Panthers quarterback Cam Newton credits Browns coach Rob Chudzinski, his former offensive corodinator, with his smashing NFL debut, and is confident he'll be a great head coach.

"Coach Chud was a very influential coach that I owe a lot to,'' Newton said here after a Gatorade press conference. "My progression coming into this league and understanding what people are going to try to do to me and how they're going to try to disguise things, he's a great coach, and he does well with different personalities. I'm rooting for him, I'm wishing him the best and I know he's going to do great in Cleveland.''

Under Chudzinski in 2011, Newton, the No. 1 overall pick that year, became the first rookie in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards, while setting an NFL record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 14. He was also named 2011 Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year.

"The thing that makes coach Chudzinski so different is that he's like a hybrid,'' said Newton. "He takes so many different forms of offense and combines it with his own. He's been under (former Chargers head coach and current Browns offensive coordinator) Norv Turner and learned so much from him. But coach Chud understood what I could and what I was comfortable with. He also has to have a dominant running game. So for us to have a downfield passing attack, we have to combine it with those factors, and just makes him even more of a flexible coach.''