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Steve Smith: Chudzinski was calling plays to get a new job

Rob Chudzinski, Steve Smith AP

The Panthers were often more creative than effective on offense last year.

And Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith said he thinks that’s because former offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski was more interested in getting a promotion than using the resources he had to their fullest. If he did, it worked, as Chudzinski’s now the head coach in Cleveland.

“The prior offensive coordinator [Chudzinski] really was positioning himself to just apply for that head coaching job,” Smith said during a conference call with Seattle reporters, via Terry Blount of ESPN.com. “I think our offense suffered a little bit because of that.”

When Chudzinski walked into Carolina in 2011, he had a set of personnel which included a stable of talented backs, one great deep threat in Smith and a good one in Brandon LaFell, a solid tight end in Greg Olsen and a young quarterback in Cam Newton who throws a good deep ball.

But the Panthers leaned too heavily toward the read-option game with Newton at times, and had more success when head coach Ron Rivera dialed back some of the versatility in the second half of last year. Expect them to stay more traditional under new offensive coordinator Mike Shula.

“At times, we got cute,” Smith said. “We did things that weren’t necessarily us, like the underutilizing of [running back] Mike Tolbert. But we’re out of that. The past is the past. . . .

“I think Coach Shula is going to change things up, and he has so far. He just does little different things. Some of it looks small, but we’re focusing more on the details, and that’s the difference.”

While it remains to be seen if Shula’s the right man for the job, it’s obvious that Chudzinski might not have been. Smith is a passionate player, and has traded in blunt honesty for other means of expressing himself in recent years.

So while Chudzinski’s motivations might be subject to debate, the results indicate that Smith’s got a point, even if it wasn’t expressed in time.

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45 Responses to “Steve Smith: Chudzinski was calling plays to get a new job”
  1. phinfan says: Sep 4, 2013 4:26 PM

    Shut up and play!

  2. nitzenbaum - not yer momma's 'skins fan says: Sep 4, 2013 4:30 PM

    Man, does any team have more excuses than the Panthers? Try harder, do better.

  3. dontasemebro says: Sep 4, 2013 4:30 PM

    Steve Smith likes to hear himself talk.

  4. lingsun54 says: Sep 4, 2013 4:32 PM

    I don’t see Mike Shula as being a great replacement. I think he’s cashed in on his name.

  5. verticalgame510 says: Sep 4, 2013 4:35 PM

    Run, run, pass, Punt. Mike Shula system.

  6. tennesseeoilers says: Sep 4, 2013 4:35 PM

    I’ve been an NFL fan since 1978, and this is the first time I’ve ever heard of a coordinator specifically calling plays with a job application in mind. That said, I also know that Steve Smith is one of the most forthright players in all of football. … I believe him.

  7. ProDolphinsTalk says: Sep 4, 2013 4:39 PM

    I believe him yo. I don’t know why but I do.
    – Scarface

  8. oldbrowndawg says: Sep 4, 2013 4:40 PM

    Steve Smith has been a loudmouth for years. He’s always carping and griping about something. Big mouth, small stones, methinks. He waited for Chud to leave town before panning him. Nothing to see here, folks. Move on.

  9. wtfchiefs says: Sep 4, 2013 4:40 PM

    He was!!!?? No way!!

    Next thing you know we will find out the players are only playing for money too.

  10. wilsonwillbreaku says: Sep 4, 2013 4:41 PM

    Already making excuses for week 1 when Sherman shuts him down again.

  11. trollaikman8 says: Sep 4, 2013 4:43 PM

    Everyone knew the Pink Panthers would fail when their idiot center put out a newspaper ad saying that they are headed to the Super Bowl.

    Thanks Kalil, just snap the ball and try not to get blown up.

  12. skoalbrother says: Sep 4, 2013 4:44 PM

    “But the Panthers leaned too heavily toward the read-option game with Newton at times, and had more success when head coach Ron Rivera dialed back some of the versatility in the second half of last year. Expect them to stay more traditional under new offensive coordinator Mike Shula.”

    Translation –

    Cam didn’t understand the playbook.

  13. mackie66 says: Sep 4, 2013 4:45 PM

    Opinions are like A-H’s, everybody gott’em.

  14. sactogary says: Sep 4, 2013 4:45 PM

    I don’t get it. What is Smith saying? How could doing a poor job of play-calling help him get a head coaching job?

  15. nfloracle says: Sep 4, 2013 4:45 PM

    Best possible season with Shula calling the plays = 6 and 10.

  16. shayeezy says: Sep 4, 2013 4:45 PM

    steve tells it like it is, and anyone who watched the panthers last year knows that chudzinski was going about it the wrong way. there is no excuse for cam being the leading rusher on a team with d’angelo williams, jonathan stewart (for 9 games), and mike tolbert in the backfield.

  17. thegreatgabbert says: Sep 4, 2013 4:49 PM

    Chud was just looking to advance his own career. But he ended up being named the head coach in Cleveland. Karma.

  18. niko0063 says: Sep 4, 2013 4:50 PM

    Translation: “I didnt get enough touches, therefore the OC was the worst”

  19. cguy7 says: Sep 4, 2013 4:51 PM

    Pretzel logic at its finest… The reality is Steve is over the hill, LaFell is an average talent at best, poor run blocking offensive line. No secondary and an atrocious run D. Chud attempted to maximize their offensive talents, and they had a decent second half of the season. Steve must be frustrated that he didn’t get a chance to assault a teammate this offseason… Horrible spin job – you guys just are not that good.

  20. captainwisdom8888 says: Sep 4, 2013 4:51 PM

    Professional athletes are asked innumerable questions on almost a daily basis, and they have an obligation to interact with the media to a degree. I understand this rationale when a player is talking like an idiot, but it seems to be wildly popular for fans to react to any statement made by a player with a ” Just shut up and play!” type of attitude. We all know that it is the player’s duty to perform well on the field, but does this waive that person’s right to speak freely like the rest of us?

    Again, if someone is talking like their head is stuck up inside their rear end…than by all means “just shut up and play,” but this statement is too often and too easily thrown around at everyone all the time.

  21. selmonfan63 says: Sep 4, 2013 4:52 PM

    Smith is about to get what he wants. There is nothing creative about Mike Shula.

  22. browns627 says: Sep 4, 2013 4:53 PM

    i guess carolina stunk it up because chud couldnt hang onto the ball

  23. furnhole says: Sep 4, 2013 4:56 PM

    Shula’s terrible. He the reason Dungy was let go from the Bucs.

  24. getyourownname says: Sep 4, 2013 4:57 PM

    “…former offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski was more interested in getting a promotion ….”

    Well, some would say he failed to attain that objective.

  25. lgw91s says: Sep 4, 2013 4:58 PM

    Don’t we all work with someone who will focus on the short term to get promoted? Happens everywhere, Steve.

  26. geefan1 says: Sep 4, 2013 4:58 PM

    Wasn’t Chud running the same offense in 2011 when they went from last in offense the prior year to 7th overall?

  27. cmhdave73 says: Sep 4, 2013 4:59 PM

    This makes no sense what so ever. Think about it for a moment from Chud’s perspective. If he wants to get a head coaching job, how is the best way to do that? To win. You don’t call plays differently to try to get a head coaching job at the expense of winning. I don’t even know how that is possible.

    Steve Smith wanted the ball more and is going to throw someone under the bus for it not happening.

  28. moeman79 says: Sep 4, 2013 5:04 PM

    Some people should not be allowed to talk. What Coordinator is not playing for a head coach job? What player is not playing to get a bigger contract? If you do good and win people notice if you don’t you can cry about it.

  29. motown81 says: Sep 4, 2013 5:05 PM

    Attacks his teammates with his fists and now his former coach with words. Classy guy.

  30. smartestpackerfan says: Sep 4, 2013 5:07 PM

    Sadly Rodgers does this too. He blames everyone else for his failures. Just ask Donald Driver.

  31. wearethesteelers says: Sep 4, 2013 5:19 PM

    You would have to put a gun to my head to make me go to Cleveland, even then I think I’d prefer the bullet.

  32. taxexpert1 says: Sep 4, 2013 5:29 PM

    Didn’t Carolina win 5 out of their last 6? What is he talking about?

  33. granadafan says: Sep 4, 2013 5:33 PM

    If you disagree with Smith, he’ll smash your face in.

  34. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Sep 4, 2013 5:58 PM

    I hear you Smith but the starting offense has looked terrible in preseason.

  35. ballboy48 says: Sep 4, 2013 6:21 PM

    Smith is worried about Chud, yet his QB thinks he’s superman. Didn’t Chud have the 2007 Cleveland Browns offense ranked 7 or 8 and scored over 400 pts with Derek Anderson at QB? And didn’t Chud’s offense in Carolina rank 7 in 2011? Sometimes you just have to shake your head.

  36. bullethead527 says: Sep 4, 2013 7:31 PM

    Chud would not allow Cam to change plays at the line, facing 3rd and inches, Chud would call a Hailmary, why? Dude was insane

  37. jrcoop says: Sep 4, 2013 8:10 PM

    Smith isn’t one to hold back his opinion if he believes he’s correct. You Browns fans should hope that he’s correct rather than slam him, because if he isn’t, then you may be in for a long season judging from his results in Carolina.

  38. oneandonlyramsfaninpa says: Sep 4, 2013 8:13 PM

    I expect the panthers to do well in the offensive game. I think that they will be more effective than flashy. and that’s all that Steve Smith is saying, why does everyone have to hate. u don’t have to be a fan of a team say good things about them. panthers will do well this year, maybe jot playoffs but well

  39. jvw1982 says: Sep 4, 2013 8:59 PM

    The only person that can stop Steve Smith is Cam Newton…..Smith is a beast……

  40. Erik says: Sep 4, 2013 9:17 PM

    Everybody knows it’s because Cam couldn’t handle anything more complex than the made-for-rookie techmo bowl play calling.

  41. teek77 says: Sep 4, 2013 11:37 PM

    Why are all these anti-Panther fans keeping up with the Panther page and generating so much hate for them? Must be fear that the Cats could be a force to be reckoned with this year. Either that or Brown fans that don’t want to admit that they bought a lemon!

  42. excessivedrinking says: Sep 5, 2013 4:58 AM

    The browns will be 5 and 11, at best.

  43. superpunky5 says: Sep 5, 2013 11:21 AM

    That sawed off Dwayne Jarret need to worry about his own lame duck coach.

  44. mrfrostyj says: Sep 5, 2013 11:37 PM

    He’s right. I bet all Panthers fans miss the Pre Chud days when Smith was the star and they could look forward to having a top 3 draft pick.

    Sounds like he’s jealous of the attention Newton was getting for carrying the team.

  45. snakeskinsoul says: Sep 6, 2013 11:10 AM

    being too “cute” on offense doesn’t help your resume and get you a head coaching gig..being SUCCESSFUL does…

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