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DeAngelo Williams says strong start due to Rob Chudzinski’s departure

DeAngelo Williams, Antrel Rolle

Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams (34) runs as New York Giants strong safety Antrel Rolle (26) defends during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Through the first three weeks of the season, Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams is the league’s third leading rusher with 291 yards. Only LeSean McCoy of the Philadelphia Eagles (395) and Doug Martin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (297) have rushed for more yards so far this season.

For Williams, he believes the fact that Rob Chudzinski is no longer the Panthers’ offensive coordinator has a lot to do with that.

According to David Newton of, Williams took some not-so-subtle shots directed at the departed Chudzinski.

I’m not going to start anything or push anything out there,” Williams said. “I can say this, though -- a different offensive coordinator. I can definitely say that. The last offensive coordinator got rid of his starting running back.”

Williams was speaking to Chudzinski - now the head coach of the Cleveland Browns - being a pivotal piece in the decision by the Browns to trade Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts last week. Williams implied that Chudzinski wasn’t interested in cultivating an effective rushing game.

“You tell me what the difference is in 2013 versus 2012,” Williams said.

Williams isn’t the first Carolina player to take a shot at Chudzinski this season. Wide receiver Steve Smith also threw Chudzinski under the bus about how he ran the team’s offense last year in a conference call with Seattle reporters prior to their season opening game against the Seahawks.

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

“At times, we got cute. We did things that weren’t necessarily us, like the under-utilizing of Mike Tolbert. But we’re out of that. The past is the past,” he added.

Outside of Cam Newton, Williams and Smith and the two biggest pieces of the Panthers offense and both can’t seem to find anything good to say about their former offensive coordinator. Whether Mike Shula can be an improvement remains to be seen but Williams and Smith both seem to feel better about the Panthers’ offense with Chudzinski no longer at the helm.