January 12, 2013 in Sports

Browns hire longtime fan as their coach


(Full-size photo)

Rob Chudzinski’s roots run 44 years deep with the Cleveland Browns.

As a kid, he buckled on his orange helmet and ran around his backyard in Toledo, Ohio, pretending he was Ozzie Newsome. He sat outside in the snow and watched Cleveland games on TV through the window to make it feel like he was in the Dawg Pound.

He chomped on dog biscuits.

On Friday, a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity came true for Chudzinski, who was introduced as the Browns’ sixth full-time coach since 1999. Although he has never been a head coach, “Chud” was selected over candidates with more experience and stronger resumes.

This is Chudzinski’s third stint with the Browns. He coached Cleveland’s tight ends in 2004 and was the team’s offensive coordinator in 2007-08. In his first season calling plays, the Browns went 10-6 and had four players make the Pro Bowl.

Dallas hires Monte Kiffin

The Dallas Cowboys have hired former Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin to the same position to replace Rob Ryan.

The team announced the move on its website, a day after the 72-year-old Kiffin was at team headquarters to interview with coach Jason Garrett and owner Jerry Jones.

The hiring of Kiffin means the Cowboys will switch back to the 4-3 defense after going to the 3-4 under Bill Parcells in 2005.

Quick kicks

The NFL players’ union does not plan a formal investigation into how the Washington Redskins medical staff handled Robert Griffin III’s knee injury. The NFL Players Association said Friday that they were satisfied with a report received from the Redskins detailing the procedures used by team physician James Andrews and other staff on the sidelines. … New Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid began filling out his staff, hiring former Eagles quarterbacks coach Doug Pederson to be his offensive coordinator and longtime Jets assistant Bob Sutton as the defensive coordinator. … Longtime NFL assistant and current CFL coach Marc Trestman denies a rumor that the Chicago Bears are set to hire him. In an email to the Montreal Gazette, Trestman wrote, “I have not heard from the Bears and have responded in that manner on multiple levels.” … Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak is parting ways with special teams coach Alan Lowry, the designer of the Music City Miracle play that spurred their Super Bowl run in 2000. … The Eagles will interview Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden on Monday.

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