveland Browns analyst for TheLandOnDemand.com and 850 ESPN Cleveland.
Takeaways from Browns practice and interviews …
1. Broncos beware: Nick Chubb is still mad about his two fumbles against the Patriots and vows to take it out on future opponents.
“I learned from it. It just wasn’t my day. So I learned a lot. I remember how I felt and I don’t want to feel like that ever again. I’m going to do what I can do not to,” Chubb said.
Chubb’s fumbles were costly, if uncharacteristic. And they were both strange. One was caused by an accidental kick to the ball by guard Joel Bitonio’s foot. The second one was a blindside chop from Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones, who chased down the play some 40 yards downfield after being pancaked by Browns guard Wyatt Teller at the line of scrimmage.
After the second fumble, which came after a 44-yard run, Chubb returned to the sideline dejected.
He proceeded to carry the ball 18 more times without incident. Final totals: 131 yards, 20 carries, 6.6-yard average against the NFL’s No. 1 defense.
How was he able to get over the turnovers?
“Probably just my teammates and my coaches picking me up and just encouraging me and supporting me,” Chubb said. “I put it on myself to never let that happen again and just continue working hard. That is what I did. I put it behind me. I went out on the field and I let loose.
“I just wanted to win that game so bad. I felt like I let my team down, and that is why it was easy for me to put it behind me. I knew I had to keep going forward to give my team a chance.”
Chubb is third in the NFL with 738 yards rushing and first among backs with over 100 attempts with a 5.5-yard average.
Prior to a fumble in the fourth quarter in the Seattle game, Chubb had gone 320 touches without losing the ball. Then he fumbled three times in the span of 14 touches.
Coach Freddie Kitchens has no doubt how he thinks Chubb will respond after the New England game.
“The same way that he responded during the game,” Kitchens said. “Nick is a professional, high character and just all of the intangibles that you have in a football player, Nick has. I have total confidence that Nick is going to continue to work, and I would expect him to have a good game, just like he always does.”
2. O’le, o’le o’le o’le: With no reinforcement on hand through trade, the Browns’ offensive line is tasked with improving from within.
Kitchens declined to say if Justin McCray would get a second start at left tackle and whether Eric Kush and Wyatt Teller would continue to rotate at right guard.
“I like our O line. We are going to continue to try to get these guys better. They are committed to trying to get better. That is what we are going to do,” Kitchens said.
Asked to evaluate the line’s performance against New England, Kitchens said, “I am only going to talk about this Denver game. Those guys compete on an every down basis. Every day they come to work. They are pros and they try to get better.”
Kitchens said he communicated with GM John Dorsey throughout the trade process, but wouldn’t say if he was surprised that Dorsey failed to make a deal for a tackle.
“I am not going to comment on that. You can ask John that,” he said.
3. Brownie bits: Safety Damarious Randall must be in hamstring protocol. He was non-participant in practice again. He hasn’t practiced since suffering a hamstring injury late in the Seattle game prior to the bye week …
The Browns are leaving for Denver on Friday, a day earlier than originally planned when the travel scheduling was being discussed by club officials. The team also left a day early for a Saturday night game last season. “We are going out a day early just because of the time change, and it is not a night game,” Kitchens said ...
Tight end Pharaoh Brown missed practice while in concussion protocol. He’s the only lead blocker in short-yardage run plays. Somebody else will have to be prepared for that role.