By Tony Grossi
Extra Points …
Norv in the fold: One of the major attractions of Rob Chudzinski to Browns CEO Joe Banner was his ability to secure the services of Norv Turner as his primary offensive coach.
That strong connection became official Thursday when the Browns announced Turner, 60, as Chudzinski’s offensive coordinator.
Although no mention was made in the club’s announcement, it is expected that Turner will call plays on game days, freeing up Chudzinski to avoid the in-game management issues that have plagued previous Browns coaches.
Five other assistants also were named, including two holdovers from Pat Shurmur’s staff – offensive line coach George Warhop and special teams coordinator Chris Tabor.
The new assistants are Mike Sullivan, who also was assigned to the offensive line; Scott Turner, Norv’s son, who will coach wide receivers; and Brad Roll as strength and conditioning coach.
Deep roots and routes: Turner’s NFL coaching career began as receivers coach under John Robinson with the Los Angeles Rams in 1985. His career really took off when Jimmy Johnson made him offensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys in 1991. Turner parlayed back-to-back Super Bowl championships -- featuring the trio of QB Troy Aikman, RB Emmitt Smith and WR Michael Irvin -- into the first of three NFL head coach jobs.
Turner was 49-59-1 in seven seasons as coach of the Washington Redskins, 9-23 in two seasons as coach of the Oakland Raiders, and 56-40 in six seasons as coach of the San Diego Chargers. His overall record of 118-126-1 includes a 4-4 post-season record, forged by one division title with Washington and three with San Diego.
While coach of the Chargers, Turner hired Chudzinski after each of Chudzinski’s previous two stints with the Browns went awry. Chudzinski was San Diego tight ends coach in 2005-06 and then returned for 2009-10 as tight ends coach and assistant head coach.
“Norv has been one of the most respected offensive coaches in the NFL over the last 25-30 years, and he has had a tremendous amount of success at each one of his stops – as a position coach, coordinator and head coach,” Chudzinski said in press release. “I was able to learn a great deal in the time that I worked for him in San Diego, and I expect that having him as our offensive coordinator will make a big impact on that side of the ball.”
Although Chudzinski said at his introduction that he acquired his offensive concepts at University of Miami as a player and then assistant coach, he developed them further under Turner at San Diego. Turner always has favored a vertical passing game playing off a physical running game.
And the rest: Chudzinski said in the release that he was impressed with Warhop and Tabor, who supervised two of the stronger units on the Browns in 2012. Warhop originally was hired by Eric Mangini – so Chudzinski will be the third Browns coach for him.
Scott Turner was with Chudzinski in Carolina last year as Panthers quality control/offense coach. Before that, he coached three years at University of Pittsburgh and one at Oregon State.
Like Chudzinski, Sullivan is with the Browns for a third time. He was assistant offensive line coach under Butch Davis in 2001-04 and then returned in the same role in 2007 when Chudzinski rejoined the team as offensive coordinator. He was offensive line coach with the Chargers the last four seasons.
Roll goes back with Chudzinski to Miami, where he was strength and conditioning coach when Chudzinski played. Roll was strength coach at USC in 2012, and has 19 years in the NFL with Oakland, St. Louis, Miami and Tampa Bay.
These appointments leave Chudzinski with several positions to fill – running backs, tight ends, defensive coordinator, defensive line, linebackers, and defensive secondary – not to mention the usual allotment of quality control and senior assistant positions now customary on NFL staffs.
|Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and www.espncleveland.com. |
He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 46 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Email your “Hey Tony” questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
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