After floating a bunch of big name, glitzy options as potential candidates for their head coaching vacancy, the Cleveland Browns ultimately decided to give the job to someone with virtually no name recognition.
Rob Chudzinski, the Carolina Panthers’ offensive coordinator for each of the past two seasons, was handed the keys to Cleveland’s much-maligned football team on Thursday. He is the Browns’ sixth head coach in 14 years.
In those 14 years, mind you, they have made it to the playoffs exactly once.
According to ESPN, Chudzinski will look to make recently fired San Diego Chargers coach Norv Turner his offensive coordinator. The two are familiar with one another because Turner’s son worked in Carolina with Chudzinski; however, it is worth noting that Turner is something of a high-prized commodity as an offensive coordinator these days. Multiple teams have expressed interest in bringing him on board, and it remains to be seen whether Browns brass can do enough to lure him to Cleveland.
Chudzinski is no stiff when it comes to coaching offense either, though. Despite Carolina’s lack of overall success throughout the past two years, they have consistently ranked as one of the NFL’s better offensive teams.
This is not Chudzinski’s first go-round in Cleveland. Back in 2004 he served as a tight ends coach for the team; starting in 2007, he spent two years as the Browns’ offensive coordinator.
ESPN is reporting that Chudzinski got the job after he outshined eight other candidates. One person he didn’t outshine, however, is Chip Kelly – he turned the Browns job down earlier this week.
Pat Shurmur, who coached Cleveland to a 5-11 record in his lone season with the team, was one of seven coaches to be fired on Black Monday.