Cleveland totally did not want Chip Kelly. They were just camping out in Arizona last week for concert tickets. No, they got the guy they were targeting all along in Carolina offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski (presumably because in a visor he looks kind of like Chip Kelly). It’s a new era in Cleveland, with new ownership.
So Rob Chudzinski, who was the offensive coordinator for the golden era of the current Browns franchise (2007, when Derek Anderson threw 29 touchdowns and the team was 8th in points scored), returns to Cleveland. He will reportedly bring Norv Turner with him as offensive coordinator. Chudzinski was in San Diego with both Turner and Ron Rivera. Hey, why wouldn’t you want to stay together?
Chudzinski was a potential candidate last year after Cam Newton’s rookie year. He had been completely of the radar this offseason. One thing this move does likely mean is that Brandon Weeden gets another year at age 30. Weeden would have been an unusual fit for Chip Kelly, and the Browns would have been likely pursuing other quarterback options. Weeden’s skill set (decent arm, good release, pocket passer) would appear to be a much better fit for the vertical passing attack favored by Chudzinski/Turner.
Of course, what do we make of Brandon Weeden after one year? I wasn’t crazy about the move given his age, though if he works out as a starter, he comes cheaply and controlled through a QB’s prime years. I’m not sure we can really compare him to other rookies or other 29 year olds. His first year was one of the worst for starting quarterbacks at age 29; he fares a little better compared to rookies who started at least 12 games. Of course, Chris Weinke, the only other 29 year old rookie, put up similar numbers to Weeden. Cleveland still doesn’t know what they have. You can argue that his receivers didn’t help him much during key moments, and Richardson was playing hurt most of the year. He will now be on his second offensive coordinator, and will be thirty years old.
[photo via USA Today Sports Images]