December 20, 2014

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Brian Dulik: ‘Chud’ and guts have Browns offense rolling

Every player, coach and employee in the Browns organization refers to offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski by his nickname.
Calling him “Chud’’ at this point, however, seems disrespectful.
“Gridiron Genius’’ or “Miracle Worker’’ is much more appropriate for a man who has transformed Cleveland’s moribund offense into one of the best in the NFL.
“It’s a great feeling just watching those guys — and knowing they’re on your side — every week,’’ linebacker Andra Davis said Sunday after the Browns rung up five touchdowns in a 41-31 win over the Dolphins.
“In my first five years here, we averaged about 15 points a game, but now it seems like we’re getting 30 every week. This is some of the best offense I’ve seen, and Chud’s the offensive coordinator, so you have to give him a lot of credit.’’
What Chudzinski has done in his first full year calling Cleveland’s plays has been absolutely amazing. It seems like a lifetime ago that starting quarterback Charlie Frye was jettisoned two quarters into the season in favor of the then-winless Derek Anderson.
The Browns, who have not finished in the upper half of the league offensively since 1987, are now on pace to score a franchise-record 445 points.
They already have 20 touchdowns, which is three more than they scored in the entire 2000 season, and boast the NFL’s leading receiving duo in Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow Jr.
Suffice to say, that side of the football — not Cleveland’s last-ranked defense — is responsible for the Browns being 3-3 and a genuine feel-good story as they entire their bye week.
“It’s all coming together for us right now, and Chud’s game plans are a big part of it,’’ said tackle Ryan Tucker, who is in his sixth season in Cleveland. “I come into every year hoping that our offense can play like this, but as the season goes on, that view changes.
“Not this year, though. So far, so good. We’re scoring a lot of points.’’
While Chudzinski’s aggressive offensive style was the talk of the town following the win over Miami, none of it was coming from his mouth.
The Toledo native quietly boarded an elevator after the game’s final play, then had to be persuaded to answer a handful of questions from the team’s regular writers.
Not only does the 39-year-old married father of one look like a regular guy, he prefers to be treated like one — and let his flashier athletes speak for themselves.
“This pretty much has been our M.O. all along,’’ Chudzinski said without a hint of bravado. “We try to make things happen together, and we thought we had a good game plan.’’
Truth be told, “Professor Pigskin’’ didn’t have a good game plan Sunday. He had a great one.
And there is no reason to believe Chudzinski won’t unveil many more masterpieces in the weeks ahead.
“Chud understands what we want to do and he lets us do it,’’ wide receiver Braylon Edwards said. “He shows a lot of confidence in us and we have a lot of confidence in him. You’re just getting a taste of how good we can be.’’
Contact Brian Dulik at sports@ohio.net.