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Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Browns talk with Rob Chudzinski

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CLEVELAND -- The Browns are interviewing Carolina offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski for their coaching job, league sources confirmed to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Chudzinski, who has had two previous stints as an assistant with Cleveland, is visiting the team's facility in Berea, Ohio, on Wednesday.

His interview had earlier been reported by the Plain Dealer.

Owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner are in Week 2 of their search to find a "strong leader" to take over the Browns, who went 5-11 this season.

The Browns reportedly interviewed Marc Trestman, coach of the CFL's Montreal Alouettes, on Tuesday.

After meeting with Chudzinski, the Browns are expected to interview Indianapolis offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. The Colts have granted the Browns permission to speak with Arians, who has been hospitalized twice in recent days with an inner ear infection.

Arians fell ill on Sunday and had to miss the Colts' playoff loss to Baltimore.

Arians also has ties to the Browns, serving as their offensive coordinator from 2001-03.

Fox Sports reported the team will interview Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, the first known defensive coach to meet with the Browns.

The Browns met late last week with Chip Kelly but decided to reboot their search for a coach after leaving Arizona late Sunday morning without landing the Oregon coach.

Chudzinski, 44, has spent the past two seasons with the Panthers working with quarterback Cam Newton. Carolina finished fifth in total offense in 2011 and 12th last season under Chudzinski. He was Cleveland's tight ends coach in 2004 but was fired along with the rest of Butch Davis' staff. He returned to the club in 2007 as the offensive coordinator for Romeo Crennel.

Last year, Chudzinski interviewed for head-coaching jobs with St. Louis, Jacksonville and Tampa Bay.

Chudzinski's connections with the Browns run deep.

He grew up in Toledo, Ohio, pulling for the Browns, and he was thrilled to be part of Davis' staff. After he left Cleveland the first time, he spent two seasons as San Diego's tight ends coach, working with perennial Pro Bowl standout Antonio Gates, before he was hired by Crennel in 2007.

That year, the Browns won 10 games -- their most wins since 1999 -- and had four players make the Pro Bowl. However, 2008 didn't go nearly as well, as injuries and a six-game losing streak to close the season resulted in a 4-12 record and the firing of Crennel.

Chudzinski went back to the Chargers for two more seasons before he was hired in Carolina.

Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and The Associated Press was used in this report.