Rob Chudzinski hire is good news for Brandon Weeden
- By Gregg Rosenthal
- Updated: Jan. 11, 2013 at 01:08 a.m.
Rob Chudzinski is the new coach of the Cleveland Browns. Who had "Chud" in their office pool?
The stunning hire late Thursday night after a long day leaves me too addled to write coherent paragraphs, so let's break down the impact into a list.
1. This is great news for Brandon Weeden. A week ago, the quarterback looked like an expired part that wouldn't be able to fit in a Chip Kelly offense (the Oregon coach interviewed the for Browns' coaching job). But Chudzinski offers hope to Weeden. The former Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator prefers a vertical offense. Weeden was not great as a rookie, but he showed flashes and has a good arm.
2. Early reports suggest that former San Diego Chargers coach Norv Turner will join Chudzinski in Cleveland. That would make Thursday's hiring even better for any quarterback with the Browns. Weeden is far from a lock to be the team's starter, but Turner is one of the best quarterback tutors in the NFL.
3. Mary Kay-Cabot of The Plain Dealer reported that the team will switch to an "attack" 3-4 defense. That means defensive coordinator Dick Jauron will be looking for work. The Browns' defense played pretty well last year overall. This is a risk -- the team badly needs pass rushers. There's enough of a foundation on the line for the defense to be good, but does the personnel fit? (2011 first rounder Phil Taylor could be a great nose tackle).
4. The cupboard is hardly bare on offense. Joe Thomas, Trent Richardson, and Josh Gordon are fantastic building blocks. The offensive line played well in 2012, especially in pass protection.
5. Cam Newton has to start over with a new offensive system for the Panthers. This is a concern after a strong end to the season.
6. Chudzinski was given a big extension by the Browns after helping Derek Anderson and Braylon Edwards make the Pro Bowl as the team's offensive coordinator in 2007. He was then fired along with head coach Romeo Crennel after the 2008 season. So Chud was still on the payroll until 2011; he was off for one year, and now is back on.
6a. After a trying week, this hire might actually be popular with Browns fans. Chudzinski is from the area and grew up a Browns fan. He's innovative and aggressive. If he fails, at least he's a coach that should go down swinging. You couldn't say that about Pat Shurmur, Romeo Crennel, or even Eric Mangini.