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January 10, 2012

Mularkey hire should keep 'Chud' in Charlotte

The Jacksonville Jaguars will introduce Atlanta offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey as their head coach Wednesday – a move that means the Panthers should be able to hang on to their own offensive coordinator for at least another year.

Rob Chudzinski interviewed with Jacksonville last week after taking the Panthers' last-in-the-league offense in 2010 and turning it into a top-10 unit.

Although there are still several openings around the league, including two more in the state of Florida, sources told the Observer no other teams have yet to contact the Panthers asking for permission to speak to Chudzinski.

That's good news for Panthers' fans. Chudzinski, 43, showed in his first season with Carolina that he is one of the bright, young offensive minds in football.

He designed an innovative offense meant to take advantage of quarterback Cam Newton's unique abilities to throw and run. To that end, the Panthers ran schemes as varied as the triple option to the vertical passing attack Chudzinski brought from San Diego, where he was tight ends coach under Norv Turner.

Given Newton's rapid development during his record-breaking rookie season, losing Chudzinski would have been a huge blow to Ron Rivera and the Panthers' organization.

Mularkey, who has a close relationship with Jags GM Gene Smith, was considered the frontrunner to succeed Jack Del Rio, who was fired in November after nine seasons. Mularkey has head-coaching experience – going 14-18 in two seasons in Buffalo – and interviewed for two positions last offseason.

This was Chudzinski's first experience interviewing for a head-coaching spot, and it won't be his last.

But for now, the man known as “Chud” likely will be staying in Charlotte.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on January 10, 2012 at 11:59 PM | Permalink


Maybe Jack Del Rio will come back to Carolina as some sort of D Coordintor. I remember him giving us the number 2 defense before he left to the Jags.

Hey, its wishful thinking...

Posted by: Trey | Jan 11, 2012 1:54:39 AM

More likely he would end up in Denver with Fox.

Posted by: dbigcat | Jan 11, 2012 3:00:58 AM

I'm hearing the St Louis Rams just got permission to interview Chud for their head coaching position. Man, I sure hope we luck out and get to keep him here.

Posted by: Mikey | Jan 11, 2012 3:03:58 AM

dbc: Not likely. That marriage did not end well.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Jan 11, 2012 3:56:12 AM


Posted by: chud the ram | Jan 11, 2012 6:11:20 AM

Jerry you need to break the bank to keep this guy!

Posted by: Troy | Jan 11, 2012 7:44:47 AM

Like somebody said earlier, we are not out of the woods yet (on keeping Chud) St Louis is a' callin'! LEAVE US ALONE! Go find someone else!

Posted by: Mexoplex | Jan 11, 2012 7:50:24 AM

mikey - I'd be stunned if Fisher doesn't wind up in St. Louis. Already have a franchise QB in Bradford and lots of picks and money to build the team of his dreams. Only downside is that they're one of the ones considered a possibility to move to LA.

Posted by: Curry | Jan 11, 2012 8:31:37 AM

Why make this into a story?

Chudzinski is not ready to be a Head Coach at this time. People sure are giving a great deal of credit for Cam's record-breaking success to Chud, when I think people need to tone it down just a bit.
Chud provided a terrific offensive scheme, and was quite creative in his play-calling. The reason we are so excited is that we've had the Vanilla offense of John Fox. Chud added sprinkles, Hot Fudge, and a cherry on top of the Vanilla, so Panther fans thought this was the best thing...EVER.

Get control of yourselves...Chud needs at least another year, and a playoff march, to prove he is capable of completely turning around an anemic offense.

Posted by: Thor Johnson | Jan 11, 2012 8:33:10 AM

chud is definatly one of a kind as far as some of his offensive strategies

Posted by: Power Factor Correction | Jan 11, 2012 9:02:06 AM

Let's hope that Mr. Richardson opens up his wallet to keep Chud. Don't blame Fox for the offense.....he had nothing to work with at QB and Jeff Davidson was the offensive coordinator and was clearly not a wise choice for that position. I believe he is was the D-line with the Vikings. We have a good D coordinator, all he needs is some decent players in the secondary. It's time for Godfrey and Gamble to go!

Posted by: Palmetto Jack | Jan 11, 2012 9:12:38 AM

Indeed, the Rams have received permission to interview Chud. I now live in STL (but still a Panther's fan and original season ticket holder for 1st 5 years until transfered). If Fisher goes to Miami, all bets are off, as I don't think there is another "proven" head coach they like. Kronke (Rams owner) wants an experienced guy, but if they go the coordinator route, Chud will get a serious look.

Posted by: Bassman | Jan 11, 2012 9:34:15 AM

CO, do try to keep up. Chud is interviewing for the Rams job. It might to get Fisher to commit or it could be that they think he can work magic with Bradford. In any event, losing the Jax job, doesn't mean he won't go away. Personally, I don't think Chud thinks thinks he's ready just yet. Any interviews are for experience he'll use down the road.

Posted by: qdog112 | Jan 11, 2012 9:39:49 AM

The Rams are not interested in Chud. They are requesting interviews with half of the coordinators in the league to create leverage with Fisher. If Fisher goes to Miami they will look to a more experienced guy to be their head coach.

Posted by: Jimcat | Jan 11, 2012 9:48:05 AM

This is a side-effect of people in Carolina having never had a real offensive coordinator. Chud isn't doing anything special that a dozen other offensive coordinators around the league aren't doing. It's just that we've never seen it before with the panthers.

Posted by: Adam | Jan 11, 2012 10:11:39 AM

the panthers need to open up there wallets and start keeping good people

Posted by: tony | Jan 11, 2012 10:11:50 AM

I still have some money left over from my college days if Jerry needs some money to retain Chud.

Posted by: Cam Newton | Jan 11, 2012 10:46:47 AM

he'll be here next year. stop worrying.

Posted by: Ace Juniper | Jan 11, 2012 10:49:41 AM

Changing OC's is a very big deal ,so i hope he stay's ,or the offense could take a step backward.

Posted by: John Fox | Jan 11, 2012 10:53:34 AM

I think these teams are looking at the weapons we have on offense and then at Chud and saying that's just a good marriage. Chud would be frustrated without some good weapons. These guys aren't just good, we have the best all around backfield in the nfl.

Posted by: Stephen | Jan 11, 2012 11:05:25 AM

I love this for two reasons. First Atlanta looses their O.C. and he was pretty good, so maybe the Falcons will have a little bit of an offensive fall off next year, seeing that a new guy will have to try and pick things up. Second, Chud buddy may very well stay put. Which if he does, will only bring Cam further along in the offensive system thats in place now. Chud isn't even close to being done with his new Superman toy yet. Once Chud figures out just how to use all of Cam's talents and adds a couple of new action figures (wideouts) to the mix, watch out, the offense will be even more wide open. Look people, if you can't get excited about the prospects for this team's outlook for next year, then you're just not a true football fan and need to find something else to do on Sundays

Posted by: Vinny | Jan 11, 2012 11:46:03 AM

Vinny, from what I have read in other places ATL may have been looking at making a change anyway. Jax just saved them the trouble. That offense should be more explosive with White and Jones out there.

Posted by: DaveT | Jan 11, 2012 2:59:55 PM

To power factor who said Gamble should go, you must not have watched him shut down every number 1 receiver he faced the entire year. He simply was never beat 1v1 ever.

Posted by: PanthersFan | Jan 12, 2012 3:15:27 AM

To power factor who said Gamble should go, you must not have watched him shut down every number 1 receiver he faced the entire year. He simply was never beat 1v1 ever.

Posted by: PanthersFan | Jan 12, 2012 3:15:32 AM

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