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               === Chudzinski ready to lead his favorite team ===
 
 Berea, OH (Sports Network) - Rob Chudzinski is coming home, sort of.
 
 Chudzinski  was named  the new coach of the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night
 and  said Friday during  his introductory news conference that he was a fan of
 the team while growing up on the other side of Ohio in Toledo.
 
 "I'm excited about the chance to bring back what I grew up in, and the feeling
 that  this  city, this  region, this  area had in  the Cleveland Browns," said
 Chudzinski.  "I was the  kid in the backyard pretending I was Ozzie Newsome or
 Brian  Sipe  or the  greats that  played for Cleveland.  The tradition of this
 franchise is such that the people here want a winner and I would not miss this
 for  the world,  the opportunity  to  come back  and  bring a  winner back  to
 Cleveland."
 
 Chudzinski had two previous stints in the Browns' organization, first as tight
 ends  coach in  2004 and as offensive coordinator in 2007-08. He most-recently
 spent two years as the offensive coordinator with the Carolina Panthers.
 
 "We  were  focusing on  a strong leader,  somebody that was  going to create a
 culture,  an  entire program, put together  a great staff and manage them, and
 was  really,  really committed to  setting a very  high bar and achieving it,"
 said  Browns  CEO Joe  Banner. "We're  very excited about  having Rob here and
 believe he fits exactly what we're looking for."
 
 Chudzinski  will  become the sixth  full-time head  coach for the Browns since
 1999.  He'll take  over for Pat Shurmur,  who was fired at the conclusion of a
 5-11  season  in 2012. Shurmur was  9-23 in his two  years at the helm and was
 ousted a few months after Jimmy Haslam purchased the club and brought in a new
 front office.
 
 The  Browns  interviewed numerous candidates, including  what was said to be a
 serious  discussion  with Oregon's  Chip Kelly last  weekend. Kelly decided to
 remain  at  Oregon, although the  Browns had indicated  that they had moved on
 before the coach made his decision to stay in the collegiate ranks.
 
 "We talked to nine or 10 of, I believe, the best coaches in the country," said
 Haslam.  "We talked  to current  pro  coaches; we  talked to  former pro  head
 coaches;  we talked  to  current college  coaches; we  talked  to several  pro
 coordinators  and  I believe  we came  back with  the best  person to lead the
 Cleveland  Browns to  the kind  of  winning format  that  we want  to have  in
 Cleveland and that we all expect to have."
 
 The  Browns have made  the playoffs just once since returning to the NFL as an
 expansion  franchise  in 1999.  That came in  2002. The team  has had just one
 winning season since -- a 10-6 mark in 2007.
 
 Chudzinski  was the  offensive coordinator  for that  2007 club.  Four of  his
 players made the Pro Bowl that season.
 
 Following  his  second stint with the  Browns, Chudzinski went to San Diego as
 assistant  head coach and tight ends coach under Norv Turner. Reports indicate
 that  Chudzinski may  bring in Turner, fired as Chargers head coach last week,
 as his offensive coordinator.
 
 "I  felt like the opportunities I've had to be with the coaches I've been with
 allowed  me to see some of the day-to-day things that head coaches do and what
 comes  across  their desk,"  said Chudzinski,  a first-time  head coach at any
 level.  "I  feel very  prepared. I've  been fortunate to  be around some great
 coaches going back to my playing days."
 
 Chudzinski  was a tight  end at Miami-Florida from 1986-90 and was a member of
 two  national  championship teams.  He  began  his  coaching career  with  the
 Hurricanes  in 1994  and remained there until 2003 before his first stint with
 the Browns.
 
 
 
 
 01/11 12:54:15 ET