I went to this high school in northern Virginia called J.E.B. Stuart. Back then, the school had this pretty good principal. Some people liked him, others didn’t — but hey — the man was named National Principal of the Year. They don’t just hand that out to anyone.
So when he announced he was going to retire, the school announced they were going to a NATIONAL search. Wow, I thought, that’s a big deal. A little high school on the east coast is going to scour all 50 states for a replacement. Who in the heck could they come up with?
A couple months later they just promoted the assistant principal already at the school. That’s what this Rob Chudzinski hire by the Browns feels like.
This was supposed to be a fresh start for the Browns, remember? They got a new owner who cleaned house. He was going to take apart this franchise in shambles and build it from the ground up the right way. Do you remember that?
That all seems like it was a long time ago now Rob Chudzinski is the big “get”.
Rob Chudzinski, the offensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers. That team that just fired THEIR head coach. This is the savior? I’m not buying it.
What happened to all these big names being thrown around? Bill O’Brien. Ken Whisenhunt. Chip Friggin’ Kelly! You went from Chip to Chud. How are we supposed to be excited about this?
But Chudzinski is a lifelong Browns fan, his supporters will say. Okay? There’s tens of thousands of those in Cleveland Browns Stadium eight Sundays a year. If that’s the main criteria here, go get one of them to lead this team.
The one word to describe this hire is uninspiring. What is there to get excited about here? The Chiefs got Andy Reid, who got a team at least TO a Super Bowl. The Bills are talking about Lovie Smith, who’s done the same thing. A coach like that makes you feel like the franchise has a future. This just feels like another Pat Shurmur.
And that’s who I feel bad for here. He wasn’t going to be named coach of the year anytime soon, but there was SUBSTANCE there. For the first time since 1999, it felt like the program had a little bit of direction.
In essence, Shurmur was the unsexy girl with a good personality. So when the Browns “broke up” with him because they thought they had a shot at the captain of cheerleading team, you kind of got the organization’s thought process.
But Rob Chudzinski isn’t that captain cheerleader. He’s the clarinetist that’s battling a bad case of acne.
Maybe I’m being mean to Chud. And to my for assistant principal. And to clarinetists everywhere. So let me, for the first time in this article actually make a football analogy. You know what Rob Chudzinski as the Browns head coach really reminds me of? It reminds me of Jim Zorn.
Remember when he was this assistant coach that was supposedly finally ready for his own gig? I was always a little skeptical. So when the Redskins hired him, I was left, well, UNINSPIRED.
And over the course of two miserable seasons, Zorn didn’t just look overwhelmed, he looked outcoached at every turn.
Chud seems like a nice enough guy and I hope that’s not how his tenure with the Browns turns out. But I have my doubts and I’m sure others do, too.
This team has only made the playoffs once since the organization was defibrillated back to life in 1999. They’ve tried rearranging the puzzle so many times to try and get it right since then.
It seems to me this is just more of the same.
NOTE: This story was originally published on SportsHead. To read this article and others click here.
When Bryan isn’t writing, he is on Twitter! Make sure to give him a follow @bclienesch for NFL updates and other shenanigans.