Coach Chud Going NowhereBrowns Extend Offensive Coordinator’s Contract, Chudzinski Declines Ravens’ Interview Offer

In what can only be described as a most fortunate turn of events, the Cleveland Browns have given offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski an extension, and Coach Chud has turned down the Baltimore Ravens’ request to interview him for their vacant head coaching position.

The story appears in the Baltimore Sun, where Jamison Hensley writes,

“Cleveland offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski won’t interview for the Ravens’ head coaching vacancy today because he got a contract extension from the Browns, a league source said.

Chudzinski joins Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz and New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as coaches who have removed themselves from the Ravens’ list.”

This is great news for the Cleveland Browns organization. Not only does it solidify the Browns’ offensive system for the next year, it also gives the Browns the option of handing the team over to Coach Chud in 2 years should they decide that Romeo Crennel is not the man for the job. Now that Coach Chud is going to be sticking around, it should be interesting to see if the Browns extend Coach Crennel’s contract.

Chudzinski, a native of Toledo, Ohio who grew up rooting for the Browns, could be in a situation where the team is grooming him to be their next head coach, similar to the Jason Garrett situation with the Dallas Cowboys. Two years ago Coach Chud turned down a chance to call plays for LaDainian Tomlinson to come home to the Browns, despite the fact he would be joining an offense that was inept at best and a coach who was expected to be on the hot seat by week 5. Instead, he revamped the offense and turned it into one of the NFL’s elite offenses, even despite the fact he was using a discarded QB whom the Browns picked up off waivers. Chudzinski has shown a great mind for football and a vision that is neccessary to be a successful coach. So it is not out of the realm of possibilities that the Browns are looking to eventually hand the team over to Chudzinski, and that could be why he turned down the Ravens’ interview offer.

Or else he simply turned it down because it was the decent thing to do, knowing full well he wouldn’t accept the job and/or he was an outsider at best in the odds of winning the job. But a small part of me still can’t help but think, why not interview? It would be good practice for when he’s ready to really interview for jobs. It would seem he has every reason in the world to interview if his aspirations are to someday be a head coach somewhere else. But if the Browns’ organization’s internal plans are to eventually have Chudzinski take over the team, then there would be no reason to interview.

Either way, this is a good day for the Browns, and for now we can leave all speculation behind. For once, the Browns look to be returning their coaching staff in tact from the previous season…a sign of cohesiveness and stability that has long been lacking in this organization.


Coach ChudOne coach extending stay, one coach leaving?

It hasn’t taken long, but the coaching carousel has begun to spin, and a couple of the Browns coaches are on the ride.

According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer, the Ravens will be interviewing Browns offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski for their vacant head coaching position, while the Browns will be looking to extend head coach Romeo Crennel’s for up to possibly 3 seasons.

I said in my last post that we should expect Coach Chud to have an interview or two, so this is no big surprise. I also predicted that he would be unlikely to get a job quite yet, and I still 70% believe that, although I feel like Coach Chud might be exactly the kind of candidate the Ravens are looking for.

Regardless, you gotta believe guys like Rex Ryan and Jason Garrett will be the top candidates for this job. Ryan for his familiarity with the franchise and Garrett for his experience. He has been groomed as a head coach candidate for several years now, and is believed to be one of the brightest young coaches in the NFL. He would seem to be more head coach-ready than Coach Chud at this point in time. Other candidates for the job, according to Cabot, include Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz.

Here’s GM Phil Savage’s take on the situation:

“Obviously with the turnaround we’ve had, and with the way the offense played, Rob is going to be sought after by a lot of teams either this year or in years to come. . . When you have success you have to anticipate losing your good people.”

The only thing that bothers me about this is the thought of Coach Chud leading the hated Ravens. I really like Chudzinski a lot, and I think he is going to definitely be successful wherever he coaches. I just hope that it is not with the Baltimore Ravens.

As for the Romeo situation, Cabot writes:

“Meanwhile, the Browns have begun talks on a three-year contract extension for coach Romeo Crennel, said Joe Linta, the coach’s agent.

Crennel, who went 10-6 this season, has two years remaining on his five-year deal.

“The talks were very positive,” Linta said. “I really believe [Browns owner] Randy Lerner will want to make Romeo the face of the franchise for the next five years. Hopefully we can work toward that end.”

Linta said an extension for Crennel, who earned consideration for coach of the year this season after the Browns went from 4-12 last year to 10-6, will send a great signal to potential free agents that there’s stability in this franchise.”

I think this is a great proactive move by the Browns. Look, we all know Romeo is far from the best coach in the NFL, and he had more than his fair share of really bad moves this year (remember the double time out challenge at Pittsburgh???), but as I said in my season recap, stability is the key to any successful franchise. I can’t help but think of the way the Steelers showed so much patience with Bill Cowher when he was a young coach with them. He made his fair share of dumb coaching moves, but the Steelers stuck with him, kept extending his contract, demonstrated franchise stability, and built success around it. I feel like that’s the ultimate model of a winning franchise, and I have no shame in saying I hope the Browns emulate the Steelers’ business style.

I’ll be keeping an eye on the Crennel talks, but I once again feel like the Browns are starting to do things the right way. It feels crazy writing these words in describing the Browns, but it also feels good. So mark this website as being in favor of this decision by the Browns. You can hold me to it.