The Browns talked to high-profile college coaches, NFL assistants and a fired pro coach who took a team to a Super Bowl. In the end, the Browns chose Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski over all of them.
"I believe we came back with the best coach for the Cleveland Browns," Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said. "He is one of the brightest young coaches in the business."
The Browns went with Chudzinski over Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, Montreal Alouettes coach Marc Trestman, fired Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt and Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton. Whisenhunt was in Cleveland for a second interview on Thursday, and the Browns also were expected to interview Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.
Haslam made the point that the Browns needed a coach with an offensive background. He recited the statistic that the Panthers scored 88 touchdowns the past two seasons under Chudzinski while the Browns managed 44 touchdowns over that same span.
"The pro game has becoming more and more offensive," Haslam said. "We think we have great young talent on offense. We thought it was exceptionally important to bring in an individual who could take advantage of and develop that young talent so we can put the kind of points on the board that, one, will win game and candidly, two, will be fun to watch."
So, was Chudzinski the right hire? Record your vote and send me a note to my mailbag on why you think the Browns made the right or wrong decision. Your comment may be used in a blog post next week.