April 23, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
38°F

Chudzinski announces first coaching staff hires, including offensive coordinator Norv Turner

The staff of new Browns coach Rob Chudzinski is taking shape.

The Browns announced the hiring of offensive coordinator Norv Turner, receivers coach Scott Turner (Norv’s son), offensive line coach Mike Sullivan and strength and conditioning coach Brad Roll.

Chudzinski also retained special teams coordinator Chris Tabor and offensive line coach George Warhop from Pat Shurmur’s staff. Warhop and Sullivan both carry the title of offensive line coach, while Warhop will take the lead role.

Chudzinski has yet to name any defensive assistants. None from Shurmur’s staff is expected to be kept.

Redskins secondary coach Raheem Morris will reportedly interview with Chudzinski this week for the defensive coordinator job.

“I am very excited about the coaches we have been able to add to our staff thus far,” Chudzinski said in a news release.  “I have worked with Norv, Mike, Scott and Brad previously and know the quality of coaches and teachers that they are, and how much our players will benefit from their presence.

“After sitting down and getting to know both Chris and George, I was extremely impressed with the type of coaches and men that they are. Not only was this special teams group vastly improved from the previous season, but special teams became one of the top units in the league last year. George played an integral role in helping to shape a young unit that I feel made great strides last year, and which has the potential to get even better. The continuity we have been able to create by retaining Chris and George will be big pluses in both of their respective areas.”

Norv Turner is the signature hire and helped sell owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner on Chudzinski’s ability to build a staff as a first-time head coach. Turner has coached for 38 years, including 14 as an NFL head coach. He spent the past six seasons as coach of the Chargers, going 59-43 with three AFC West titles.

Chudzinski worked for Turner as tight ends/assistant head coach.

“Norv has been one of the most respected offensive coaches in the NFL over the last 25-30 years, and he has had a tremendous amount of success at each one of his stops — as a position coach, coordinator and head coach,” Chudzinski said. “I was able to learn a great deal in the time that I worked for him in San Diego, and I expect that having him as our offensive coordinator will make a big impact on that side of the ball.”

Turner, who is expected to call plays, made his reputation as coordinator with the Dallas Cowboys in 1991-93 with quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith and receiver Michael Irvin. The Cowboys won Super Bowls in 1992 and ’93.

Turner favors a vertical passing game like Chudzinski, and he complements that with a strong running game. Turner’s system has produced the NFL’s leading rusher five times with Smith (1991-93), Ricky Williams (2002) and LaDainian Tomlinson (2007).

Sullivan previously worked for the Browns as assistant offensive line coach from 2001-04 and 2007-08. He spent the last four seasons as line coach with the Chargers. He played with Chudzinski at the University of Miami.

Roll was assistant strength coach at USC in 2012 after 19 seasons in the NFL. He was Miami’s strength coach when Chudzinski played for the Hurricanes.

Scott Turner was offensive quality control coach the last two years in Carolina, where Chudzinski was coordinator. He played quarterback at UNLV and worked as a college assistant for four years.

Warhop survived his second regime change. He was brought to Cleveland by Eric Mangini in 2009 and stayed under Shurmur. He leads a young unit that appears to be on the upswing and a strength of the team.

Tabor’s units struggled during his first season in the role in 2011, but rebounded significantly in 2012. Led by kicker Phil Dawson, returner and cover guy Joshua Cribbs and rookie coverage specialist Johnson Bademosi, the Browns’ special teams were in the top five in the league in overall ranking.

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