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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Just When Things Looked Up...

I have to admit, Carolina rode a nice wave of good things for a while.
A winning streak to end the season, and retaining the coach that helped bring it together, brought some positivity.   Adding a GM everyone thinks well of – that doesn’t hurt.  It seemed like Carolina had some real momentum.  
They had a coach and GM when a third of the league didn’t.  With Dave Toub interviewing for the ST job, a major get if they were to pull that off?  Again, trending upward.   There were reports that Norv Turner was in town; completely unsourced rumor had him unofficially joining the staff without a position, for a moment.  And, then, that’s when Chud left. 
You can’t begrudge Rob Chudzinski for getting his dream job.  But it brings a host of problems.
Chud appears poised to take Norv with him, and only naturally, his son Scott as well.  Norv would’ve been an ideal transition piece for the offense.  It’s not that the team was going to live and die based on the availability of the younger Turner, but Chud’s right hand man upstairs was a riser on this staff.  Chances are, he’d have had first shot at the position coach job at WR, a job I’d expect he’ll take in Cleveland now.   Carolina can’t and wouldn’t let him go. 
So, at first glance, the Chargers’ staff being released would be a positive for a staff laden with former Chargers, but now it’s going to play second fiddle to a Browns staff that’ll have more loyalty to its former head coach.   Carolina has to fill five spots – four offensive – and has to compete with its former offensive mind to get
Now, the open positions can be a positive.  The new OC, who I’d assume to be Mike Shula at this point, can choose his own staffers.  If, for some reason, there’s scheme change, the remaining jobs could tailor toward that change, or without scheme change, the new OC can provide some new hires that he’s comfortable with.  And since Chud himself tended to overthink, a new approach to the same offense might not hurt. 
But, it’s a critical time for the team, in an already do-or-die situation.  I'm personally hoping for Hue Jackson over Mike Shula, but either at this point seems acceptable.  Let's hope that's the case. 
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