April 24, 2014

NFL News: Carolina’s DeAngelo Williams calls out Rob Chudzinski

Last season, Rob Chudzinski was the offensive coordinator for the lowly Carolina Panthers. Although they had an exciting young quarterback in Cam Newton, he’s already been called out by veteran receiver Steve Smith.

This time, it was running back DeAngelo Williams’ turn in line to call out Chud. In an article Tuesday afternoon from David Newton at ESPN.com, the former Memphis Tigers star pointed fingers fairly directly at the new Browns head coach:

“I’m not going to start anything or push anything out there. I can say this, though — a different offensive coordinator. I can definitely say that. The last offensive coordinator got rid of his starting running back.”

“Did I take a shot? Or did I speak facts? A shot is just like it can be factual but it’s really not. That was all facts. I wasn’t taking a shot at him — he knows what he’s doing.”

“You tell me what the difference is in 2013 versus 2012.”

Williams, now 30 years old, ranks third in the NFL with 291 rushing yards through Carolina’s first three games. The team is only 1-2, but just dominated the New York Giants 38-0 at home this past Sunday. They have a Week 4 bye.

The ESPN article shared that Chudzinski “was instrumental” in the Browns’ controversial trade of star running back Trent Richardson last week to Indianapolis. Williams’ comments about taking a shot were in reference to that trade and how he didn’t intend to criticize Chudzinski for that move.

Yet, the other comments do mirror Smith’s earlier remarks about Chudzinski supposedly holding back the Carolina offense in 2012. Cleveland was off to a slow start to the 2013 season, but burst through with a myriad of trick plays and impressive offensive performances during a 31-27 win in Minnesota.

[Related: Cleveland Browns Game Three: Winners and Losers]

NFL News: Panthers’ Steve Smith blames Chudzinski for 2012 season

Every week in the NFL beat writers for every team are included in a conference call with the opposing team’s coach and one of their players. The Carolina Panthers play the Seattle Seahawks opening weekend, and veteran wide receiver Steve Smith was the Panther selected to answer questions from the Seattle media. Some of his remarks didn’t paint a friendly picture of new Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski.

“The prior offensive coordinator [Chudzinski] really was positioning himself to just apply for that head coaching job,” Smith said Wednesday on a conference call with Seattle Seahawks reporters. “I think our offense suffered a little bit because of that.”

Smith, 34, a five-time Pro Bowler, felt Chudzinski had the Panthers get away from some of their strengths last season.

“At times, we got cute,” Smith said. “We did things that weren’t necessarily us, like the underutilizing of [running back] Mike Tolbert. But we’re out of that. The past is the past.” [Blount/ESPN]

Smith caught 73 passes for 1,174 yards and 4 touchdowns last season for the Panthers. Carolina was 12th in total offense, 16th in passing  and 9th in rushing. They averaged 22.3 points per game.

[Related: Barkevious Mingo joins teammates practicing in pads]

Sarbaugh Interviews for Job; Steve Smith and Bruce Fields Will Not Return

Paul Hoynes, the Plain Dealer’s long-time Cleveland Indians scribe, snuck some coaching staff details in his post about Matt LaPorta’s hip surgery on Friday. Here’s the latest on the staff unfolding alongside Terry Francona, Sandy Alomar and likely Brad Mills:

GM Chris Antonetti and manager Terry Francona are still interviewing candidates for the coaching staff.

Class AAA manager Mike Sarbaugh interviewed for the infield coach’s job earlier in the week. There’s an opening because Steve Smith took next season off to watch his son, Garrett, play his senior year in college.

Sarbaugh, 45, has been the Tribe’s Triple-A manager for the past three years. He led the Clippers to Triple-A championships in 2010 and 2011. He’s been in the organization for 23 years.

Tim Belcher, Indians pitching coach in 2010 and 2011, is not a candidate to return to that position. He stepped down for family reasons and those still remain.

Ruben Niebla ended the year as the interim pitching coach after replacing Scott Radinsky, who was fired.

The Indians are looking for a hitting coach because Bruce Fields was not rehired.

It appears that the announcements of Fields and Smith came earlier this week, but this appears to be new news about Sarbaugh, a logical choice unless another team nabs him, along with Belcher, who many expected to return in 2013.

[Related: Francona Hire is a Coup, but if Chris Antonetti Can’t Find Pitching, it Won’t Matter]

While We’re Waiting…Kobe vs. LBJ, Braylon will win AFCCG, History of Modell’s Move

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

Kobe Lebron

Fair to compare Kobe and LeBron?:  “Maybe the comparison persists not because the two are roughly equivalent to each other, the “two best in the league,” or, as much I hate to say it, the most likely heirs to Jordan. In his own way, Kobe is no less unique.  With all apologies to Duncan, Melo, maybe Kevin Durant, and last year’s Dwyane Wade, no two players can take over a game like James and Bryant. They aren’t the same player, but they’re the only players in that league who exist on this plane of dominance.” [Bethlehem Shoals/Fanhouse]

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