Steve Smith: Ex-Panthers coordinator Rob Chudzinski was problem last season

Wednesday September 4th, 2013

Steve Smith said ex-Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski was auditioning for a head coach job. (Getty Images) Steve Smith said ex-offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski was auditioning for a head coach job. (Getty Images)

Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith pointed to former offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski's ambition as a problem for the team's production last season.

Speaking to reporters via a Wednesday conference call, Smith said Chudzinski was "positioning himself" for the Browns' head coaching job -- a job he eventually won.


"The prior offensive coordinator [Chudzinski] really was positioning himself to just apply for that head coaching job," Smith said. "I think our offense suffered a little bit because of that.''

As a result, Smith said the Panthers strayed too far from their strengths.

"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."

BURKE & FARRAR: 2013 Preseason All-Pro Team

Smith was complimentary of the Panthers' new offensive coordinator, Mike Shula, who was Carolina's quarterbacks coach last season.

"I think Coach Shula is going to change things up, and he has so far," Smith said. "He just does little different things. Some of it looks small, but we're focusing more on the details, and that's the difference."
a more balanced offense
SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.