Tag Archives: Norv Turner

What Tampa Bay is Getting with Dirk Koetter, If He’s Named The Buccaneers Head Coach

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers aren’t the only team to the play fast and loose with their head coaching position, but the Glazers have certainly made some eyebrow-raising moves since winning the Super Bowl with Jon Gruden thirteen years ago. It began with Gruden, currently ESPN’s color analyst for Monday Night Football, being shown the door after consecutive 9-7 seasons, and there’s been a folly of errors with the Bucs top job, including the questionable dismissal of Lovie Smith earlier this week.

The team’s improvement to 6-10, from 2-14 in Smith’s first season, apparently wasn’t enough, so the core of Gerald McCoy, Jameis Winston, and Mike Evans will get their marching orders from a new leader when mini-camps and OTAs begin later this year. We’ve heard rumors from the ridiculous to the absolutely reasonable, so you can rule out Alabama head coach Nick Saban, but there are other candidates not named Dirk Koetter interviewing for a job they like won’t be offered when it’s all said and done.

Say what you will about the Rooney Rule, I personally understand the spirit behind it, but I don’t feel the mandate for a minority candidate interview fulfills its purpose, nor do I feel its necessary, given how much we’ve evolved since Art Shell was hired in 19891Shell was the second African American Head Coach in professional football history, and the first since Fritz Pollard stopped coaching the Chicago Black Hawks in 1928. It’s difficult to put a name to this, and I don’t care to insult the man, but with Koetter being the in-house favorite, we’re going to label Arizona offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin as the Rooney Rule candidate.

It isn’t fair to Goodwin, available to interview during the Cardinals’ bye week, but all parties involved can get something out of this. Best case scenario, speaking to supporters of the Rooney Rule, Goodwin blows them away, and gets the job. Under this scenario, Koetter walks, which is something of a wash, because Goodwin will certainly want to be the architect of the offense, in his first steps away from the shadow of Bruce Arians, aka “The Quarterback Whisperer”. Bottom line: This is an interview Goodwin deserves, but many will see it as a farce, and only the ones in the room will ever really have a feel for how legitimate the process is.

Until Cam Newton started to make Riverboat Ron Rivera’s offense tick, the strength of Carolina’s game is what you see when the Panthers don’t have the football. Sean McDermott has been coordinating that defensive unit since 2011. Give him credit for knowing how to utilize Luke Kuchely, and how to disrupt in the trenches, his defense is the reason they sit on the 1-line in the NFC as we enter the playoffs. He’s a candidate, but he’d have his work cut out for him with the 7th-worst scoring defense in the game, and that was in Year 2 of Lovie Smith.2This is more about personnel. Gerald McCoy is great, but he doesn’t play around a lot of great talent…not yet.

I could get hit by a bus, but I’ll probably be home for dinner.

Barring a very genuine surprise, the former Arizona State head coach will be promoted by the Tampa Bay brass from Offensive Coordinator to Head Coach very soon, but they have to complete the process. Honestly, what does it hurt to talk to viable candidates, even when you’re 99% of the direction you want to go? In Jacksonville, Atlanta, and now Tampa Bay, Dirk Koetter has received a lot of praise for the way he calls an offensive game for whoever was featured on the Jaguars offense from 2007 to 2011, for Matt Ryan, and for the very talented Jameis Winston.

One area of concern remains; there’s a big difference between being the Skipper and the First mate. The Glazer family, Jason Licht, and everyone involved with this rumored decision to put Koetter in charge of the show are willing to make a leap that no has dared to attempt since failing to elevate the Arizona State over six seasons3Koetter was 40-34, and impossibly bad in the state of California against the four conference rivals who reside there.. Koetter put a few players in the NFL, most notably Terrell Suggs and Zach Miller, but the Sun Devil football program never could conquer the Pac-10 on his watch.

He may be another Norv Turner, a guy who is brilliant until he gets the big whistle and a challenge flag, but I have to commend the Buccaneers commitment to stability for Jameis Winston, even if you might want to denigrate them for pink-slipping Smith after two seasons, and just one with the services of Winston. After all, you usually hear about the head coach/quarterback tandem more than the chemistry between the signal caller and the OC.

You might hear conversations about Brady and Weis, McDaniels, and O’Brien, but none of them roll off the tongue like Brady & Belichick or Belichick & Brady do. Things tend to change over time. Maybe under the guidance of Jack Del Rio and Mike Smith, he understands the head coaching role better now, as well as the NFL game. There’s a precedent for that with the aforementioned Belichick. He didn’t get it done with the Browns, spent more time with Bill Parcells, and quickly took the Patriots to the promised land with his first second chance. I might believe Josh McDaniels was on the verge of that, but he’s got some work to do if he ends up in Nashville.

If any of these jobs were easy or “good”, there probably wouldn’t be vacancies, so they’re all difficult undertakings. Keep in mind, there are no exclusive rights to Koetter’s service, despite the Bucs being his current employer. He’s talking to San Francisco and perhaps Philadelphia, but probably isn’t the favorite to land either of those jobs. The move makes sense, and honestly, Goodwin and McDermott are logical targets, but potentially giving Jameis Winston the same voice for the foreseeable future carries a value that can’t be matched. Sun Devil fans won’t believe they’re watching the same guy when they see the pewter, orange, and red on their screen on Sundays.

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1. Shell was the second African American Head Coach in professional football history, and the first since Fritz Pollard stopped coaching the Chicago Black Hawks in 1928.
2. This is more about personnel. Gerald McCoy is great, but he doesn’t play around a lot of great talent…not yet.
3. Koetter was 40-34, and impossibly bad in the state of California against the four conference rivals who reside there.

Cleveland Browns Carousel: More Than A Fling?

All I wanted for my birthday was a full and finalized Cleveland Browns coaching staff.

The Browns, as is their habit of getting a fan’s hopes up, then remembering they don’t really give a bulldog’s backside about winning, then realizing that they should probably try and appease the people with the butts that they have to put in the seats, have half-wrapped an already-used package for me, and included a card that said, “Happy New Year, 2002 / 2007”.

This “lovely” package comes to me after the Browns ran former head coach Rob Chudzinski out on a rail, a move I found ridiculously knee-jerk and largely unfair. Yes, Chud “steered” the Browns to a 4-12 record in 2013. A kitten could’ve probably done that on pure cuteness and threat of tiny claws.

Browns' Kitten Coach
Thankfully this didn’t come to pass, but it would’ve been cute… (Image credit to sportspickle.com)

However, I feel like Chud, Norv Turner, and Ray Horton were on the border of something decent. Not good, but decent. I mean, there were very few true blow-out losses in the ’13 season, and the team was in several games they probably shouldn’t have been in. To say that we were dealing with a fluid situation at quarterback and running back is being Mother Theresa and Pope Francis levels of kind. The defense was overall well above average, but was gassed near the end of the season as the secondary was a bit of an issue (also another understatement from watching some of the games). Six Browns went to and played in the Fantasy Football Bowl, and they did quite well. There were several bright spots on this team throughout the year, but not enough consistency.

The front office solved that issue by blowing up the whole of the coaching staff, ensuring that the lack of consistency continued.

Bravo, Stooges. Bravo.

But even in the bleakness that is considered the norm of Cleveland sports, we try to put the past behind us, and look towards the future. Well, unless your name is Art Modell, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, John Elway…

Anyway, we look towards the future, and the name we’ve finally come to is Mike Pettine. Pettine, a defensive mind from the New York Jets and (most recently) the Buffalo Bills, looks like one of those guys that you just don’t want to mess with. The Twitter was alight with comparisons to one WWE wrestler:

Or another:

Or a slash-fic wet dream of the combination of the two:

I myself likened him to Jesse “The Body” Ventura of gubernatorial old, before he went completely conspiracy crazy.

"The Body" Didn't Mess Around...
Tell me to say “Barkevious Mingo” one more time… “The Body” dares you… (Image courtesy of prowrestling.wikia.com)

 

The Browns press conference to announce Pettine’s hiring was, of course, the talk around town, even up til now. The man who said that he “wasn’t trying to win press conferences” said all the right things. The man who wasn’t comfortable being in the limelight made himself comfortable by talking about the talent the team has, talking about needing to “get a little bloody” in the AFC North, and talking about how the team has to be held accountable and start bucking the losing attitude that seems to have invaded the locker room (and possibly spelled doom for Chud after the team ‘gave up’ last season).

On the surface, I was simply happy that the Browns finally got a guy… Any guy… To fill the role so that this monstrosity of rebuilding could begin.

Again.

However, diving a little deeper into the presser (which I sadly didn’t see live), I’m liking what Pettine is saying. Yes, I know as Browns fans we’ve heard the good song-and-dance before, but there’s something a little different about this one. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s not an “Ohio guy”; several of our former coaches had some sort of past connections to the team, and that might have allowed them some latitude in their minds. There’s also the fact that Pettine is coming out of a defensive system in Buffalo that was actually pretty good in 2013. Talent-wise, I feel the Browns are as good or a bit better than the Buffalo staff was, which bodes well for a Browns defense that was (as I mentioned previously) a good squad. Pettine’s hire, along with pivotal pieces he brought with him from his Buffalo staff (including the Browns’ new DC Jim O’Neil), gives me the feeling like the defense is set up for an improved year next year. So long as the secondary gets addressed, either by scheme or personnel changes, there’s a lot of hope for avoiding some of the last-chance victories our opponents had like last year.

The big piece to the puzzle, unsolved until Saturday, was the offensive coordinator. The offense last year was, in a word, rubbish. There was no consistency, going through several quarterbacks and a stable of runners in 16 games. There was also the matter of the majority of the receiving corps underachieving horribly, with Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron the only real threats. Now we have Kyle Shanahan, formerly of the Washington Redskins, onboard as our OC.

I am a supreme fan of this hire. While some of the ‘pundits’ were questioning how well the interview with Shanahan went, Pettine and the Browns front office apparently saw enough good to bring Shanahan onboard. The big thing on this is that we might finally get some stability in the quarterback position, though the name might not be known right now. The leader in the clubhouse (at least someone already on our roster) would likely be Brian Hoyer, who seems to be recovering decently from ACL surgery. However, the likelihood everyone seems to be leaning towards is the drafting of Johnny Manziel with the first of the Browns’ two first-round draft picks. With either man at the helm, the Browns under Shanahan get the good, mobile quarterback that was part of the success the Redskins under Shanahan and with RG3 in command.

There’s also the matter of running backs, which have been a particular weakness for this team. McGahee is definitely not the answer going forward, nor do I feel that Ogbonnaya is the first choice. I think Fozzy Whittaker is an intriguing choice moving forward, but I feel (and others are thinking) that, once again the Browns will be drafting a running back early. Seems to be a repeat of recent years, but… This time I think we’ve got some people that might actually have some plans, some know-how on the who and what for doing it their way, and doing it well.

So am I happy with my birthday present?

The packaging and toys look pretty in the box.

Too bad assembly won’t happen until Training Camp.

Let’s Talk Cleveland Browns

With less than a week until the start of Training Camp, it’s time for a little Browns talk here on MTAF.

Browns expectations are quite rangy this season. From national pundits to local analysts to four-letter experts, everyone seems to have a different opinion of the Browns.

Pro Football Talk had the Browns as the 31st team, just above the Raiders, in their first Power Rankings of the 2013 season. Ron Jaworski of the four letter network showed his love for Weeden in a detailed segment, although rating him the 26th best QB in the National Football League.

In the past, I’ve written about Browns expectations and been horribly wrong. The continual “8-8” hopes for the beloved Brownies have yet to come to life, as they have yet to put together a true .500 season since their return. They’ve gone 10-6, 7-9, and 9-7, but have yet to compile exactly eight wins since their less-than-triumphant return.

This season, I don’t see 8-8. I don’t see the Browns being a mediocre ballclub. They’re either going to be unbelievably good or absolutely awful. There’s really no in between.

If the Browns are to be unbelievably good, here’s what’s going to have to happen.

1. Brandon Weeden must break out and become one of the better “young” (it’s horrible that I have to put quotations around that phrase) quarterbacks in the league.

There are no more excuses for mediocre numbers and performances from Weeden, as he’s in an ideal situation with Norv Turner and Rob Chudzinski. Weeden knows it, Banner knows it, and the entire Browns fanbase knows it.

Again, if you click on the link above, I have no doubt that Weeden is going to take a massive leap this season, all-the-while leading the Browns to a successful season.

2. Trent Richardson is going to have to become more effective as well.

Richardson was an overrated talent last season, as his scoring numbers far outweighed his lackluster efficiency in the majority of his carries. Richardson, with less reps this season, is going to have to make the most of his opportunities.

Again, I don’t doubt that he will do so, but want to reiterate that his performance is going to be paramount for the success of the Cleveland Browns in 2013.

3. The defensive front seven must get to the QB early and often.

The Browns defensive line has the potential to be one of the best in the entirety of the NFL. With the additions of Paul Kruger, Barkevious Mingo, Quentin Groves, and Desmond Bryant, the Browns certainly possess an uncanny depth in terms of the pass rush. Match those talented big men with D’Qwell Jackson, Craig Robertson, Jabaal Sheard, and James-Michael Johnson and you’re looking at an incredible front seven, no matter what scheme they’ll be executing.

The front seven must put tremendous pressure on opposing QBs because there may not be anyone to defend pass-catchers.

4. The defensive backfield can’t be atrocious.

This may be the biggest problem the Browns face in the 2013 campaign.

Outside of Joe Haden and TJ Ward, no players in the defensive backfield are proven, nor experienced.

Browns third-rounder, Leon McFadden, may have to have a breakout season- a breakout season he may be incapable of producing- if the Browns don’t want to rank near the bottom of the list in terms of pass defense.

Hopefully the experienced group of linebackers can help with the tight ends and running backs, but when it comes to one-on-one matchups outside the hashmarks, the Browns may be in big trouble.

All of that being said, just what will happen?

  1. Weeden will break out. I’ve already said this, but I really explain myself pretty well in this post.
  2. Richardson will be more efficient, should he stay healthy. I explained that, again, in THIS post.
  3. The front seven should be dynamic. Incredible depth paired with Ray Horton’s aggressive pass-rushing scheme should send the Browns to the pinnacle of the NFL in terms of getting to the backfield.
  4. The backfield is going to be pretty bad. Of course, opponents with only one true receiver may struggle- Joe Haden will have him on lockdown- but teams with multiple receivers could torch the Browns through the air. Just looking through our division, Baltimore and Cincy will give the Browns major fits through the air, while the Steelers may have to rely on the ground attack.

Essentially, the Browns season is going to depend on just how bad the defensive backfield will be. The offense is going to be dynamic. An improved Weeden with an efficient Richardson is going to be a backfield-tandem among the best in the league. The defensive front-seven are going to get to the QB, I’m almost sure of it.

If the defensive backs can hold their own to some degree, the Browns could be staring a playoff birth in the face. I truly believe that. However, I just don’t see it.

This group is going to struggle and struggle hard. They may not beat the Bengals or the Ravens one time this season, and that’s four division losses from the get-go. The Steelers are going to be tough, as always, which could render the Brownies winless in the division.

So, what does this all mean? Do you really mean to say that the Browns are going to lose the majority of their games because of their lack of a pass-defense, Hayden?

Yes, I really do. The Browns are going to improve this year, but their record will stay essentially the same. After they grab some help in the defense backfield going into the next season, the Browns will finally be ready to compete in the dreaded AFC North.

For now, however, just enjoy the progress. The Browns are going to be much more exciting to watch this year, regardless of their win total. Watch Brandon Weeden turn into the franchise QB the Browns have been searching for. Watch Trent Richardson become the best Browns rusher since Jamal Lewis. Watch the front-seven put incredible pressure on opposing backfields. Enjoy it all, just don’t expect too many wins.

Wins are on their way though; just wait for 2014-2015.

Making a Case for the Browns in 2013

As a Cleveland sports fan who only really remembers the “new” version of the Cleveland Browns, I have become accustomed to 4-12 and 5-11 finishes every year.  There shouldn’t be an excuse for this team to repeat recent history. The garbage that we continue to see, on and off the field, has to stop. I couldn’t care less that it is this regime’s first year. It is time to put up or shut up for the Browns.

The 2013 offseason has been full of drama, per usual, for the Browns, even more so than in the Randy Lerner Era. The recent Pilot Flying J Drama and the Josh Gordon “sizurrpgate”, are certainly a handful, even as the Browns are concerned.

People also seem to think that Trent Richardson is injury prone. Well guess what? I don’t care about any of that; the time to win is now. I don’t expect the Browns to win the Super Bowl like twitter celebrity, Hiram Boyd, nor do I expect them to be a legitimate playoff contender. Eight or nine wins seems fair to me.

The Browns spent a majority of their offseason efforts on trying to improve the defense. Obviously there are still a few weaknesses, but by all accounts, the defense is much better than the unit that allowed 23 ppg last season and was the 5th most penalized.

With Paul Kruger, Desmond Bryant, and Quentin Groves coming in as free agents and Barkevious Mingo as the first round draft pick, the Browns defense will certainly look better than the 2012 bunch. It will be an added bonus to hopefully have Joe Haden for all 16 games, as well as a healthy Phil Taylor and TJ Ward. Ray Horton will bring a style that is a complete 180 from Dick Jauron with blitzes coming from every angle and (GASP) an emphasis on pressuring the opposing quarterbacks! Overall the Browns defense has the makings of a possible top 10 defense, should all things go well. Inevitably, injuries will happen, but with new found depth this should no longer be the problem it was in the past.

Offensively, I expect an even bigger improvement than what we will see from the defense. Brandon Weeden, who I believe was unfairly criticized to an extreme last season, should be much more comfortable in new coach Rob Chudzinki’s downfield and  attacking style offense.  He will also have a few more weapons to work with. Aside from Josh Gordon’s game hiccup for sipping the sizzurp, this offense has a very solid wide receiving corps. David Nelson and Davone Bess add to what I expect to be a much improved duo of Josh Gordon and Greg little. I also expect to see Travis Benjamin and his speed utilized in Chud’s offense. The offensive line continues to be a strength of this team and, if T-Rich can stay on the field, I am not at all worried about the running game.

Despite the loss of all world, all everything, elite superstar, stud kick returner (heavy sarcasm, if you couldn’t tell) Josh Cribbs, I actually expect the return game to be an improved aspect of this team. I am probably a little hard on Cribbs at times, but his skills have greatly diminished and it was time for a change. I don’t know if the Browns plan on using Travis  Benjamin as a full time punt and kick returner or not, but his breakaway speed will always be a threat. The big question on Special Teams will be both the punting game (which we seem to have to do a lot) and the kicking game with the loss of Mr. Cleveland Brown,(and my favorite Browns player since ‘99), Phil Dawson.

The simple fact my favorite Brown is a kicker is a huge indictment on this franchise’s success since the big return. Here is to hoping the majority of the FG kicking we are doing is of the 19 yard, extra point variety.

Are there still weaknesses and questions about this team?

Yes, plenty, but the excuses are no longer acceptable.

I don’t know how long I can continue to put up with 4 and 5 win teams. Browns fans deserve better. Browns fans, aside from a few of the crazies, are some of the most loyal in the league. I know how rough it’s been for me in the years since ’99, but I can only imagine how older diehard Browns fans feel. The time is now to turn the franchise’s fortunes around.

I may be one of the few who believe, but I am very excited about the Banner/Lombardi regime. I feel they’ll finally turn the pile of crap we have seen since the return, into a solid and winning group.

Finally, just to have some fun, I’ll play the schedule game. Try not to hold me to this, as many things can and will change by the time September 8th rolls around!

[table “26” not found /]

Yea, that’s right @sportsguytony, or whatever your Twitter handle is now. I gave the Browns a W against the Minnesota Vikings.

Final prediction: 9-7

I even added in the unexpected win (at Cincinnati) and the unexpected loss (at Kansas City). 9-7 would be a tremendous start for Banner and Lombardi. Realistically, this team is probably closer to 7 wins than 9, but I say this is the year that we actually catch a few breaks that turn in to wins rather than being on the other end. Is this a playoff team? Probably not, and like I previously stated, I don’t expect it to be. It shouldn’t be too much to ask to still be in playoff contention when Poopsburgh comes to town in week 11.

Maybe we won’t have to see the urine and black-clad, false teeth wearingSsteelers fans invade First Energy Stadium. I say it’s time to start expecting more and, for once, I think the Browns will deliver!

What do you think Browns fans? Do you think I expect too much? What is a realistic finish to the season and what do you expect?

Cleveland Browns Hire Rob Chudzinski as New Head Coach

If you’re familiar with this name, it’s because he’s been here before; twice.

Late Thursday night, the Browns hired former Panthers Offensive Coordinator, Rob Chudzinski, as their Head Coach. Amongst large amounts of speculation as to who the head coach would be, the Browns snagged the Toledo, Ohio native in a rather unexpected move.

Rob Chudzinski started in the NFL as the Cleveland Browns Tight Ends coach in 2004. He was then fired by the Browns, for the first time, and went to San Diego to become the Chargers to assume the same role. Cleveland brought back Chud for the 2007-2008 seasons as the Offensive Coordinator. Under Chudzinski, the Browns went on to a 10-6 record, had 4 Pro Bowlers (Derek Anderson, Braylon Edwards, Joe Thomas, and Kellen Winslow), and finished 8th in the NFL in total offense. Chudzinski was then fired after Eric Mangini was hired by the Browns and brought in his own staff.

San Diego, much like Cleveland, brought back Chud to coach the tight ends, as well as becoming the assistant head coach. Chudzinski then went to Carolina where he was named the Offensive Coordinator of the Panthers. Chudzinski developed rookie quarterback Cam Newton into one of the premier young QBs in the NFL, helping Newton to break all kinds of rookie passing records. While Newton struggled in year two of his career, Chudzinski was still a legitimate offensive coordinator  who turned the season around for the struggling Panthers.

There is no doubt Browns fans were expecting a bigger name to be the Head Coach of the Cleveland Browns. With a new owner, a new CEO, a new president, and a new attitude, Browns fans were throwing names like Chip, Gruden, Cowher, and Lovie around. When many of the Browns original plans were out of the question, Jimmy Haslam and Joe Banner regrouped and brought in around 5 candidates to Cleveland, including Chudzinski.

Chudzinski was a surprising interview in the first place. It’s rare to find a candidate that has been fired twice by the same organization as a possible candidate for the head coaching position. It was the old Browns that hired Chudzinski the first two times, these new Browns are going to make the third time the charm.

Chudzinski is truly an intriguing hire, if nothing else. A native of Toledo, Ohio and a lifelong Browns fan, Chudzinski will surely have the passion and desire to turn this ship around. He was part of the best season for the Browns since the return to Lake Erie in 1999. He is one of the most respected offensive minds in the game of football, something the Browns are certainly in need of.

It has been said that Jimmy Haslam was looking for a young, up and coming, and offensive-minded head coach. Chudzinski falls perfectly into all of those categories and fits the bill perfectly as he will undoubtedly be very passionate about the Browns and this job.

Well, folks, I guess it’s time for me to give you my opinion of the Chudzinski hiring.

When the Browns interviewed Chudzinski, I really had no idea what to think. I remembered him as a good OC here in Cleveland, but I thought the Browns were up to bigger and better things. It was obvious, even though it wasn’t obvious at all, that the Browns weren’t going to get a big name. I guess that’s the ridiculously hopeful Browns fan in all of us. We were hoping for Gruden, Zimmer, or even Cowher, along with Chip Kelly or Bill O’Brien. We thought that with new ownership would come a big splash. That wasn’t going to be the case, even though, for whatever reason, we held onto that belief.

I actually love the Chudzinski hire, especially coupled with Norv Turner as the offensive coordinator.

First of all, Chudzinski has been a good at grooming young QBs. Remember, Derek Anderson and Cam Newton were both, essentially, first year starters when they put up their massive numbers. I have a feeling that Chud will groom Weeden very well. The fit just seems ideal. Chudzinski, much the opposite of Pat Shurmur, is known as a coach who is willing to fit the strengths of his players and is willing to adjust gameplans and play-calling, even in the middle of the game. In addition to his differences with Shurmur, Chudzinski knows how to run the football, finishing in the top 10 in rushing 3 of his 5 years as an offensive coordinator. I believe that Trent and Weeden will progress very nicely with both Chudzinski and Norv Turner at the helm. Norv Turner will surely be a great help to Chudzinski as both a former Head Coach and a great offensive mind in his own right. He will take some of the pressure off of Chudzinski and make it easier for the Browns offensive system and players.

While the DC position will be up for grabs, after Jauron is let go at the start of the Chudzinski era, it remains to be seen just what the Browns will do on the defensive side of the football. It’s assumed that they will move back to the 3-4 system once Jauron departs, but we won’t know until the defensive coordinator position is filled.

Overall, I am a sucker for the “hometown” story, and Chud has all of the looks of a great “hometown hero”. The Browns are in need of a coach with the passion necessary to bring a title back to Cleveland, and what a better person to do so than the Browns-loving Chudzinski? His offensive prowess, great running game, and ability to groom young QBs seems to fit the Browns plan almost flawlessly. Along with OC Norv Turner, the Browns could have hit the very unexpected jackpot on the offensive side of the football. If for some reason, Lovie Smith decided to be the DC of these Browns, I don’t know if Haslam could’ve hired a better staff.

Haslam didn’t make the big splash all were expecting, but he quietly made a great hire for the Browns. Chudzinski utilizes the vertical passing game along with the power running game, both a of which the Browns have the talent to excel at. He is also a hardworking and passionate coach that understands the Browns and their fanbase very well. His relationship with Norv Turner will only help this team and will help to alleviate some of the pressures that come with being a head coach in the NFL.

I know you wanted Gruden. I know you wanted Cowher. I know you wanted Lovie. But you’re not Jimmy Haslam and clearly those weren’t viable options. The Browns conducted an extensive and THOROUGH head coaching search that resulted in them making a risky, yet sensical, hire in Rob Chudzinski. Chudzinski is a guy that the city can rally around, regardless if they agree with Haslam and Banner or not. At the end of the day, you can be dissapointed in the Browns coaching search or you can be excited at the prospect of a passionate Browns head coach who fits the teams strengths very well. I would personally choose the latter.

Go Browns!

Follow Hayden on Twitter @H_Grove