The Cleveland Browns didn't make the right move in going with Rob Chudzinski as their new head coach, according to last week's SportsNation poll. Of the 68,062 votes, 62 percent didn't approve of the hiring of Chudzsinki.
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and chief executive officer Joe Banner chose Chudzinski over Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, Montreal Alouettes coach Marc Trestman, fired Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt and Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton.
Here are selected comments about Chudzinski from the AFC North mailbag:
John from Columbus, Ohio: Chud will not work. We already had an offensive-minded coach that was inexperienced. This team has a ton of young raw talent that needs refining. Without a solid veteran presence, an inexperienced coach can not work. This team, while solid at offensive line, lacks the dynamic quarterback necessary to thrive in an offensive first system. It is a team that is most likely to be successful with the archetype that the Baltimore Ravens and Tampa Bay Bucs used in the early 2000s and the 49ers are using now. Solid defense, field position, mistake-free offense. Chud is the complete wrong fit for this team.
Joe from Sharon, Pa.: I'm a 57-year-old Browns fan and it's time the coaching carousel stops. I like the hire. He did a good job here in 2007 and is very offense minded. He has a history of molding the offense around the quarterback instead of molding the quarterback around the offense. He is very young and has a great history of success wherever he's gone. I didn't have a "favorite" for them to hire. That's their job and why they make the big bucks.
Tom from Elyria, Ohio: This hiring is a clear action from a new owner who is flexing his muscles. Rob Chudzinski could not be further off the radar for any long-time Cleveland Browns fans. Another bad move, that just takes any excitement or enthusiasm out of our hearts. This is a move we would have expected from the prior regimes before Mike Holmgren. What's next? Hiring Romeo Crennell as our GM? That would really seem to make sense based on the coaching hire! To the fans, we will suffer through another four years, before another change will be made.
Greg from Snoqualmie, Washington: As a life-long Browns fan, I am numb to all of the coaching changes. The right choice, who knows? The only way we will find out is if he brings the Browns back to a winning team. I hope he does because all of the Browns fan base deserves much better than what we have had since their return to Cleveland.
John from Mansfield, Ohio: I am very happy to have a coach that doesn't just sit there and look like a loaf of bread on the counter. Do I think it is the right hire? Yes. I would have chosen Marc Trestman first, but Chud is a good choice, especially if we bring in Norv Turner for offensive coordinator and either Mel Tucker or Lovie Smith as defensive coordinator. I certainly think he has the backs and receivers to compliment each other we have needed for a long time.
Jack from Phoenix: Fifty years of being a Browns fan. They have hired coordinators before who had no business being a head coach. They had the opportunity to hire Whisenhunt, who despite what you heard about him losing touch with his team, is a good coach. He has Super Bowl experience. He has been a winning coach. I voted against the decision to hire Chud!
Este from San Francisco: While my first choice was Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, Chud isn't far behind. What has been missing in our past coaches is flexibility. I have seen it over and over again with coaches not playing to the strength of their players and forcing square pegs in round holes with disastrous results. The great coaches are able to adapt and change with their players and the evolution of the game, and Chud has demonstrated that ability. With some key additions through the draft and free agency and sticking to the 4-3 defense, I don't see why the Browns can't hit 8-8 or better next season.
Tim from Horsham, Pa.: I think the Browns hiring Chud was a solid move. The Browns wanted a bright, offensive mind and got him. The big names out there were underwhelming. Who cares about the 'buzz' behind a coaching hire? I remember the buzz surrounding Mike Holmgren's arrival in Cleveland and he was an utter disappointment. Fact is, the Browns got there guy after an extensive search, unlike past regimes. I think they made a good move here.
Brian from Valley Forge, Pa.: I am skeptical of this hire. Chudzinski's offense sputtered here in 2008, and it has not resulted in winning seasons or playoff apperances during his time in Carolina. Finally, there is talk of bringing back the 3-4 defense when it failed miserably and the Browns don't have the personnel for it. I'll feel a lot better if they try to work with the talent they have rather than forcing them into a system that doesn't utilize their talents as well.
Tom from Youngstown, Ohio: Chud is a great choice as Browns head coach. He has been extremely successful at every stop in hs career. He was the Browns offensive coordinator when they went 10-6 a couple years ago. He worked with Antonio Gates in San Diego and Gates had his best two seasons with over 1,000 yards receiving each year. He was Cam Newton's tutor last season, and look what Cam did in his rookie year. I heard Chud's press conference, and he came across as smart, experienced, aggressive.