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Tag:Rod Chudzinski
Posted on: January 26, 2012 1:41 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 1:54 pm
 

Coaching carousel winners and losers

Flynn is one of the big winners from the coaching carousel. (US Presswire)
By Will Brinson

The NFL coaching carousel has come to a close with the Buccaneers and Colts the final two teams across the finish line, hiring coaches on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

Let's take a look at some of the winners and losers from a hectic offseason. Because if we're not firing out knee-jerk reactions, what's the point?

Winners

Matt Flynn: Flynn was already going to get real paid this offseason. But new Fins coach Joe Philbin was his freaking quarterbacks coach. Yeah, the rumor is the Dolphins like Peyton Manning better than Flynn. (Also a rumor: I like steak better than tofu.) But Flynn knows Philbin's system and he certainly has to be more inclined to sign his ridiculously overpriced free-agent contract with a team employing his old coach and his old system right? Even if he's not, he could end up in a bidding war between Stephen Ross and Dan Snyder. That's like a sandwich made of $100 Bills.

Ryan Grigson
: The new Colts general manager still has a long road ahead, and needs to draft well to really get Indy's latest rebuild rolling. But he's got an owner who's setting him up well: his first two decisions (firing Jim Caldwell, hiring Chuck Pagano) mean that the Colts simply need to hire a competent offensive coordinator to groom their No. 1 overall pick and let their defensive-minded coach get to work on installing his scheme. Sound familiar? It should.

Norv Turner: Turner was certainly on the old hot seat when the season ended and somehow he still has a job. It might be loyalty. It might be Philip Rivers' influence. Or it might just be a miracle. Whatever, Turner was a lock to get fired and somehow stuck around San Diego for at least another year.

Steve Spagnuolo: Spags got canned from the Rams job but landed squarely on his feet when he got the Saints defensive coordinator job. They'll contend for Super Bowls over the next few years and as Wilson pointed out, Drew Brees is secretly his best weapon. It's an ideal spot to reload and wait for another head-coaching gig.

Jeff Fisher: Fisher got the quarterback he wants, the personnel power he wants and a big old pile of money when he chose the Rams over the Dolphins.

Jay Cutler: Mike Martz retired and took his seven-step drops behind a shoddy offensive line and no pretense of having a running game with him.

Atlanta Falcons: No offense to Mike Mularkey and Brian VanGorder (as well as his superb mustache) but the ATL just got a major assistant upgrade. Ryan maxed out under Mularkey, and Dirk Koetter loves to go vertical -- having Julio Jones and Roddy White make that an easier task than whoever was catching balls with the Jaguars. And Mike Nolan, quite simply, has a fantastic defensive track record.

Cam Newton/Andy Dalton: The two biggest rookie surprises lucked out big time this offseason as their respective offensive coordinators, Rob Chudzinski and Jay Gruden, didn't move on to theoretically greener pastures. Now Newton and Dalton will each get a full offseason to prepare and should look even better in their second year.

Losers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Even if Greg Schiano is "the guy," and there's a significant number of people who think he is not, they bungled this search. (For the record, I kind of like the Schiano hire, but it's risky.) They fired Raheem Morris quickly but were the last team to get a new coach in place. They whiffed -- publicly -- on Chip Kelly. They interviewed a bunch of old dudes -- Brad Childress, Mike Sherman, Marty Schottenheimer -- who now probably feel used. An unimpressive effort all around and indicative of how attractive this job is.

Rob Ryan: Think of all the people who got interviews this offseason. Everyone got an interview. Except Rex's twin brother. Think running his mouth and losing twice to the Giants because his secondary couldn't defend anyone ended up hurting his chances to get a head coaching job? It absolutely did.

Mike Zimmer: Also a dude who can't catch a break. Or interview well? Whatever, Zimmer finally got some heat for coaching jobs (it's been long enough) and couldn't seal the deal on anything. Hopefully he'll get more looks but this has a "flyover" feel to it in terms of how much interest other teams will have in Zimmer going forward.

Brian Schottenheimer: Schottey Jr. might have landed with the Rams, but he'll likely be under heavy scrutiny from fans and could see a short leash, depending on how Fisher's feeling. The worst part is a year ago, he was a hot name for a head-coaching job and instead the Jets ran him off while managing to air out some of their respective greivances with the rest of the dirty laundry.

Mike Sherman: Sherman was the leader in the clubhouse for the Bucs job ... or so we thought. Now he's reportedly headed to run Miami's offense. That could vault him back up to a head-coaching gig, but considering he found out about his firing from Texas A&M at a recruit's house (!), landing an NFL job just a few months later would've been a major coup.

Peyton Manning: Bill Polian's out, Jim Caldwell's out and the Colts seem hell bent on cleaning house. The logical next move appears to be shipping Manning out of town as well.

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Posted on: January 9, 2012 12:39 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2012 12:40 pm
 

Report: Bucs to interview Marty Schottenheimer

MartyBall last appeared in the NFL in 2006. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

The Buccaneers aren't playing any games when it comes to seeking out a discipline-heavy coach to replace Raheem Morris, having already interviewed Mike Sherman for the open position.

And now, in some shocking news, they'll also talk to Marty Schottenheimer. Yes, Marty. That's according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, who reports that Schotty will talk with the Bucs on Tuesday about their head-coaching gig.

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Marty last coached in the NFL in 2006, when he went 14-2 with the Chargers, won the AFC West, made it to the AFC Divisional Game and came one Marlon McCree dive to the ground after an interception shy of upsetting the Patriots and advancing to the AFC Championship Game.

After that season, Marty was fired when assistant coaches Cam Cameron, Wade Phillips (who's also talking to the Bucs this week), Rod Chudzinski and Greg Manusky all bolted for other gigs and his relationship with general manager A.J. Smith became extremely strained.

Schottenheimer, who has a career 61.3 winning percentage as a head coach in the NFL, won his first championship at any level with the Virginia Destroyers of the United Football League.

Though Marty might seem a bit old (68) to dive back into the NFL with a young team like the Buccaneers, it's possible that his hard-nosed, disciplined approach and an emphasis on "MartyBall" (read: run, run, pass, punt) could help reverse Tampa Bay's fortunes in 2011.

Another interesting aspect of a potential Marty hire in Tampa is the effect it would have on Brian Schottenheimer, the Jets offensive coordinator. Marty's son is believed to be out of New York one way or another, and jumping ship from the Jets to the Bucs would be a logical move for a coach who's already worked under his father at three different stops in his career.

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Posted on: January 2, 2012 1:20 pm
 

Report: Jags contact Panthers about OC Chudzinski

By Will Brinson

Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski's probably the hottest coordinator name in the NFL right now and at least one team has contacted the Panthers to seek permission to speak with "Chud" about their open position, Ron Rivera confirmed on Monday.

According to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer, that team is the Jaguars. Person also notes that Rivera intimated at his year-end press conference the possibility of getting Chudzinski a raise and an extension.

In 2011, the Panthers finished a shocking seventh in the NFL in total offense (389.8 yards per contest) after ranking 32nd in the NFL in offense in 2010, and won six games almost entirely on the strength of their offense and the amazing performance of rookie quarterback Cam Newton. Chud is getting the lion's share of the credit for Newton's success, and rightfully so.

Back when Jack Del Rio was fired, we listed Chudzinski as a possible candidate to fill JDR's shoes.

The logic is pretty obvious: Newton's quick adaptation undoubtedly is appealing to a team like Jacksonville, who struggled mightily on offense with rookie Blaine Gabbert (the second-rated quarterback, behind Newton, on most draft boards) at the helm.

The Jags were dead last in offense in the NFL in 2011, posting just 259.3 yards per game. The question will be whether or not the talent level in Jacksonville appeals to Chudzinski. As Panthers tight end Greg Olsen told Person, Chudzinski will become a head coach at some point "whether it's tomorrow or two years from now."

Gabbert's shown talent as a young quarterback, but he's clearly not the rarified athlete that Newton is. The Jaguars lack any wide receiver talent, although Marcedes Lewis could appeal to Chudzinski, who's shown an ability to develop tight ends since he was at Miami University.

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Posted on: December 19, 2011 5:23 pm
 

Panthers trick play inspired by 'Little Giants'

By Will Brinson

On Sunday, the Panthers ran what's commonly referred to as a "Fumblerooski," with Richie Brockel scoring an unlikely touchdown after Cam Newton handed him the ball between his legs and faked like he was running right. I joked at the time that it would be awesome if Rod Chudzinski would dial up "the Annexation of Puerto Rico" -- a play made famous from the movie "Little Giants" -- in the second half.

There was never any chance of that happening though, because as it turns out, the play in question already was inspired by the movie.

"Just so you know, the unofficial name – I don't know if you guys have ever seen the "Little Giants" – it's called the Annexation of Puerto Rico," Rivera said on Monday when asked about the trick play. "I've seen the movie a hundred times with my kids. They're grown up now.

"So last night we were talking about and they called it everything from the Chud-a-rooskie to the Mauler to what have you. Somebody said, 'Well, it's from the 'Little Giants.'"

For those that haven't seen "Little Giants," well, we're not friends. But you can watch the clip here.


The primary difference is that the Panthers didn't run a double-fake reverse in order to set the play up. And that they didn't need to go 99 yards to score. And Brockel didn't run head-first into the goalpost either.

But you get the point. This isn't the first trick play "Chud" dialed up recently -- a pass from Legadu Naanee to Newton for a touchdown against the Buccaneers two weeks ago also scored a touchdown.

Though it might cheese off fantasy owners of Newton, DeAngelo Williams and/or Jonathan Stewart, the innovation worked, and it's precisely why Carolina's been enjoyable to watch this season, as well as why Chudzinski's name is getting mentioned with head-coaching vacancies.

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Posted on: July 2, 2011 8:05 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2011 9:09 pm
 

Newton knows 90 percent of Panthers' playbook?

Posted by Will Brinson

Cam Newton has a tough task ahead of him once the lockout's resolved -- he has to learn the entirety of Rob Chudzinski's insanely complex offense, and do so in a short amount of time.

But he's been working with some former NFL quarterbacks, including Chris Weinke, and it appears to be paying huge dividends for the rookie out of Auburn.

According to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer, these sessions have featured detailed learning of the Panthers' playbook, "about 90 percent of which Weinke has installed."

Essentially, Newton's mimicking the practices he'd be getting in the lost offseason by getting a play from Weinke, calling out the play like he was in the huddle, going through each play's cadence at the line of scrimmage, and then slinging passes to whatever receivers are there.

Entertaining/Iconing

Per Person, some recent attendees include Michael Clayton, Alex Smith, Titus Young and a "couple small-college receivers."

Following the throws, Weinke and former Chudzinski protégé Ken Dorsey -- who we'd also mentioned as a Newton tutor -- make suggestions as to how Newton can improve his mechanics and individual tweaks and designs for each play that's being run.

"He wants to be great," Weinke said.

Newton probably does want to be great -- the issue will be whether or not he's capable of recreating the success he had at Auburn once he gets on the field for the Panthers.

But given how unsettled the NFL's situation is right now, it's pretty darn impressive to see Newton maximizing his offseason, especially when there's no enforced motivation to do so.

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Posted on: May 23, 2011 9:47 am
Edited on: May 23, 2011 10:05 am
 

Newton working with ex-Cane Ken Dorsey too

Posted by Will Brinson

Cam Newton has all kinds of mentors and coaches helping him get better as an NFL quarterback.

But the latest guy added to Newton's list of helpers, per Peter King of Sports Illustrated, is a pretty interesting one: ex-Miami Hurricane star Ken Dorsey.

The logic behind the combination? Well, Dorsey knows Panthers' offensive coordinator Rod Chudzinski's system pretty well, having played under "Chud" as an OC in 2001 and 2002 at Miami, as well as 2007 and 2008 with the Cleveland Browns.

"The best way to describe it is it's like an old pilot grooming a new pilot to take over his plane," said George Whitfield, another of Newton's coaches. "The old pilot's teaching him about every one of the controls in the cockpit."

This pairing is particularly interesting to me, because it's not the type of thing that Newton would be doing to get his mind, feet and body right for the long term. It seems like a move Newton is making in order to try and make an immediate impact for the Panthers in 2011.

As Clark Judge recently wrote, it's kind of unlikely that any of this year's rookie signal callers will have a tremendous impact (the lockout's hurting them the most), but it sure does look like Newton is doing his best to get a grasp on what's supposed to be an incredibly complex offensive playbook.

That should be good news for the Panthers, considering how much they just invested in Heisman winner.

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Posted on: January 18, 2011 12:31 am
 

Panthers round out main coaching staff

Posted by Will Brinson

The Panthers started their coaching staff overhaul on Monday when they hired Sean McDermott as defensive coordinator, and a few short hours later, locked up their main coaching positions by hiring Rob Chudzinksi, the former San Diego tight ends coach.

That's according to Darin Gantt of the Charlotte Observer, who actually cited the father of Jim Gruden (father of Jay, another candidate for the OC gig), who said his son was out of the running on Monday.

"Chud" has been the coordinator for the Cleveland Browns and the Miami Hurricanes, and he's done a decent job working with tight ends in his day -- Bubba Franks, Jeremy Shockey, Kellen Winslow and Antonio Gates all played for him. He was also running the offense for Cleveland in 2007, the last time the Browns weren't totally terrible.

Additionally, the Panthers added Brian Murphy, the Vikings special teams coach, for the same position in Charlotte after it became clear that Leslie Frazier wouldn't retain him.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com