Having coached within the AFC North Division twice before, Rob Chudzinski, the new head coach of the Cleveland Browns, plans on bringing an up-tempo style of play with him that he employed as offensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers.
Chudzinski plans on directing the team’s young players with a focus on physicality and developing an identity.
“We’re going to be an attacking offense, attacking defense and we’re going to play that way, that style with physical play, great effort and great finish,” Chudzinski said Friday. “On both sides of the ball, we’re going to build on a foundation of fundamentals and technique. We’re going to give these guys great coaches. We’re going to give them the tools they can utilize to win games. We’re going to focus on innovation. We’re going to focus on giving them the best possible schemes and pushing the envelope on those things to put them in the best possible position to win and be successful.
“We’re going to focus on critical situations in games. We’re talking about third down; we’re talking about red zone, two-minute, four-minute because those things are the things that games come down to. We’ll focus on that and tying it all together with complementary football between special teams, defense and offense.”
Chudzinski inherits a Browns offense that gained 1,593 yards and scored 12 touchdowns on 396 carries, and 3,668 yards and 16 touchdowns in the passing game. He expressed a clear vision to have a balanced offense in the future.
“I’d like to be balanced and balanced to me does not mean you’re going to run the ball and throw the ball the same amount of times,” Chudzinski said. “Balance, to me, means you can run it when you need to run it to win. You can throw it when you need to throw it to win. In this league, you have to be able to win games in different ways. That’s where the three-pronged philosophy of offense, defense and special teams complementing each other, as well as being able to win a low-scoring game in the snow, or being able to win a high-scoring shootout, you have to be able to do both.”
Chudzinski said he has “a plan in place” for building the team through an emphasis on fundamentals, something that is in line with the vision of owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner.
“We’re going to have great people,” Chudzinski said. “We’re going to get a great staff. The players that are here, it’s a young group. This is going to be about the process. Whereas a lot of times, everybody is focused on the end result, the process is the important thing. I view the people around here, Joe and Jimmy, and the direction that we’re going, that that process is going to be the right process to get us where we want to be.”
Through a focus on the process, Chudzinski is hoping to improve on the team’s record within the AFC North Division. The Browns won two AFC North games in the last two seasons and four in the last four years.“It’s a great division,” Chudzinski said. “You know you’re going to see great players, great quarterbacks, great defenses in this division. What we have to focus on is the process of working and building a culture, working and building a team, and working and building our identity to get to the point where we’re going to compete and we’re going to have success against those teams.”