Well Browns fans, the search is over. You got your man. Rob Chudzinski is the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns and the team’s sixth since their return to the NFL in 1999.
Now, before you all start lining up to jump off the I-480 bridge, take a minute and just think about what the Browns hired in Chudzinski before flying off the deep end and discounting it as a potential failure. Yes, it might end up being a failure, BUT… it just might end up being a huge success. How can anyone know what’s possibly going to happen after a 45 minute press conference?
I think the main problem here is that as Browns fans we’ve become so conditioned for failure that we can’t even begin to let a single optimistic thought enter the inner most crevices of our brains. Every time we get the least bit excited about this team we end up taking the hardest metaphorical shots to our twigs and berries imaginable. From Tim Couch, to Butch Davis, to 2008, to Brady Quinn, to Mike Holmgren… it’s just been one metaphorical shot to the sack after another.
So yeah, after 13 years of this nonsense it’s understandable that we’d be guarding our crotches like fort knocks with negative thoughts and boat loads of pessimism. All of that aside, I’m about to let my guard down.
I’m thrilled about the hiring of Rob Chudzinski. While it’s easy to pick him apart in terms of his lack of head coaching experience and certain blemishes on his track record, it’s also easy to build him up. For starters, 2007 happened primarily because of him. With his offense, the Browns finished 10-6…10 and flippin’ 6! Sure, the team fell back to Earth in 2008, but how much of that was the result of Chudzinski and how much of that was injuries and the regression of Derek Anderson?
In San Diego he did a great job of helping turn the Chargers into an NFL power. In fact, San Diego hasn’t made the playoffs since Chudzinski left. Without Chud, Philip Rivers looks like a shell of his former self.
Then there is his performance in the development of Cam Newton over the past two seasons. Newton took the league by storm in 2011 and despite his struggles this past season, Newton was still a force to be reckoned with when it was all said and done. Sure, Brandon Weeden isn’t Cam Newton. No one is saying that. But the fact that Chud has a track record in developing QB’s and getting the most out of them is something this team desperately needs.
Along that line, does anyone remember the 2007 season? Seriously, we were scoring points in bunches each and every week. If we fell behind, we were able to come back. The Browns were blowing teams out. If not for some bad luck with tie breakers they would have made the playoffs and then what? You can’t help but not wonder about these things.
The last point, and this is the one I love the most, is that Chud is one of us. He’s from Toledo and grew up a Browns fan. He’s worked in this city twice previously and understands the fans, the media, and our irrational reactions to everything. He legitimately gets it and wants to be here. Stop clamoring for Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden, two guys that made it very clear they didn’t want to be here and even if they had been lured out of retirement, what’s to say that wouldn’t have failed?
So stop it… just stop it.
Jimmy Haslam and Joe Banner went out and got the coach they felt was best equipped to take on the task of bringing the Browns back to prominence and I for one… probably because I’m an idiot… really think this si going to work out. There’s potential here. Chud is young and hungry. He’s no different from Mike Tomlin or John Harbaugh when they were hired out of nowhere by the Steelers and Ravens. You just never know with these thing so stop acting like you all do.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to brace myself just in case I’m wrong about all of this. Like I said, you never know with these things.