Cleveland Browns Hire Panthers’ Chudzinski As New Head Coach

Cleveland Browns Hire Panthers’ Chudzinski As New Head Coach

January 11, 2013

The Cleveland Browns have announced Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski as their new head coach.

Rob Chudzinski will be the sixth coach since the franchise re-boot in 1999, the Browns announced. He was the Carolina Panthers’ offensive coordinator the previous two seasons, but it’s a back-to-the-future hire in some ways: Chudzinski ran the Browns’ offense in 2007 and 2008 as coordinator.

It’s a surprising choice because “Chud” is coming off a mediocre season in Carolina, where the Panthers struggled to find a base offense for the first half of the season. Chudzinski had not interviewed with any other NFL teams until meeting with the Browns on Wednesday.

The Browns had also talked with Oregon head coach Chip Kelly, former Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt (who was brought in for a second interview on Thursday), and several other candidates. They were set to meet with Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer and Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator/interim head coach Bruce Arians.

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