Chud Is No Dud: Why Browns Fans Should Be Excited About Rob Chudzinski
As a Cleveland sports fan, one can drive themselves crazy over the misery that comes with staying loyal to their city.
Fans hear rumors about big-name coaches to be hired, trades that never occur and more importantly, stay hopeful of better seasons that seemingly never come.
But after seeing the city's beloved Browns pull a Houdini and hire former Panthers Offensive Coordinator Rob Chudzinski, here's what I've been thinking to myself, and why every Browns fan should be excited about their new head coach.
1. Chudzinski gets it. He was born and raised in Toledo, grew-up a fan of the orange helmets and has suffered the same pains we've all had to endure over the years.
While some of the other coaches the team interviewed may have had a thicker resume and a bigger brand name, they didn't have the memories of living through Red Right 88 or "The Drive."
Fans always talk about how they could do a better job coaching because they get the pain, well now we have a head coach who carries the same credentials—for better or worse.
2. The dude can coach. In 2007, Chudzinksi turned a no-name QB named Derek Anderson into a Pro Bowler.
He led an offense that finished 8th in the league in total yards, while actually moving them past the typical second-and-a-mile-type situations that became routine and too predictable with coordinators like Brian Daboll and Brad Childress.
And though fans can talk about 2008 when the team regressed to a dead last finish in offense, they should be reminded the Brownies started Anderson (9 GS), Ken Dorsey (3 GS), Brady Quinn (3 GS) and Bruce Gradkowski (1 GS), with the latter totaling an astonishing 18 passing yards with two picks in the season finale against Pittsburgh.
Chudzinski was a victim of a failed head coach (Romeo Crennel), and a dysfunctional front office (GM Phil Savage was fired during the game over the phone), so the blame can't really be put on him.
His success in developing Cam Newton over the past two seasons should be the barometer of his success, along with his seventh and 12th-ranked total offenses.
Chudzinski may not turn this team into the second-coming of the Patriots, but with a QB in Brandon Weeden who shares the same skill-set as Derek Anderson did, along with young, talented and developing pieces elsewhere on the offense, he should have some toys to play with.
Turner may have been a bust as a head coach, but as an OC, he's won two Super Bowls.
All Browns fans wanted experience in their next head coach, but they got a young, up-and-coming guy who surrounds himself with coordinators who have been there and done that.
In the end, Chudzinski will (and should) be measured by his overall team's success.
He'll be scrutinized and second-guessed his fair share of times.
But for a new ownership that wants stability and leadership amongst its coaching staff, there isn't a guy Cleveland fans should be more excited about than bringing back one of their own.
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