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Haslam, Banner, Chudzinski transcript - 1/11

Posted Jan 11, 2013

The transcript of head coach Rob Chudzinski's introductory press conference with owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner.

Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam, CEO Joe Banner and Head Coach Rob Chudzinski Press Conference 1-11-13

Jimmy Haslam

(Opening statement)- “Good morning. It’s a very, very exciting day for the Cleveland Browns, the Cleveland Browns family and everybody excited about Cleveland Browns football. We were in here 11 days ago and Joe (Banner) and I talked about going through a process. Everybody wanted to know how long it would take and we said, ‘It might take a week, it might take a month.’ It took 11 days. I can tell you and I’m not going to get into any specifics, but we talked to nine or ten of, I believe, the best coaches in the country. We talked to current pro coaches, we talked to former pro head coaches, we talked to current college coaches, we talked to several pro coordinators and I believe we came back with the best person to lead the Cleveland Browns to the kind of winning format that we want to have here in Cleveland and that we all expect to have. I want to talk a little bit about Rob Chudzinski for a little bit. A lot of you know Rob because he’s been here on two different occasions, but let me just go back and tell you a few basic facts about him. Rob’s from [Toledo], Ohio, and was a standout high school football player here. He went to the University of Miami, was on two national championship teams and was a coach on a national championship team. He has played and won at the highest level and had success there. His expertise is obviously on the offensive side of the ball. He played tight end, coached tight ends and over the last few years has been an offensive coordinator and an assistant head coach. If you talk to people in the business, he is regarded as one of the brightest if not the brightest young minds in the business. He is tremendously innovative and, as you all know, Joe and I are very bottom line people, you look at the results. Before I introduce Rob I’ll just say this, over the last two years Rob was the offensive coordinator at Carolina. They scored 88 touchdowns and I’m always a big believer in what does that mean? What does that compare to? Well, we scored 48. Carolina scored 88, we scored 48. If you watched how they play and how they scheme, I think Rob no matter where he’s been, whether it’s been here with Derek Anderson, whether it’s been in San Diego, whether it’s been in Carolina, he has developed a scheme around the team. It was really interesting to have the opportunity to talk to the number of coaches that Joe and I did and the one common theme that kept coming back was, ‘You guys have a great offensive line. It’s a tremendous way to build a football team. You have young players on offense.’ In going through this process, although we talked to a couple of outstanding defensive coordinators, outstanding defensive people, we migrated back to the pro game is becoming more and more offensive. We think we have great young talent on offense and we thought it was exceptionally important to bring in an individual who can take advantage of and develop - everywhere Rob has been the quarterback has gotten dramatically better - develop that young talent so that we can put the kind of points on the board that one, will win games and, candidly, two, will be fun to watch. So it’s my privilege to announce the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns, Rob Chudzinski.”

Rob Chudzinski

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jimmy and Joe in going through this process and allowing me to fulfill a dream. Not just a dream of being an NFL head coach, but the dream of being an NFL head coach of the Cleveland Browns. It means a lot to me coming from this area and we’ll get into a little bit more of that later. I also would like to thank Jerry Richardson, Marty Hurney and Ron Rivera for giving me an opportunity in Carolina and being a part of that fine organization for the past two years. There’s a lot of other people that have helped me along the way and I would not be sitting in this chair if not for those people, whether it’s coaches, other people along the way in my life, my parents and my wife Sheila. Those people have stood behind me and made me the person that I am and have been a big part of me getting here. I am excited about this opportunity. I’m excited about the chance to bring back what I grew up in and the feeling that this city, this region and this area has in the Cleveland Browns. I was the kid that was in the backyard playing, pretending I was Ozzie Newsome, Brian Sipe or the greats that played for Cleveland. The tradition of this franchise is such that the people here want a winner. I’m here and I would not miss this for the world, the opportunity to come back and bring a winner back to Cleveland. I also am excited about the opportunity to work with Joe and Jimmy. Going through the interview process as we did, it became clear to me early on that we shared the vision, we shared the goals and the passion for bringing a winner back to Cleveland. I can’t wait to get started. The first order of business is going to be to put together our coaching staff. I’m not going to comment on any particulars or individuals today. This is not the time or the place. As we get that information and as things happen in that regard, we’ll release them to you. Also, the other major line of business that I’d like to take care of here is reaching out to our players. Giving them my vision for this football team and what we want to be and getting feedback from them. This is about a process. There are some pieces here and some parts here that we can build on as Jimmy had talked about. It’s going to be a process with the people that we’re putting in place and I feel that are around. We can work together and build this to what we want it to be, a winner and be able to sustain winning over the course of time. Again, I will work tirelessly as the head coach of this franchise. How special this place means to me and I promise you that we’re going to put a product on the field and a team on the field that you can be proud of and that will win.”

Jimmy Haslam

“Let me say a couple other things here. The focus today obviously needs to be on Rob and rightly so, and I know you have a lot of questions you want to ask him and he’ll take those questions. Joe and I have begun the search for a GM/player personnel person. The remarks will be just like they were on December 31. We could have somebody in a few days. It may take a month. The key thing is to get the right person. I think we’re putting together a great team here. The right person to work closely with Joe and Rob and putting a championship caliber team on the field. There will once again be all kinds of rumors. Once again, now there will be three people because Rob will be involved in the process, not two in terms of who or where with what is going on. Once we’ve identified that person we’ll bring them back in here, introduce them to you and let you all have the opportunity to speak to them. But we did want to let you know that was going on. Joe, before we let Rob take questions, if you want to make any comments.”

Joe Banner

“Just reiterating what Jimmy said, our feeling very good about the process we went through, the evaluations leading into who we talked to. It was a very, very impressive group of people we met with, it leaves us very confident about this hire, very optimistic. The criteria that we went into the marketplace for, which as we told you, we were focusing on a strong leader. Somebody who can create a culture in an entire program, put together a strong staff and manage it and was really, really committed to setting a very high bar and achieving it. We’re very excited about having Rob here and believe he fits exactly what we were looking for.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On what kind of roster he thinks he is inheriting)- “I think there are some pieces here as Jimmy had mentioned. One of the big things we will be doing once we get the staff together is evaluating and going through the personnel in detail. I’ve had a chance to watch a few games, not a lot. Really, it would be premature for me to comment on those things or specific players prior to seeing everything and getting our staff together and us sitting down and evaluating all together and talking through, from a philosophy standpoint, what we want to do and how that all fits together will all the players.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On how he is a different coach from when he was in Cleveland five years ago)- “If you’re in this business and you’re not improving from day-to-day, from year-to-year, then you shouldn’t be in the business. I felt like the opportunities I’ve had to be with the coaches that I have in the past few years, particularly going out and being in San Diego as an assistant head coach. That prepared me, allowed me to see some of the day-to-day things that head coaches have to deal with and that come across their desk. That gave me a good feel and sense for what that job would entail along with being a coordinator and having responsibilities on the offensive side of the ball. Going through the process with Ron Rivera, his first two years of being a head coach and seeing the challenges, so I feel very prepared. I’ve been fortunate to be around some great coaches in my career going back to as a player at the University of Miami through the years as a coach at University of Miami and then here at Cleveland and San Diego and Carolina.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if they have a chance to be a winner in 2013)- “I think getting into specifics about that, until we do get in and really dive into the roster with the coaching staff in place, would be a little premature. We’re going to win here at some point, when that is is going to depend on all those things. We’ll get into looking at the guys and where they’re all going to fit in. How soon that will be, time will tell, but it’s going to happen.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On how much he knows about Brandon Weeden and his impressions of him)- “Again, I don’t want to get into specific players right now, any of the players on the roster. I’ve seen a little bit and until I get the full look at the 16 game schedule and have that opportunity to see that with our staff, I’m not going to comment. That would be premature.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On his defensive philosophy)- “We’re going to be an attacking style defense. We’re going to create turnovers. That’s what we want to do. We want to get after the quarterback and affect the quarterback’s play. That’s the number one thing you want to do as a defense. Whether that’s a 4-3 or a 3-4 and nowadays there’s a lot of hybrid systems out there, it will tie in more with the coordinator that I hire. I think we have the versatility of going either way.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if he had the opportunity to interview with any other teams this year and how the process with the Browns went)- “I did not. I was initially contacted on Tuesday, I believe. Interviewed on Wednesday here in Cleveland at Jimmy’s house and went through that process. Flew back that evening and then yesterday afternoon about three-four o’clock I got a call that Jimmy and Joe wanted to come down to Charlotte and meet for dinner. They came down about seven-eight o’clock and we spent a few hours at dinner. At that point, Jimmy was sitting right across from me and offered me the job to be the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if he was stunned when he was offered the job)- “I don’t know if stunned was the word. I think the word was excited. I was excited and it is a dream come true. It’s almost unbelievable in a lot of ways that this kid from Toledo, Ohio growing up as a Browns fan and loving the Browns and as we talked about before, understanding how important this team is to this region, this area and this city, it’s a dream come true. I’ve been on cloud nine and I think I slept about an hour last night.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if any coaches here now will be retained)- “I’m going to meet with the coaches that are currently here later on this afternoon. Again, I’ll go through a process with them and we’ll see. I’ll have a plan for each one of them and we’ll go forward.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if he will have final say on the roster)- “We’re going to share that responsibility. I just feel so good about the group that we are here with today that all those things we will be able to work together well on.”

Jimmy Haslam

(On what about Chudzinski struck him that he was a strong leader)- “I think when you meet Rob it comes across that he is a very decisive person. We met for five or six hours at our home here in Cleveland the other day. He has a very clear offensive philosophy, he has a very clear philosophy about what his role would be in defense and special teams. It was very well thought out, very well defined. There was no, ‘Well, I’m not sure.’ He understands very decisively about how important it is to have a strong support team around him, how important the coordinators and his coaches are. He was just very decisive when he laid things out for Joe and I about, ‘Here is what I would do if I had the opportunity to be the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.’”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if he will call the offensive plays)- “That will be determined by the staff that we put together. If I’m comfortable with the offensive coordinator doing that, he’ll do it. If I’m not sure about that or uncomfortable with that, I’ll call the plays until I become comfortable with that.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if he thought that this was the best head coaching job available)- “I do for a lot of reasons. For me personally, it’s the best job and there’s been other head coaching jobs that I’ve seen or potentially had opportunities for, but this is the one that is special to me. I can’t say enough about how excited I am to be here. The emotions are running wild and I can’t wait to get started.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On what his vision for the team is)- “This team, we’re going to be an attacking offense, an attacking defense and we’re going to play that way, that style with physical play, great effort and great finish. We’re going to also, 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 that they can utilize in games 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 give them and 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 then tying it all together with complementary football between special teams, defense and offense.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On how he would describe his offensive philosophy and how it has evolved since he was in Cleveland last)- “Attacking style, again. 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. Balanced 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 and that’s where the three pronged philosophy of offense, defense, special teams complementing each other as well as from an offensive standpoint, 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.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if he is going to fit his offensive system to the players he has or will the players have to adapt to his offensive system)- “It’s both, but my philosophy is the players, you have to put them in the best possible position. For example, the past two years with Cam Newton, we did some things that I had never done before. That’s what I was talking about pushing the envelope, being innovative in those situations and putting them in the position to make plays and go be the players that they are.”

Jimmy Haslam

(On if he got the guy he originally set out to get)- “I think we said here 11 days ago, despite what a lot of people in the room said, that we did not have a clear cut choice. We did not have a clear cut favorite. We knew in our minds these are the characteristics that we wanted. I feel very confident we got the right guy.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if he felt that he knocked Haslam and Banner’s socks off when they met at Haslam’s house)- “I just felt a good connection, I felt like we were on the same page and I came out of there saying, ‘I would love to work with these guys.’”

Rob Chudzinski

(On how many different styles of offense he has run)- “I don’t know if I can put a number on that. The thing, like I said, is adjusting to who you have and what you do. You’re not taking away from the principles of what you’re trying to do offensively, but the plays may be a little be different, the personnel groups that you use may be a little bit different from year-to-year and those adjustments, I believe, are the key to being successful on a year-to-year basis. Finding roles for players that you have is critical. If a guy has something that he can do special, to find a role for him is important.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On what type of offense he runs)- “This is a vertical downfield passing game and a balanced offense that, like I said before, we’re going to focus on running and throwing the ball and doing whatever we need to do to win.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if he feels it is an advantage having been with the organization before)- “Absolutely, and like I said before, I wouldn’t have missed this opportunity for anything in the world. To bring back the pride, the passion, the success that this franchise has had in the past, I want to be part of that.”

Jimmy Haslam

(On if he knew he was going to offer the job to Chudzinski the job when he went down to Carolina or if Chudzinski still had to convince him)- “I think we felt very positively that Rob was the man. I think Joe and I laid out 11 days ago that this was going to be a disciplined, deliberate process. It’s obviously one that’s very fluid and we were going to take our time and make sure. It’s exceptionally important. Joe and I both come from organizations where there’s been little change in terms of leadership. This organization has had lots of change in terms of leadership so it’s exceptionally important that we get that right. I think we were way down the road with Rob, but we wanted to spend a little bit more time to make sure he was the right guy and an hour of the way through dinner we felt like this was definitely the right guy.”

Jimmy Haslam

(On what happened during that hour that made them decide)- “I think just conformation on everything from strength of personality to leadership to how he would go about putting his staff to his assessment of our team to his offensive and defensive philosophies. It just confirmed and if you think how important a hire this is for our organization and we were very impressed in the five hours we spent with Rob Wednesday afternoon, we just thought it made sense to go back down and spend another two or three hours. I’ll be honest, we went down there in mind with bringing Rob back as our head coach, but we just wanted to make sure he was the right guy. Like I said, an hour of the way through dinner Joe and I looked at each other and kind of nodded our heads and said, ‘This was the right guy.’ At that time, we offered Rob the head coaching job and thankfully he accepted and we’re very excited.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On his fondest moment as a Browns fan is other than this)- “This one’s hard to beat and hard to get out of my mind right now. The memories I have just as growing up and I’ve talked about these before with you guys and there might even be a picture circulating of me when I was five years old. It was 1973 and I had a Browns helmet and jersey on and some really, really ugly 1970’s pants. Those were hand-me-downs from my older cousin so I’m not going to take responsibility for those (joking). The memories growing up, going out and throwing the football around pretending, believing I was scoring that touchdown. You all have heard the story that we wanted to be there, my cousins and I were very close, and we wanted to be in that stadium in the Dawg Pound so bad that we would watch games in December out in the snow. We’d flip the TV around in the window so we could be there. That was us being there and being in the stands and being a part of that. I have to admit, I’ve eaten a dog biscuit or two in my day, but just those wonderful memories and specifically, as I spoke to before, of how important that I know this franchise is to people here and how beloved this franchise and this team is. I just want to be a part of that.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if this being his hometown team puts extra pressure on him)- “I put enough pressure on myself that there’s nothing really that adds onto that. I put a lot of pressure on myself anyhow so this opportunity is the opportunity of a lifetime for me.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if he ever made it to the Dawg Pound)- “I never made it in there.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On his relationship with Fred Beier and the people at St. Johns)- “My high school coach, he passed away about 15 years ago I guess it was. He actually passed away right after the weekend. He had a chance to watch, I was an interim coordinator when Terry Robiskie took over and he was in the hospital at the time, but he had a chance to watch the game. He critiqued me after the game as well. Fred was a huge, huge factor in my life and you talk about discipline, you talk about toughness, you talk about things like work ethic that we need as part of a football team and a foundation of a football team. Fred was instrumental in stressing those things and teaching those things to all of us.”

Joe Banner

(On how they were able to determine that a guy who was never a head coach would be able to do the things that a head coach needs to do)- “I think what we focused on was the criteria that we’ve seen in coaches that have been really successful. Then frankly, you’re just making your best judgment. These are hard projections, but we felt like we benefitted from having a very clear picture as to what would separate the ones that have succeeded in taking that leap and the ones that haven’t. Rob can tell you a lot of the questions we asked him were very focused on that, ‘What do you think the transition will be? What the difference between being a coordinator and a head coach is? Who have you seen be successful in making that transition?’ A lot of the time we spent together was focused on those questions so you never know, but we think we identified the qualities that we were looking for and feeling confident that Rob has those. We’ve come up with a candidate we feel very, very confident in.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On why he is ready to be a head coach now compared to when he interviewed other places last year and didn’t get the job)- “I think the right opportunity matched up and the right fit happened here like I mentioned before. The vision is the same. It matched completely. Every year I’ve gotten better as a coach. Like I had mentioned before, the experiences I’ve had, the coaches that I’ve been able to be around. You go back from playing for Jimmie Johnson and Dennis Erickson. I worked and played for Dennis. Butch Davis at Miami, Larry Coker. You go through the list and get into the NFL, Marty Schottenheimer, obviously Romeo (Crennel), Norv (Turner) and the people I’ve been around have prepared me and I’ve learned from. The recent experiences with Ron in going to a brand new job and starting from the very beginning and seeing what things Ron had to do and being very involved in those things as well. Having the assistant head coach experience where I spent all the time with Norv and saw all the things he had to do. I think that just overall, as time has gone on I’ve had the experiences to see and been around the people who have given me the opportunities to see what it takes to be a great head coach. Hopefully, I can put all those things together and get that done.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On why this is going to be different when it hasn’t worked for previous head coaches)- “I have a plan in place. We have great people that are around. We’re going to get a great staff. The players that are here, it is a young group. This is going to be about the process. Whereas a lot of times everybody’s focused on the end result, the process is the important thing. I view the people around here, Joe and Jimmy and the direction that that we are going that that process is going to be the right process to get us to where we want to be.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if he learned his vertical passing game in San Diego with Norv Turner or if it was from Miami)- “That was more back to Miami. I had been around that system for a long time prior.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if he thought he’d be back in Cleveland when he left in 2008)- “I remember the last game walking out of the stadium and looking across the field and somehow knowing that I would be back somehow, someway.”

Joe Banner

(On why offense was so important in this search)- “We went into it interviewing people on both sides of the ball. I think as it evolved and we had a chance to meet Rob and he was so strong in the primary criteria and added to that the fact that he’d been so successful offensively and the game seems to be moving more and more towards offense. It just came together to be the right combination.”

Jimmy Haslam

(On if the process was different than he thought it would be)- “No, it really wasn’t. As you all know, these processes are fluid and they are more public, candidly, than I’d like or I’m used to, but I think that’s part of it. We had laid out, and I’m being repetitive here on purpose, we’d laid out this is what we’re looking for. I think we stated very clearly we did not have one person, contrary to what you read, we did not have one person in mind as the favorite. We were very open minded as to who that person might be. We knew specifically what we were looking for. I didn’t have any predetermined idea, like I said, whether it was going to take a week or a month. I will tell you this, it was a very interesting process. I can’t speak for Joe, but I learned a lot during the process because we talked to, as I mentioned at the outset, some of the top coaches in the country, whether they were pro or college. To hear their philosophies and to learn from them was very interesting. Then of course, to be here today with Rob and learn more about him was obviously tremendously informative too. It was a great process, tiring, but very interesting and very educational for us.”

Jimmy Haslam

(On what differentiated Chudzinski from the other candidates)- “I think there’s a certain comfort factor when you go to hire people. I think from the outset when Rob sat down, within the first 10-15 minutes, and we followed the same basic format same every interview, ‘Okay tell us about your background.’ But pretty quickly it gets into, ‘Tell us about what you would do as head coach of the Cleveland Browns, what your philosophies are, how you would run things, if you’re an offensive guy, what would your role be in the defense,’ etcetera. ‘What would your role be in the special teams?’ Joe and I put tremendous emphasis on what your staff would look like. Rob, like I said earlier, was very decisive, this is how I’m going to do things. I’m an offensive guy, but here’s my role in the defense, here’s my role in special teams, here’s the type of people I would bring as coordinators, here’s the type of coaches. Just very definitive, and I think hiring people is both an art and a science. You’ve got to rely on the facts and the data, and the facts and the data and the references on Rob were outstanding. It’s also an art, there’s an instinctive gut feel, and Joe and I could tell because we’ve spent a lot of time together in the last 11 days, and you learn to read each other’s body language, that early on we felt very comfortable that really from the science part and the art part, this is the right guy for us.”

Jimmy Haslam

(On what other people said about Chudzinski that helped convinced them)- “That’s a great question. I’ll repeat, Rob was very decisive when we asked the question, ‘Okay tell us why you should be the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, and tell us how you’d run things.’ It wasn’t, ‘Well, I think this or I might do this.’ It was, ‘Here’s what I’m going to do.’ As you all know, Joe knows everybody in the league, players, coaches, etcetera, and did an outstanding job doing all kinds of reference checks. Whether it was an offensive person or a defensive person, several of the coordinators, and I think this is the biggest compliment you could get, said, ‘I hate to go against the guy. He’s a great schemer. I’m never sure what he’s going to run. It’s always a challenge.’ Offensive players, defensive players that he had played and coached with, coached against, said the same type of thing. The feedback was just very, very positive on Rob.”

Jimmy Haslam

(On if Chudzinski was in the original pool of candidates)- “Rob was always on our radar screen. Rob has been identified as a top, bright, young guy for a long time.”

Joe Banner

(On why he thinks that college coaches often fail in the NFL)- “There is both. There are some that have been successful. My own opinion, what’s differentiated them is the quality of the people and the experience that they’ve surrounded themselves with. I think they bring the knowledge of football. I think they bring the leadership and the ability to put together a program. I think the key, whether you’re coming from college or whether you’re Rob’s resume, is the people you surround yourselves with, and the ability to manage them effectively and get the most out of them.”

Jimmy Haslam

(On what his gut told him when Chudzinski talked about his passion for the Browns)- “It’s funny, somehow with all the research, until Rob got in, ‘Where are you from?’ He said, ‘I’m from Toledo, Ohio.’ I was not even aware of it. I’ll be honest, to me, that’s a nice-to, not a have-to, and it’s a great story. If Rob would have been from Plano, Texas, we would have hired him. It’s a nice-to not a have-to.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On his plan for beating the division rivals)- “It’s a great division. Again, that’s the thing that we’ll get to down the road and specifically looking at those teams and preparing game plans. 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, we’re going to have success against those teams.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On how attractive the Browns’ young roster was to him and if he thinks there are pieces here that can run the attacking-style offense he wants to)- “Again, I’ll reiterate again, there is. It’s a young group. The key will be again the leadership and bringing in coaches and developers, not just guys that roll out the balls, but guys who can develop young players will be critical. That’s one of the key components as we’re looking through this process and finding those guys.”

Joe Banner

(On if there are parallels between now and he hired Andy Reid in 1998)- “I think the only parallel really is the searches both began with the same criteria in terms of what we were looking for. Other than that, they are two completely different individuals, different strengths and weaknesses, and at the same time some similarities. The similarities are more coincidental. What’s similar is the belief that hiring somebody who’s an outstanding leader, who’s going to put together a program and is going to hire a great staff and effectively manage it. That was what I thought we needed the last time I did this, that was what we were looking for this time.”

Joe Banner

(On what differentiated Chudzinski from the rest of the group)- “I think it was his ability through a variety of anecdotal stories and the specifics of his plan that convinced us that he was the type of leader that could run the whole program, understood what he was looking for in a staff and could find those people. He’s very highly respected in the league. It’s going to make a big difference in the quality of staff he’s going to be able to attract. I think those were the things that made us feel good.”

Jimmy Haslam

(On how important charisma is for a head coach)- “I think everybody has a different leadership and management style. What counts is how effective they are. I think we talked a little bit about that back on the 31st. Here again, and the background checks that we did with some really well known, well respected NFL head coaches and coordinators. The response was, there is no doubt Rob can control the room as the saying goes and can focus the team and lead the team. We have zero doubt about that, and that came through loud and clear.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if he’s nervous about moving from coordinator to head coach)- “Absolutely not, it’s just a few more people in the seats doing the same thing.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if his family will have a huge cheering section in the Dawg Pound)- “They’ll be in there.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if his parents are still in Ohio)- “They live in Fremont, Ohio right now. That’s a short drive. My cousin actually bought a school bus a few years back and converted it into one of the Browns-mobiles you guys see out there. They’ll be loading that bus up I’m sure.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if he’s talked to family members since the news broke)- “To be honest with you, I haven’t had a chance to talk to too many people.”

Jimmy Haslam

“He’s been talking to coaches (joking).”

Rob Chudzinski

“It’s been a whirlwind. I wasn’t expecting to be getting back on a plane after dinner last night necessarily. We jumped back on the plane and arrived in Cleveland here, I think around 12:30 or 1:00. I still had to make a few more phone calls to some perspective coaches. I was pretty excited. I didn’t sleep much. I was thinking about all the things that needed to be done, and getting fired up for today. I was up early and already going. I’ve been meeting a lot of people around the building. There are a lot of familiar faces and re-acquainting myself with those people as well as meeting a lot of the new faces too.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if he’s talked to any of the players yet)- “I have not. Like I said, that’s one of the first orders of business along with the staff.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if there’s anything he can do to change the lack of leadership among the players)- “I’m not really aware of what may have happened. I just know what plan I have, and that’s what I’m going to focus on, my plan and getting us to where we want to be.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if he zeroed in on this job after it became available)- “There’s not a lot you can do zeroing in as an individual on that. You hope that in this case, especially with the love I have for this organization and this team, that you get the call. That call came on Tuesday. I knew I was going to get this job.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if he was born in Toledo or Fremont)- “Born in Toledo.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if he grew up in Toledo)- “Toledo. We lived in Bowling Green for a few years and moved to Fremont - that’s where my parents are originally from - then back to Toledo.”