Tributes to the late Jim Brown have been flowing in steadily since the Pro Football Hall of Famer died a few weeks ago, but one Cleveland Browns player plans to spend the entire 2023 season paying his respects to the football legend.
Running back Nick Chubb, who got to know Brown over his first five NFL seasons, said he’ll be “playing for” the Browns legend this season in his honor.
“Being able to know him was definitely special,” Chubb said on Wednesday. “Definitely a blessing. Being drafted here and playing after such a great running back was a blessing.”
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Brown, who died on May 18 at the age of 87, had served as a special advisor to the Browns franchise and built relationships with many of team’s current members. Chubb was one of them, and he relayed a story former Browns GM John Dorsey told him after Brown died, saying how Brown had implored the team to select Chubb in Round 2 of the 2018 NFL Draft.
“Just hearing that,” Chubb said, “it was a blessing. He saw something in me, and it’s special.”
Brown and Chubb might be the two best backs in club history. Chubb has made the Pro Bowl in four of his five NFL seasons and is fourth in club history in rush yards (6,341), only 934 yards away from surpassing Leroy Kelly for second place behind Brown.
Catching Brown will take some work — in fact, Chubb is barely halfway there. Brown finished his brilliant, nine-year career with 12,312 rushing yards, which is currently good for 11th most all time.
But Chubb said that when he and Brown spoke, it often wasn’t about football.
“The most impactful thing [he told me] is probably (to) just stand for what you believe in,” Chubb said. “He was a strong man. He stood up for a lot of things, and he was himself. I think that’s the biggest thing I take from it. Just always be true to yourself.”
Chubb apparently will attempt to keep doing just that this season, all while honoring his fallen predecessor.
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