July 30, 2014

Rob Chudzinski’s press conference ushers in another “process”

Chud is here

For Rob Chudzinski this whole deal is a dream come true. He’s a Browns fan that gets to be the head coach of his childhood team. Plus, he will get to cash some mighty fine NFL head coaching paychecks for the first time in his career. It’s the pinnacle coaching position in the sport – being a head coach in the NFL – regardless of which team you end up working for. Chudzinski told the media that his cousin has a bus / Browns-mobile that he uses to tailgate. I can safely say he was probably the only candidate with those kinds of “qualifications.” Of course as I said previously, these are nice things, but ultimately mean very little and probably nothing at all. Jimmy Haslam backed that up as well, indicating that he initially didn’t know Rob Chudzinski grew up a Browns fan and that those kinds of things are nice to have, but definitely not necessities.

Haslam also seemed pretty defensive in dealing with the media. Haslam said that despite the reports, the Browns never had a specific “guy” at the top of the leaderboard of coaching candidates. That might be kind of true, but the Browns certainly recognized the opportunity and urgency surrounding Chip Kelly, didn’t they? Rob Chudzinski wasn’t the one they rushed off to see first, so even if they didn’t have a list, it’s kind of obvious that the reality of the situation dictated an order of importance. Again, I say the Browns could have handled the media better, but I don’t want to go down that road again.

So what, exactly made Chudzinski the guy for Haslam, Banner and the Browns?

Jimmy Haslam said that Rob Chudzinski was definitive and clear in his interview about what he said he was going to do with this team. Haslam also said that he clearly got “the right guy” in Chud. There’s little doubt that “attack” is the new “battle” in Berea. Rob Chudzinski stressed attacking on both sides of the ball. He didn’t commit to a lot because the coordinators haven’t been hired, but he stressed that the Browns will need to be balanced. His definition of balanced doesn’t mean even numbers of plays between the pass and the run necessarily, but an ability to win both ways depending on the situation. Make no mistake though, Chudzinski later said that this will be a vertical, down-field passing offense.

Jimmy Haslam tipped his hand just a bit when he pointed out that Chudzinski’s been responsible for 88 touchdowns over the last two years while the Browns mustered 48. That’s a bottom-line approach and somewhat commendable, but it certainly comes off pretty simplistic when one team has Cam Newton and the other team does not. Still, it shows just how frustrated Haslam was this season watching the Browns’ offense.

All of this is likely good news for Brandon Weeden. Weeden’s skillset seems to lend itself to the deep passing attack, firing lasers vertically instead of working the flats and playing pitch and catch in a more horizontal fashion.

And what of the rumors about the Browns moving to the 3-4? Chudzinski said that a lot of that will depend on who he hires as a coordinator, but what he went on to say was encouraging. Chudzinski indicated that there are lots of different hybrid defensive plans in the NFL today that aren’t purely 3-4 or 4-3. This is great to hear. It shows (at least from a high level) that Chudzinski is going to have an eye on his preferred systems, but also play to the strengths of his team. Chudzinski wouldn’t rule out calling his own plays, but he made it sound like it would only potentially be temporary while his coordinator built up enough confidence to do it himself. That was one of my largest criticisms with Shurmur, so I’ll take it. It’s too early to draw conclusions on it, but early indicators are alright.

That’s the summary of the press conference for me as a whole. Rob Chudzinski still doesn’t excite me, but at this stage of the game, I’m not sure anyone would have given me much more confidence. Chudzinski did talk about the “process” and wouldn’t commit to saying much about 2013, but he was definitive in saying “we will win.” I mean, I guess what else could he say? But he did punctuate one of his answers with it, so there’s that.

My takeaways are that Rob Chudzinski wanted this job, knows he has a lot to prove and will be looking to hire the best possible staff to do it. Every coach says those things, but I did believe it knowing about the Norv Turner rumors. Chudzinski seems determined to not just want to put a system in place, but to spend every week trying to beat his opponent. That seems like an obvious thing, but I think it is one of the differences between what we saw with Eric Mangini and what we saw with Pat Shurmur. It will be a good thing if he can do it successfully.

I wouldn’t say “so far so good,” but I will say so far “not a nightmare.”

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I wouldn’t put too much stress on the vertical component… if I remember our offense from 2007-2008 there were still plenty of underneath options for (potentially) Weeden… hopefully, unlike DA, he’ll be able to complete passes to those options.

  • mgbode

    frankly scarlet because he gives a damn

  • Garry_Owen

    The “edit” button is our friend. Use it. We’ll never know of your mistakes.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I don’t think that is necessarily true about Banner taking the lead. I wouldn’t be surprised if Haslam is driving the interviews. We all heard him at the press conference, he wasn’t going to be happy sitting back letting Banner answer the questions… he jumped right in first and then asked Banner to add more if he wanted.

  • BIKI024

    dude, when he was 32, just 12 years ago he led a record setting miami offense comprised of 18-21 year olds at “The U” where he also played. name one person from The U that doesn’t have a personality? did u ever watch his weekly pressers when he was OC with us? he’s definitely got personality, but not overexteme like a Rex Ryan

  • Jaker

    Hey Rob, I know you and the boys want to switch to a 3-4, but I actually like the 4-3. So lets just stick with the 4-3.

  • MrCleaveland

    Nobody will ever convince me that the 3-4 is so vastly superior to the 4-3 that it’s worth all the trouble of jerking around the roster and forcing everyone to learn another system. And vice versa.

    Just use what you have for cripe’s sake.

  • Harv 21

    Prob is 3-4 true believers get that “you don’t own a Mac?!” look and sneer. There’s no talking to them and their condescension makes it difficult to listen.

  • Harv 21

    Agree. For all the “off the charts athletecism” hype, so far I see a guy that virtually every other team has.

  • Harv 21

    He confused the two and was jailed.

  • MrCleaveland

    Don’t tell me you don’t own a Mac!

  • @TheDeePagel

    Don’t you mean “chud”?

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    the ‘leader of men’ component was notably absent for me as well.

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    Chudz is drawing me in with his “come hither” stare and batted lashes….

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    there’s at least one aspect to cameron we all should be impressed with: Erin Heatherton.

  • Natedawg86

    With Spermer now out…. I am going to refer to the new coach as SKI (see “chud” in urban dictionary)

  • C-Bus Kevin

    Three words…Vertical. Passing. Attack.

    I know it may have been a flash in the pan, but I enjoyed the 10-6 season. The team scored points, and they were in the hunt for the playoffs.

    It may not always be pretty, but I’m ready to see some fireworks after watching Shurmur’s strategy of lulling opposing defenses to sleep with screens and passes to the flat. If we lose a couple games 42-28 or something like that, so be it.

  • JRS19

    Well, we know he gives a damn, but that doesn’t guarantee that he picks the right coach, GM, front office staff, etc. I agree that he’s a good breath of fresh air compared to what’s been in place, but he has to start showing results. I think everyone’s getting amped about Haslam’s “alpha male” tendencies and his “take charge” leanings. That all appears to be a good thing, but only time will tell. I’m intrigued and excited, but a long way from feeling comfortable and trusting of his direction.

  • simond

    draft stoneburner?

  • JRS19

    True. Like I said, I don’t know what he’s like behind closed doors, I just think very few coaches at the professional level are going to be successful based on their motivation tactics or fiery invocations. I would even argue that he would pull more respect as a 32-year old rather than his current age. At 32, he was closer to his glory days, which also occurred at the U. (BMOC effect).

    Now, the issues are: Does he have a plan to get this team in position to experience some success and then continue to flourish? Can he receive the trust and support to stay relevant? Can he have some good fortune along the way? These are things we don’t know and can’t really predict based on the track records of those in charge.

  • mgbode

    all you asked is why we might feel more comfort. that is all. more comfort.

    heck, Haslam/Banner can win SBs and you still won’t know when they hire a HC if it was the right guy (see skepticism over Tomlin/Harbaugh).

    the truth is that you don’t know until you know. it’s just comforting to know the guy pulling the strings is invested.

  • REEPJP

    I’m willing to chalk this first press conference up to nerves. Sure, he’s been in a few pressers in his life and should be somewhat comfortable in the bright lights with cameras and mics in his face, but he is a human being.

    I bet if anyone here ever had the ability and fortune to actually become a head coach in the NFL and it was for your beloved Brownies you would be a little nervous too.

    I consider myself to be a pretty good speaker, confident in meetings, interviews, etc. for work, but whenever I have to get up to speak in front of 100+ people I begin stuttering and knee knocking.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Nice1

  • Vindictive_Pat

    That’s fair, but stuttering or coach-speak comments aside, i didn’t find him to be a terribly charismatic person and I thought that was the kind of person Haslam and Banner wanted. But like I said, maybe that is how he is in the locker room, I don’t know… the only conclusions I can make are from what I have seen/heard.

  • markn95

    I agree 100 percent, MrCleaveland. I think it’s ridiculous that there are defensive coordinators out there who are “4-3 coordiantors” and “3-4 coordinators.” To me, if you can only coach under one system, you;re not much of a coach.

  • Jaker

    I once convinced a woman that I was Kevin Costner. And it worked, because I believed it!

    It’s impossible to not quote Saul Goodman in your comments

  • James

    good thing I had chud in the office pool……………………