The Cleveland Browns have added their name to the list of teams that have filled their head coaching void. The Browns announced late Thursday night that they have hired two time Browns coach Rob Chudzinski, as they feel he’s the guy that can lead them into the future.
Chudzinski spent the past two seasons running Cam Newton’s offense in Carolina, one year with great success and the other with only mild applause to show for it. However while Chudzinski is taking his first ever head coaching job, it’s not his first stint in Cleveland, as he coached first as tight ends coach in 2004 and then again as the offensive coordinator form 2006-2007.
So it’s safe to say Chudzinski has paid his dues in Cleveland. However, while it’s a cute story that he’s returning to the franchise for a third time, this time as a head coach, the question is what id Rob Chudzinski going to do that keeps him from suffering the same fate of every Browns coach prior to him?
Joe Banner, who orchestrated the decision to hire Chudzinski, knows that while fans might not race to buy season tickets with news of the hire, it should be noted that he knows what he’s doing. Banner has hired one head coach in his NFL career, and he too had a less then stellar resume. Back in 1999 as the executive vice president of the Philadelphia Eagles, Banner persuaded long time friend and Eagles owner Jeff Lurie to hire the relatively unknown Andy Reid. That was a marriage that last up until this offseason.
That’s not to directly compare Chudzinski to Reid, but having the two in the same pot isn’t a bad notion for Browns fans. Chudzinski was the subject of head coaching rumors last season but decided to stay on another year with Cam Newton in Carolina.
As far as him saving the Browns, Chudzinski is a 50/50 shot. His first year with Cam Newton was a notable success and was one of the main reasons he was rumored to be involved with so many different teams last season. But this year his offense was flawed, despite having many of the same pieces intact.
The verdict on Chudzinski should be this: he’s not a lights out candidate and it appears there’s work that needs to be done. But that’s exactly where the Browns are as a franchise, and as long as everyone grows together and matures together, good things might be around the corner in Cleveland.