Courtesy of MCT
Rob Chudzinski did not coach in Sunday’s Super Bowl. Instead, he will take on the strenuous task of becoming the new Cleveland Browns coach. While we might not see him in the position that John and Jim Harbaugh, the coaches of the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, respectively, are in this weekend, don’t be too surprised if the Browns have a winning record as soon as next season.
Three weeks ago, Chudzinski was named coach by new owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner. He will be the 14th coach in franchise history. He had previously worked as the Browns’ offensive coordinator for two years beginning in the 2007 season. Chudzinski spent the last two years as offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers, where he helped build Cam Newton into a successful NFL quarterback.
Haslam had originally shown interest in Oregon’s football coach Chip Kelly, but at the time it seemed that Kelly was more interested in resuming his coaching duties at Oregon, so Haslam decided on Chudzinski.
Chudzinski spent his childhood as a Browns fan, having been born and raised in Toledo. Chudzinski was a standout high school tight end at St. John’s in Toledo and went on to play and eventually coach for the University of Miami where he won a total of three national championships.
Chudzinksi brings with him a well-known offensive coordinator in Norv Turner, who spent the last six seasons as coach for the San Diego Chargers. He has a long history with all-pro quarterbacks, including hall-of-famer Troy Aikman, whom he coached in back-to-back Super Bowl appearances with Dallas.
The new hiring bodes well for Browns’ quarterback Brandon Weeden. Former Browns’ coach Pat Shurmur ran a West Coast offense, one in which Weeden struggled at times. Weeden is a passer through and through, with a very strong arm, and Chudzinski’s vertical offense should carry a high success rate for the now second-year quarterback.
Haslam and Banner are trying to build an organization around a franchise quarterback; that young, promising quarterback could very well be Weeden, who has shown promise in his ability to lead an offense. By bringing in a headcoach and staff who are experienced in developing young players, one of the youngest teams in the NFL could become one of the more successful up-and-coming teams.
In recent years the franchise has put together normally ranks in the top third of the league. By bringing in seven coaches since the team was reactivated in 1999, I believe this has diluted the Browns’ chances of making successful runs into the postseason.
Winning games has not come easily, and the team has been downright embarrassing at times, but Chudzinski’s hiring has reinstated my faith in it.
It might take some time, but in the long haul, Chudzinski should fare very well in Cleveland.