Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has confidence that his former offensive coordinator, Rob Chudzinzki, will have success as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Newton thrived in Chudzinksi’s system, becoming the first rookie in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards. Newton, the first-overall draft pick in the 2011 draft, set an NFL record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 14 as he was named the offensive rookie of the year. Newton credits a lot of his success to “Chud” for helping develop him into a dynamic quarterback.
“Coach Chud was a very influential coach that I owe a lot to,” Newton said here after a Gatorade press conference. “My progression coming into this league and understanding what people are going to try to do to me and how they’re going to try to disguise things, he’s a great coach, and he does well with different personalities. I’m rooting for him, I’m wishing him the best and I know he’s going to do great in Cleveland.”
“Chud” accomplished remarkable feats as the offensive coordinator of the Panthers. In Chudzinski’s first season as the Panthers offensive coordinator, he was able to lead a turnaround for the Panthers offense as Carolina set team records for total yards (6,237) and first downs (345) one year after experiencing franchise lows in both categories. The Panthers also scored 48 touchdowns in 2011, second most in franchise history, a year after the team recorded a franchise low (17) in touchdowns. The Panthers led the league with 90 plays of 20 yards or more, finishing 7th in total offense.
Newton is grateful for how “Chud” helped him have immense success in his rookie season. But Newton also credits “Chud” for helping him turning around his 2012 season, which had a rocky beginning. In the first eight games of the season, Newton threw six touchdown passes and eight interceptions and had a 77.7 quarterback rating. But in the second half of the season, “Chud” altered the playbook and gave Newton the opportunity to make his own adjustments at the line. As a result, he threw 13 touchdowns, four interceptions and had a 94.2 quarterback rating. Even more importantly, the Panthers went 5-3 in the second half. Newton appreciated how “Chud” transformed the offense to play to the strengths of Newton.
“That’s something that as a player you like,” said Newton. “He asks you questions and he learns from you as well. We had to be on the same page, and we had multiple discussions of what I’m comfortable with, what I want to do, what I want him to try to do more of and he always had an open ear and was very helpful in my progression.”
The Browns hope that head coach “Chud” and offensive coordinator Norv Turner will have the same type of success that “Chud” did with Newton in Carolina. The question for the Browns coaching staff is who will be the quarterback they try to develop? Will it be Brandon Weeden, the quarterback that the old regime drafted? Or will the Browns sign or trade for a quarterback or maybe even draft a QB? Newton believes the quarterback of the Browns, regardless of who it is, will play well because of “Chud’s” coaching abilities.