Landing Turner big coup for Chudzinski

Posted by Vic Carucci on January 17, 2013 – 11:32 pm

By Vic Carucci, Senior Editor

The hiring of Rob Chudzinski as the Browns’ head coach already offered plenty of reason for promise and hope for the team’s fortunes.

You have his aggressive mentality, which should show up heavily on the offensive side of the ball but will also be seen on defense.

You have his success in putting together productive offenses when he was offensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers (2011-12) and Browns (2007-08).

You have his tremendous passion for the Browns, the team for which he rooted while growing up in Toledo, Ohio.

Now, there’s another big reason to like the Chudzinski hire: his ability to bring Norv Turner aboard as his offensive coordinator, a move the Browns made official on Thursday.

After being recently dismissed as head coach of the San Diego Chargers, Turner instantly became one of the more sought-after candidates for offensive-coordinator openings around the NFL.

But Chudzinski had the inside track, largely because of the mutual respect he and Turner developed when Chudzinski was tight ends coach and assistant head coach on Turner’s San Diego staff in 2009 and ’10.

With Turner, the Browns get a whopping 38 years of coaching experience, including 14 as an NFL head coach. That will prove vitally important to enhancing Chudzinski’s chances for success as a first-year head coach in the league. Turner will always be there to provide wisdom and advice through the many challenging times that head coaches face even under the best of circumstances.

Turner’s vast and thorough knowledge of the passing game will go a long way toward allowing the Browns to follow through on Chudzinski’s plans to install an attack-oriented offense. He is from the Don “Air” Coryell School of offensive scheming, which was the cornerstone of the highly prolific passing game of the Chargers when Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Dan Fouts was their quarterback.

Generally speaking, Coryell’s theory was that you should always be looking for touchdowns rather than first downs.

Turner’s background of working with standout quarterbacks, including Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Troy Aikman, will undoubtedly make a major difference in the development of the Browns’ starter at the position in 2013 and beyond. Brandon Weeden, the team’s starting quarterback as a rookie last season, could benefit greatly from the instruction he’ll get from Turner and Chudzinski. Traditionally, the largest steps that NFL players – and especially quarterbacks – make are from the first to the second year.

Colt McCoy and Thaddeus Lewis would also prosper significantly from the detailed instruction that Turner will provide, as would any other quarterback(s) added during the offseason.

Turner developed a reputation as an excellent play-caller. He is known for having a tremendous feel for his timing and rhythm when it comes to calling the right play in the right situation.

He has consistently had rushers who gain 1,100 and 1,200 yards in a season, which bodes well for Trent Richardson. He has consistently had larger, taller receivers who catch 70 passes per year, which bodes well for Josh Gordon and Greg Little. He has consistently had small and speedy slot receivers, which bodes well for Travis Benjamin. And he consistently finds a way to get big plays from his tight end, as evidenced from the game-breaking plays from Antonio Gates in San Diego.

The fact Turner’s son, Scott, will be coaching the Browns’ wide receivers is an additional plus because of his ability to help reinforce his father’s offensive thinking.

And thanks to Chudzinski, the Browns have the opportunity to reap the benefits of it.

>>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET, for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford” on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com.

>>Have a question for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”? Ask me at Twitter.com/browns_daily, Twitter.com/viccarucci, e-mail: Daily@ClevelandBrowns.com, or by calling 855-363-2459.


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Mystique is created on the field, not from a name

Posted by Vic Carucci on January 17, 2013 – 12:28 am

By Vic Carucci, Senior Editor

You’ve got questions and comments that you submit to the Browns’ official Facebook and Twitter pages. Here’s what I have to say about what you have to say:

Matt – These corporate names to stadiums and arenas are getting ridiculous. I understand that there is big money involved, but these corporate names take away the mystique of these stadiums.

I hear you, Matt.

There’s a definite part of me that likes to hang onto to those bygone days when stadiums and arenas were simply places where games were played rather than massive billboards.

But as the financial stakes in professional sports in general and the NFL in particular continue to soar, it is virtually impossible for teams to ignore the highly lucrative revenue opportunities that naming-rights deals provide. To do so is to give up a significant competitive edge, and that runs counter to a franchise’s very existence.

And I truly don’t think naming-rights deals diminish the mystique of the venues that have them. I’ve always felt mystique is created by a team’s performance, and especially from having consistent success at home.

Clearly, that hasn’t been the case for the Browns in a long time. But when (not if) that time does arrive, they will do for FirstEnergy Stadium, Home of the Cleveland Browns what other teams have done for the places they call home.

Greg – As long as the team and stadium are still in Cleveland, OH, I’m OK with the name change. Now, let’s do something about the uniforms. It’s time for a change.

I think there’s a good chance you’ll get your wish, Greg.

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam seems very open to the idea of changing the uniforms, but has said that he does not want to change the helmets, which are the most defining characteristic of the team’s look.

Under NFL rules, it takes two years before a uniform change can be instituted, so … stay tuned!

Douglas – The sad part of this specific name change is that sportscasters and others will resort to miserable puns for years to come. Whether the crowd is electric, the team runs out of power, whatever, it’s going to get old quickly. I didn’t see a problem with naming rights to the four gates rather than to the entire stadium, but if this is the sort of thing it takes to make the Browns a premier team in the NFL again, well, so be it. That said, to me, just as it’ll always be “Jacobs Field” (without the tired taint of corporatism), it’ll always be “the stadium” or “Cleveland Stadium.”

I respect your feelings, Douglas.

Yes, we’re probably going to have to endure some bad puns along the way (none from me, of course). Still, I firmly believe the benefits from the deal’s ability to help enhance the Browns’ competitiveness will outweigh the negatives by a lot.

>>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET, for Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com.

>>Have a question for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”? Ask me at Twitter.com/viccarucci or by e-mail at daily@clevelandbrowns.com or by calling 855-363-2459.


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