Tag:Rob Chudzinski
Posted on: December 7, 2008 4:45 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2008 5:01 pm

Week 14: Chris Johnson Meets the Browns

There wasn't much to say about this one as the Browns were simply beaten by a superior football team. Tennessee used the same formula that established them as one of the leagues' best: run the football and stop the run. Ken Dorsey made this a game in the first quarter, but once Tennessee brought the pressure the game was essentially over. An ineffective Jamal Lewis combined with a stout Titans defense proved too much for the struggling Browns.

The Good
  • Josh Cribbs is this team's MVP. Even in this losing effort, Cribbs showed why he is the most versatile football player in the NFL. He played almost every position on offense and special teams while excelling all the way. It's a shame the only pass attempt, the 44 yard non-catch to Edwards, wasn't even challenged.
  • D'Qwell Jackson continued his play at an all-pro level. He showed great athletic ability on the first near pick and even better on two acrobatic catches for interceptions. Aside from that, one thing that stood out to me was Jackson's intensity. He played with that intensity and fire we have all longed to see out of our linebacking corps. Jackson's hard-hitting style of football makes him one of the lone bright spots for this defensive unit.
  • Rob Chudzinski: Fans and writers have grilled Chudzinski all season for a lack of offensive creativity. After this game I don't think anyone can fault him for today's effort. In this game Ken Dorsey took snaps as a wide receiver. Josh Cribbs lined up at halfback, wide receiver and quarterback. If anything, you can't fault Chud because he called one heck of a game.
The Bad
  • Mel Tucker's defense played a poor game overall. While individual efforts padded certain defensive statistics, this performance was much uglier than it looked. The Browns looked lost completely lost out there - failing to bring consistent pressure while allowing Tennessee to have their way in the trenches. What the Titans and many other teams around the league are doing to the Browns is using their strengths against them. Tennessee was able to bait Shaun Rogers - drawing him away from the play with his own aggressiveness while running away from him. The conservative zone coverage schemes were picked apart by Kerry Collins, as he found success with dump-offs and release options underneath.
  • Game Management: Romeo Crennel's coaching from a management perspective continues to be sub par. Crennel's passive use of the challenge flag burned the Browns again, as the Edwards' near catch could have changed the game's momentum. The timeout usage at the end the game was baffling, and his decision to punt late in the 4th quarter indicated the loss of a will to win.
The Ugly
  • If it wasn't clear by now, Jamal Lewis has lost his status as an elite NFL running back. Part of the reason Baltimore cut ties with Lewis was his indecisive nature and hesitation in the backfield. Unfortunately for Cleveland, both flaws manifested themselves on the field Sunday which resulted in a lack of production (7 carries for 7 yards). Not taking anything away from the Titans, but a better running back gets the job done in this game. Both Chris Johnson and LenDale White demonstrated the proper way to run the football. As a speed back, Johnson showed patience and followed the play design - cutting back only when necessary. Great running backs like Chris Johnson are decisive in their running while maintaining a consistent push towards the endzone.

The Browns are not a very good football team. D'Qwell Jackson and Josh Cribbs are exciting players to watch, and provide hope for the 2009 season.

From now on, Ken Dorsey is auditioning for a backup position next year. His decision making was sub par against a really strong defense, so we'll have to see exactly how he comes out next week. Let's hope Dorsey and the Browns can come out and maintain a shred of respectability over the remainder of the season.
Posted on: November 23, 2008 5:28 pm
Edited on: November 23, 2008 9:03 pm

Week 12: 'Tis the Season for Giving

Ahh yes, Thanksgiving. It is the season for family, generosity, and celebrating the past. The game between the Houston Texans and the Cleveland Browns provided a perfect microcosm of the holiday - and I can't help but feel all warm and fuzzy inside because of it.

For two out of division teams, the Browns are so close they should be considered relatives. The two teams have exchanged so much personnel over the last few seasons. On the Browns, Shantee Orr, Robaire Smith, and offensive line coach Steve Marshall have all come from the Texans. Houston has former Browns Kevin Bentley, Chaun Thompson, and Andre Davis all starting on their roster.

The Texans are notoriously generous - ranking dead last in turnover differential at -13. Their defense has allowed a charitable 28.7 points per game heading into Cleveland. Sage Rosenfels and the Texans desperately tried to give this game away with two costly turnovers. Despite that show of kindness, it was the hospitable Browns who outdid them in the end - turning the ball over 5 times in one game.

Celebrating the Past
Cleveland honored Browns teams of years past with an anemic offensive performance and a sickeningly soft defense. Their play today was so nostalgic of the expansion Browns team, I almost shed a tear. The Texans also did their best honoring their sub-.500 ancestors, however they fell short and won the game.

The Good
  • Lawrence Vickers performed well in his return from injury. Both Jerome Harrison and Jamal Lewis benefited from Vickers' vision - which provided an offensive spark the Browns needed to help sustain drives. One of the main problems with this offensive unit is pass protection. With Brady Quinn under center, Rob Chudzinski has placed an emphasis on pre-determined reads and short 3 step drops. It is critical the offensive linemen hold their blocks for that short amount of time necessary to make the completion.
  • Josh Cribbs: Captain Cribbs seems to be the only returning Pro Bowler from a year ago who actually wants to go back to Hawaii. Field position is critical for any offense, and the Browns were fortunate enough to have Cribbs back there setting the offense up. While he did not contribute much on the offensive side of the ball, Josh Cribbs played a good game and did his part when called upon.
  • D'Qwell Jackson: If there is one bright spot for this football team this season, it has to be the play of D'Qwell Jackson. D'Qwell has developed into a fine young linebacker for this football team. Jackson is constantly around the ball - taking good angles of pursuit and making sound tackles when the ball comes his way. Unlike teammates Willie McGinest and Andra Davis, D'Qwell Jackson actually likes contact. It's certainly encouraging to see such a player play the linebacker position how it's supposed to be played.
  • Corey Williams played well today. He was stout in run defense and played a key part in generating what little pressure the Browns created. Williams must have taken what defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said to heart about tackling, because he did not miss a tackle. Corey wrapped up and delivered on what Savage and the Browns had expected out of him since day one.
The Bad
  • Jamal Lewis did not play his best game of the year. Even when the offensive line created space, his choppy style of running took away from the big gains and resulted in a loss of potential yards. The uncharacteristic fumbles make me wonder if Lewis' best years are long behind him.
  • Pressure is the key to football. If you can handle the pressure, you have a good chance of being a successful offense. If you can create pressure, you have a good chance of being a successful defense. Unfortunately the Browns could not do either - which resulted in a poor showing on both sides of the ball. Pressure can make a great quarterback look awfully average, and an average quarterback awfully great. In short, that was the story of this game.
  • Rob Chudzinski: While I can't fault Chud for calling a horrible game, there were things that left me scratching my head. Brady Quinn has proven himself comfortable with the short passing game and making quick, short decisions over the middle. How then, is it possible Kellen Winslow's only catch of the game came from Derek Anderson in the fourth quarter? The great coordinators play to the strengths of their personnel, and Chudzinski did a poor job of doing that this afternoon.
The Ugly
  • Braylon Edwards: Edwards appeared lost on not only the timing, but the execution of his routes. Braylon did not show good burst off the line, nor did he use his body to protect the ball on the short slants underneath. His routes were sloppy and his field awareness inconsistent. Braylon lacked focus and concentration - as apparent by the 4 dropped passes today. While his overall stats may have appeased fantasy owners, the reality of his performance left a lot to be desired.
  • Offensive Production: The Cleveland Browns mustered 6 total points in a game they so desperately needed. A win here would have put the team back on track at an outside shot at the postseason. Brady Quinn may be in his second start, but there is no excuse for managing only two field goals against one of the worst defensive teams in the NFL.

The quarterback switch at the end of the third quarter sealed Romeo Crennel's fate as Browns' Head Coach. Knowing what I do about this organization, he will most likely be fired in a couple days. It's unfortunate, but someone has to take responsibility for the disappointing season which started off so promising.

Maybe change like this will be good for the team. As of now, the Cleveland Browns are a mess of a football team, and we desperately need someone to come in and clean this up.
Posted on: November 9, 2008 8:00 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2008 5:52 pm

Cowher Cannot Come to Cleveland!

My Fellow Browns fans,

Over the past few weeks, there has been a growing sentiment within this fanbase to see Coach Crennel fired and replaced by former Steelers' coach Bill Cowher. This pro-Cowher movement is not only detrimental to the team, but it is degrading to our organization and needs to stop now.

There are two sides to this fundamentally flawed idea: Cowher must come and Romeo must go. In order to fully address the matter, I will attempt to explain the flawed logic running through both sides of the argument.

Romeo Must Go

As with any underachieving team, the head coach is the first person considered in the evaluation process. The 3-6 Browns failed to live up to this year's lofty expectations, and Crennel Bears the brunt of the responsibility for that. The NFL is all about production, and it's hard to justify retaining a coach who has been unsuccessful in 3 of the last 4 years. Despite what statistics and percentages say, they undoubtedly fail to tell the whole story about Romeo Crennel.

Romeo Crennel is a great head coach. His players believe in him and he has proven capable in getting the most out of this group. Fans have criticized Crennel for lacking passion and a "fiery disposition." If the Browns can remain as competitive as they have in recent weeks, I'll gladly take Crennel's stoic approach to any other coaches' method of motivation.
Along with Crennel's consistent approach, what the Cleveland Browns need at this critical stage of their development is continuity. With a promising young quarterback accompanied by a talented young defense, it becomes necessary to maintain the same group of coaches together to expediate growth at all positions. Changing schemes is taxing - especially on young players struggling to learn the system. By keeping the head coach in place, the Browns would subsequently keep their assistent and position coaches in place - maintaining the continuity so vital to the development of young talent.

Cowher Must Come

My appeal is one of pride and respect. Bringing in a coach who is the embodiment of all things Pittsburgh is the absolute last thing you want to see for the Cleveland Browns. How would it look on our organization if we turn to our most hated rival to become the face of this franchise? Additionally, how much pride would Browns' have in their team seeing Cowher schmooze it up with Steelers any time the two teams play?

Contrary to most, I have pride in this history and tradition of the Browns' franchise. The way Cowher came to be what he is was through years as the head coach in Pittsburgh. Coaches and players have had time to fine-tune their technique and knowledge within a system, and that is what made the Steelers into what they are today. For the Browns, it is necessary to have that same level of stability to keep this franchise heading in the right direction.

There are ramifications of Cowher coming to Cleveland. Offensive coach Rob Chudzinski is one of the most highly regarded young offensive minds in the NFL. Last year Chudzinski interviewed and turned down an offer from Baltimore to take over as head coach. With at least 4 coaching openings in the National Football League, it would put a tremendous amount of strain on Chudzinski - who certainly would be able to find a situation to his liking. Retaining Crennel would likely keep Chudzinski with the Browns - as the situation would be similar to what kept him here in the first place.

A plane uses 70% of its fuel while taking off.  After years lying in a dormant state, the runway has cleared and this team is finally ready to take flight. It took a long time to get here, so why stop the plane and change pilots now ? The system is in place. The talent is there. The coaches are ready. All the Browns need to do is maintain their composure, finish the rest of this season, and get ready for an exciting ride in 2009.
Posted on: September 12, 2008 10:39 pm

Practice AP Chudzinski Press Conference 9-12-08

Rob Chudzinski Press Conference
[Interview from Clevelandbrowns.com]
by: Sircheeks

Berea -- Cleveland Browns' offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski addressed the media Friday afternoon in a press conference about the wide receiver position and Sunday night's showdown with Pittsburgh.

Chudzinski spoke on a number of topics, most notably Donte Stallworth's high quad sprain and the Brown's ability to function as a team in his absense.

"This is the NFL and injuries are a part of the game," Chudzinski said of the injury.

"Those are things that you need to be able to adapt to, improvise, and overcome."

With Donte Stallworth out and Joe Jurivicius on the PUP list, the Browns have turned to a pair of practice squad receivers in undrafted free agent Steve Sanders and 2007 seventh round selection Syndric Steptoe.

Chudzinski says the two have done a nice job to this point, and he knows that must  continue for the team to be successful.

"Offensive football is about rhythm and continuity. We have the same expectations of [Sanders and Steptoe] as any other guys that would be in the huddle."

Chudzinski and the Browns have been preparing all week for the nationally televised home game against the Steelers.

When asked about the Steelers, Chudzinski had nothing but praise and respect for Pittsburgh's defensive unit.

"They're solid all the way across," Chudzinski said.

"You can't be one dimensional with them. If you can only do one thing, they're gonna stop it."

Despite being thin at the wide receiver position, Chudzinski said that if the Browns can execute their offense, they will be successful.

"They'll be ready to play [Sunday]," he said.
Posted on: September 7, 2008 10:28 pm

Week 1: Same Old Browns

I honestly thought that we had a chance in this one. I really did.

Unfortunately, the Cleveland Browns remembered that they're...well, the Cleveland Browns and continued to do the same things that foiled the 2007 season. As is the case with every game, there is the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good
  • Derek Anderson - Despite a mediocre statistical performance (11 for 24, 114yards, 1TD), I thought Derek Anderson played well this game. Yes, there were some poor decisions made and a couple bad throws, but DA didn't have a great deal of help with a decimated wide receiving corps. Braylon Edwards dropped 4 passes on my count to go along with the general lackadaisical receiver play of Syndric Steptoe and Steve Sanders.
  • Kellen Winslow - Winslow was the only member of the team who wanted to win this one. Offensive Coordinator Rob Chudzinski went to him early and often in the first half - and K2 responded. Winslow made a nice adjustment on the touchdown catch, showed great hands coming over the middle, and ran excellent routes. My biggest concern with Kellen was how he disappeared in the second half of this game. I would have liked to see Chud stick with what worked earlier and continue to exploit the Winslow mismatch throughout the game.
  • Rob Chudzinski - Hats off to Chudzinski for calling a *decent* game. There were times as a fan where I wanted him to abandon the running game, and I thought that he stayed with it for too long. The pass protections and play design put us in a position to succeed, and that's all you really could ask of him.
The Bad
  • Corey Williams - My 13-year-old sister had more impact on the game than Corey Williams, and she didn't even dress. Throughout the entire telecast, I didn't see or hear Troy Aikman make even one mention of Williams. We paid this man to generate pressure on the quarterback and stop the run, and he didn't do much of either today. Shaun Rogers commanded double teams all day which left Williams with one-on-one matchups which he failed to take advantage of. A very disappointing overall performance.
  • Jamal Lewis - The Cleveland Browns' running game was analogous to the old 'square peg in a round hole' adage. One of the problems that caused Baltimore to release Jamal a couple seasons ago was his choppy style of running. Lewis constantly keeps his feet moving - which is good. The downfall to that is he is often times too indecisive at the line of scrimmage which causes him to tip-toe around instead of finding a hole and hitting it. The offensive line couldn't generate much push in this one either, but I'll put most of the blame on Lewis.
  • Cleveland Browns' Linebackers - The lack of pass rush and pressure in the first half was unacceptable. Romo could have held a garage sale with all the time we afforded him in the pocket. Bringing 4 guys isn't enough to generate pressure on that offensive line with our personnel. One thing that I noticed was how vanilla our blitz packages looked. Before the snap, I could have told you what each and every member of the front seven entire defense was doing on that particular play. The 3-4 is all about deception and pre-snap looks, and we showed no propensity for competency in either area.
The Ugly
  • Braylon Edwards - This certainly was a surprise. Heading into this game, I thought that Anderson to Edwards would highlight a spectacular passing attack that would keep us in the game right to the very end. I was wrong. Edwards, in addition to the drops, looked lost out there at times which is something that you never want to see from an offensive star. Aikman blamed Edwards' play on the lack of preseason conditioning and reps, and I agree to a certain extent - but this was ridiculous. Big game players make big game plays, and Edwards failed to live up to his superstar status.
  • Penalties - The 2008 Browns are supposed to be past this juvenile stage. A big "thank you" goes out to Brandon "hands to the face" McDonald, Braylon "start the play already" Edwards, and Seth "spasms" McKinney for their contributions in this sloppy affair.

The Cleveland Browns are at a point now where close doesn't cut it anymore. Sloppy play, overthrown passes, and stupid penalties are a thing of the past, and I'd like to think the Browns are better than that. Dallas did what they were supposed to in order to win this game - and embarrassed the Browns in the process. Our vaunted high-octane offense (while running at close to 65%) was essentially neutered.

I hope the Browns will be able to correct some of the things that went wrong today. Getting Cribbs, Hadnot, and Stallworth back next week will certainly help the offense. Edwards and Anderson have another week to get that chemistry back together and I expect a better showing from these two.

As far as the defense goes, how about a little deception up front? Hey Mel Tucker - here's a tip: If you bring a safety or corner in the box, you don't always have to blitz him! The Cowboys developed a gameplan against the Browns which I fear we're going to see again until we prove we can stop it.

The best way to counter our mammoth defensive line is to run horizontally and attack the outside backers. How many Marion Barber tosses or off-tackle runs ended up gashing the Browns for chunks of yardage? Willie McGuinest and D'Quell Jackson aren't that effective in pursuit and any tailback with quickness should realize that. Unfortunately for the Browns...
...all exist and are just a few of the names ready and willing to wear the team out.

Let's hope for some improvement against the Steelers in week 2. I have an avatar bet to win.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com