Chudzinski smartest choice at this point

January 22nd, 2010 - 8:50 am

San Diego Chargers assistant head coach/tight ends Rob Chudzinski was interviewed Thursday by the Bears for their vacant offensive coordinator position after the Chargers granted permission for the Bears to do so.

“Chud,” as he is called by those close to him, was given just one day to interview instead of the two that the Bears have given other candidates due to the fact the Bears had to board a plane Thursday night for Gaines Adams’ funeral.

Hopefully when the Bears come back they make it their business to ask Chudzinski to come back permanently.

ChicagoBears.com reported Thursday that although Jeremy Bates and Tom Clements were the first two names to be linked with the coordinator position, they weren’t necessarily the Bears’ top two choices. Teams cannot interview coaching candidates from active playoff teams unless that team has a first round bye, so it’s possible that Chudzinski was a top choice and the Bears had to wait until his Chargers were eliminated this weekend by the Jets.

Chudzinski’s colleagues have had nothing but positive things to say about him all week. Former Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer, under whom Chudzinski worked a few years ago, was on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on AM 1000 and spoke glowingly of him.

“He’s got a very broad understanding of offensive football,” Schottenheimer said. “Chud is one of the best young coaches I’ve been around, and I would imagine that given the opportunity with the background he has and involvement with the San Diego offense, he would be terrific in that role.

“I would say if they sign him as offensive coordinator, you need to look toward the sky, because the sun is now rising.”

It’s true that being a part of the San Diego offense only increases the perception of Chudzinski. Working in an offense with a top quarterback like Philip Rivers would help him further develop Jay Cutler. Although he was not the play caller for the No. 5 passing offense this season, he no doubt has learned what can make an offense successful.

Chudzinski does have play-calling experience, though. Chudzinski served as offensive coordinator for the University of Miami earlier this decade. He was the Browns’ offensive coordinator for two seasons (2007-08) and helped lead the explosive Browns — yes, I used “explosive” and “Browns” in the same sentence — to a 10-6 record and the No. 8 offense in the league in 2007. They also scored the eighth-most points in the league.

I can’t remember the last time there was so much coaching security at the end of a season and that largely has to do with the uncertainty of a new collective bargaining agreement which could lead to a potential lockout next year. When there are as few head coaches fired as there were this year, it means that coaching staffs are set and there is less movement among assistant coaches.

With so few choices for the Bears, Chudzinski looks like the best option to improve the Bears’ offense. If he were hired and his unit performed well but the Bears didn’t make the playoffs next year, he could be a candidate for head coach if Lovie Smith were fired, and that would help maintain stability for Cutler and the offense.