While he certainly doesn't have a lengthy resume or the name recognition that some of the other head coaches the Cleveland Browns were reportedly interested in, hiring Rob Chudzinski was a step in the right direction for the beleaguered franchise.
Chudzinski, 44, who spent the past two seasons as the offensive coordinator with the Carolina Panthers, will be introduced at a press conference on Friday afternoon, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com:
The #Browns are officially confirming Rob Chudzinski is their new head coach. Release coming soon. Introduction news conference tomorrow— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 11, 2013
If the name sounds familiar to Browns fans, it should, as he spent two stints as an assistant coach in Cleveland: tight ends coach in 2004 under Butch Davis and Terry Robiskie, and from 2007 through 2008 as Romeo Crennel's offensive coordinator.
While none of this makes Browns fans feel any better about the hire (it's not like the Browns offense was setting the world ablaze during his run), consider this fact:
Rob Chudzinski turned Derek Anderson into a Pro Bowl quarterback.
That in itself is an impressive feat, and it speaks to his ability to effectively run an offense.
Whether he'll be the one running things when the Browns have the ball has yet to be determined, as Dov Kleiman of NFL.com, among others, is reporting that longtime San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner will be joining his staff:
Kleiman (@NFL_RealUpdates) January 11, 2013
Turner might have been a mediocre head coach, but he's an excellent offensive coordinator.
Yes, I know. You're still not convinced that he's a good hire.
But as Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer noted shortly after word broke that Chudzinski was interviewing for the position, Chudzinski has one thing that those who preceded him didn't have:
#Browns fans should get excited about the Rob Chudzinski interview. Great coordinator, head coach material and bleeds orange and brown.— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) January 9, 2013
He wants to be in Cleveland.
While Cleveland needs an influx of talent on both sides of the ball, it's not as if the Browns are completely devoid of talent.
That talent needed a new voice, a new vision, a new direction.
The Browns needed someone who was passionate about Browns football.
They get that in Rob Chudzinski.
Whether Turner follows suit or not remains to be seen, but this much is clear.
The light at the end of the tunnel in Cleveland just got a lot brighter than it was at this time yesterday.
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