Joe Schobert didn’t lose his dry sense of humor in the move to Jacksonville, Fla.
“I always want to hit Nick Chubb,” the middle linebacker told Jaguars reporters this week. “I think he just has this reputation as being a good guy, but Nick’s the worst. People don’t know that about him. He’s the worst person.
“He always stole my stretch. I’d always try to get a stretch after practice and Nick would always jump me in line and try to steal my stretches. So if there’s anyone I could hit, it’d be Nick.”
Schobert spent two years with Chubb with the Browns, both models of what the organization wanted from its leaders. But the new Browns regime led by general manager Andrew Berry wasn’t willing to pay market value for Schobert and let him leave in free agency.
The Jaguars were happy to pounce, signing him to a five-year, $53.75 million contract in March. The Jaguars are 1-9 after nine straight losses, but Schobert has 85 tackles, three for loss, an interception, a half-sack and two quarterback hits in 10 games.
“Joe has been great,” Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said on a conference call. “He has been available and been playing hard. He makes all of the calls for us on defense.
“Real happy with him. Good relationship. Does everything that we are asking for, so no issues whatsoever.”
The Jaguars wanted a middle linebacker so they could move Myles Jack to the weak side, and Schobert showed with the Browns, including a Pro Bowl season in 2017, he spends a lot of time around the ball.
“He still looks the same,” Chubb said. “He is very athletic. He has very good instincts. He is fast. He plays hard.
“I know from playing against him here in practice and watching him play here he is a great player.”
Chubb said it wouldn’t be strange to be tackled by his former teammate who apparently carries a fake grudge.
“No, it will be fun,” he said. “I look forward to it.”
The Browns have changed drastically since Schobert left. While many of the players are the same, the systems on both sides of the ball are different under the new coaching staff.
“Other than the personnel and the players and what their demeanors are like and playing against them for four years, I don’t have a whole lot of the ins and outs of the actual offensive scheme and the lingo or the jargon they might be using,” said Schobert, who was a fourth-round pick in 2016.
Receiver Jarvis Landry, who spent two years in the same locker room as Schobert, knows he’ll share all the information he has with his new teammates.
“He is a very, very smart player and he knows pretty much everybody that is on our roster as far as offensively,” Landry said. “I am sure he is giving those guys a good game plan and scouting report against us about who we are as players. It is going to be a challenge, but we are ready for it.”
Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt called Schobert and Jack the strength of the Jaguars defense that ranks 30th in scoring (29.8 points) and yardage (411.3). Schobert said his film study affirmed the strength of Cleveland’s offense is the running game.
“They really want to run the ball. That’s what they pride themselves in and they do a good job of it,” he said. “Off of that, the running game, they have a good play-action and boot system. The run game really sets everything up.”
There’s no doubt Schobert will see a whole lot of Chubb and Kareem Hunt, and Schobert said he had the chance to tackle Chubb a few times in Berea.
“Although I did get yelled at last year for tackling him because I tackled his legs, so that’s another sticking point,” he said.