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.
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