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Browns fire Chudzinski after one season

Published: Mon, December 30, 2013 @ 12:15 a.m.


Cleveland head coach Rob Chudzinski walks the sideline during a game against the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass. After only one year as coach, Chudzinski was fired Sunday, just hours after the Browns’ final game — a 20-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

Chudzinski fired after 4-12 season

Cleveland Plain Dealer


Citing a “concerning step backward in the second half of the year,’’ the Browns fired head coach Rob Chudzinski Sunday night after only one season.

The announcement came at about 9:35 Sunday night, about five hours after the Browns closed their season at 4-12 with a 20-7 loss to Pittsburgh — their seventh straight loss and 10th in 11 games.

The firing came after a lengthy meeting between Chudzinski, Browns CEO Joe Banner and owner Jimmy Haslam in which Chudzinski had an opportunity to plead his case, a source told Cleveland.com.

The meeting was supposed to take place this morning, but Chudzinski, who has three years left on his contract, pushed for it to be moved up.

Chudzinski’s two coordinators, Norv Turner and Ray Horton, are also expected to be gone soon, and it’s doubtful anyone on the current staff will remain. The staff is expected to meet with the top brass early this morning.

A source said the Browns regretted having to fire Chudzinski after one year, but that they saw the team regressing and felt it was time to cut their losses.

Leading candidates to replace Chudzinski will be Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, a graduate of Canton McKinley High and John Carroll University, and Penn State’s Bill O’Brien, the former Patriots offensive coordinator. O’Brien, the frontrunner for the Texans job, interviewed for the Browns vacancy last year, but opted to stay at Penn State for a second season.

The Browns wanted to interview McDaniels last year, but he wasn’t ready to leave New England. A source told Cleveland.com last year that McDaniels would “jump at the chance’’ to coach his hometown team when he was ready to return to the head coaching ranks.

The Browns called a press conference for 12:30 p.m. today and issued the following unattributed statement:

“We appreciate Chud’s passion for the Browns, and we have great respect for him both personally and professionally. We needed to see progress with this football team. We needed to see development and improvement as the season evolved and, unfortunately, we took a concerning step backward in the second half of the year.

“Our fans deserve to see a consistently competitive team. We have high standards, and there’s an urgency for success. When we believed we were not positioned to achieve significant progress in 2014, we knew we had to admit that a change was needed, and move forward.

“Browns fans are the most loyal and passionate supporters in the NFL. We’re fully committed to bringing them the winning football team they deserve.”

On Sunday, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam was so disgusted with his team’s performance in Pittsburgh — and 20-0 deficit in the fourth quarter — that he stalked out of Heinz Field with about six minutes remaining, before the Browns averted their first shutout of the season. He was also incensed after last week’s 24-13 loss to the Jets, a game in which the Browns felt they had superior talent and lost by a double-digit margin.

Despite using three quarterbacks this season, the front office felt the team was getting worse by the week instead of better, a source said.

Meanwhile, the front office looked around and saw other first-time coaches excelling, including Eagles Chip Kelly (10-6), Arizona’s Bruce Arians (10-6), San Diego’s Mike McCoy (9-7) and Chicago’s Marc Trestman.


1MLC75(654 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

I never liked Chud as a coach,he never showed any fire.He was almost like Shurmur,always low key.The players always seemed to be flat and not fired up,that is on Chud.

I agree with 123goz,I don't think he was able to evaluate talent.It is getting old,I'm a season ticket holder and I'm really getting sick of seeing nothing but losing.

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2YtownSports(306 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

No organization can expect to be successful with "leadership" turnover as frequent as the Browns. It's more an indictment of upper level management's inability to recognize the traits which are inherent in good coaches and players. OK, maybe Chudzinski wasn't a great choice, but who in management thought he was? That person should be fired, too. Jimmy Haslem needs to make the proverbial "offer that can't be refused" to get a top-notch coach who ordinarily would not consider coming to Cleveland to change his mind. Then they need to stick with him and let him get the job done.

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3walter_sobchak(2634 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Here we go again! The carousel continues. Why would anyone in their right mind want to come to work for this joke organization? Jimmah and Banner need only look into a mirror to see the problem. Poor organization and no leadership from the top on down.

But, I can't say that Chud was the right choice to begin with. It seems most game plans were adequate until halftime. The other teams made adjustments and the Browns did not. Thus, all the 4th quarter collapses. Then, look at pesonnel. O-line is questionable. Receivers dropping passes. Absolutely no running game. Go to defense and it is filled with stiffs! There is not ONE player on the defense that opposing teams look at and say "we have to avoid him". Of course, all the TV commentators gush over Ray Horton as D-coordinator. But, you can't criticize the black guy! This defense is pathetic. Then, the new front office, with their first pick, selects Barkevius Mingo, an absolute stick-figure that doesn't start and when he does play, was getting pushed around.

What is the one thing college "player X" does not want to hear on draft day? The commissioner saying "with the first pick in the NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select "Player X""! Career killer, right there!

The factory of sadness continues....

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4southsidedave(5185 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

If the Browns ever get their act together the fans will literally explode in Cleveland, the most loyal fan base anywhere - always the same story, wait till next year!

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5DSquared(1757 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Haslam and his tribe may be wearing prison jumpsuits soon, and Banner will not take the responsibility for any of his or Lombardi's screw-ups, so hence Chud becomes the fall guy. A truly "gutless" act from a truly "gutless" organization. All Browns fans should march to Berea with their torches aflame! Or else just not show up next season!

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