When the Browns could not retain tight ends coach Rob Chudzinski a few years ago, I was a little disappointed. I had wanted him to continue working with Kellen Winslow under our new regime. Now, he'll have the opportunity to work with Winslow, and a whole lot of other players as well. The Browns named Chudzinski (we'll call him "Chud") as our new offensive coordinating, taking over for interim coordinator Jeff Davidson.
When Chud became the Browns' tight end coach during the 2004 season under head coach Butch Davis, which was the final (and disastrous) year of Davis' era with the team. If you recall correctly, this was the season where our tight ends' unit was used very effectively down near the red zone, considering that was the season that Dennis Northcutt was our No. 1 receiver. During that season, here are the statistics for our tight ends:
Steve Heiden: 28 catches, 287 yards, 5 touchdowns.
Aaron Shea: 26 catches, 252 yards, 4 touchdowns.
Kellen Winslow: 5 catches, 50 yards.
When David resigned from the team a little bit past the half-way point of that season, Terry Robiskie took over as the interim head coach. In the process, Chud was actually promoted to interim offensive coordinator for the final five games of the season. The offense was not very effective under Chud for the most part, but you also have to consider that our team was being run by quarterback Luke McCown and various other players that aren't even in the NFL at the moment. The reason that he was not retained following the season had to do with the new regime of Phil Savage and Romeo Crennel being brought in. Chud didn't want to wait to see if he would be kept by the Browns, since he already had a job on the table with the San Diego Chargers as their tight ends coach. That is where Chud has been for the past two seasons.
Prior to being with the Browns, Chud had been with the University of Miami for ten years, including three seasons as their offensive coordinator and tight ends coach before coming to the NFL. That is the same time that Winslow attended Miami, establishing the fact that the duo has had some successful experience with each other.
According to Crennel, the Browns were impressed with Chud's "well thought-out" plan on how to address the team's scoring ways.
"It covered many facets of the offensive structure," Crennel said. "We talked about coaches, schedules and discipline. ... He knew how he would handle some things here and we were impressed with that."
I didn't expect Chud to be a candidate originally, but for the time being, I am satisfied with the move. I know that many fans were hoping for a "veteran" coordinator, but why would a veteran coordinator come to Cleveland to play under an inexperienced head coach?