Posted December 30, 2013

Rob Chudzinski fired by Cleveland Browns

AFC North, Cleveland Browns

Less than one calendar year after tabbing Rob Chudzinski as the guy to help them end at least two decades of frustration, the Browns reversed course Sunday and axed Chudzinski.

“We appreciate Chud’s passion for the Browns, and we have great respect for him both personally and professionally,” the team said in a statement. “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.

BLACK MONDAY TRACKER: Updates on latest firings, rumors

“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.”

It was a rather surprising turn of events for a team that finally seemed like it might be headed in the right direction early in 2013. A closer look at how it unraveled:

Tale of the tape: 4-12 record in 2013; 4-12 record with team overall.

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What Went Wrong: Well, for starters, it seems as if the Browns had second thoughts from the get-go about hiring Chudzinski, a first-time head coach. That speaks as much to the dysfunction in Cleveland’s front office as it does to Chudzinski’s abilities.

The season actually started surprisingly well for a Browns team not expected to go very far in 2013. They ran off three straight wins in late September/early October, with Brian Hoyer at quarterback, to get above .500 and still sat at 4-5 headed into their bye.

From there, disaster. The Browns lost their last seven games, giving up 27 points or more in five of them as Ray Horton’s defense crumpled behind a struggling offense. Even though the Trent Richardson trade looked brilliant in bringing back a Round 1 pick, the Browns never found a true No. 1 RB. And with issues at quarterback continuing to linger, that was too much to overcome.

Roster Outlook: The Browns do have some talented pieces in place — WR Josh Gordon is a burgeoning star, Joe Thomas a standout left tackle and Joe Haden a very solid No. 1 cornerback.

Aside from finding the aforementioned starting quarterback, running back (and help at wide receiver), the biggest decision might surround what to do with center Alex Mack. He’s arguably the best at this position in the league, meaning he’ll have a chance to cash in as a free agent, though he’s reportedly said he will allow Cleveland the chance to match any offer. Would the Browns consider using a franchise tag instead?

Much of what happens from here with the roster will be determined by the schemes of the next staff. (The Browns will reportedly retain the coaching staff for now and begin their search for a new head coach with them in place.) The Chudzinski era was built around a vertical passing attack and 3-4 defense. Cleveland may have to go back to the drawing board.

Possible Replacement(s): Josh McDaniels, Bill O’Brien, Lovie Smith, Kevin Sumlin, Ray Horton

GALLERY: One and done coaches in the NFL

28 comments
TimothyONicholsJr
TimothyONicholsJr

Cleveland Browns need some new players. spend the money to get the Grit iron Vets that can win games.

Joseph Rodocker
Joseph Rodocker

Who gives a #^$£@ about the damn coaches? You people crack me up! This man just paid one billion dollars for this franchise! Can you even count to a billion? He and his entire family are successes (father-billionaire, brother-governor of tennessee) He wants to win and will pay whatever it is to do so! Be thankful for an owner who will not tolerate being a damn loser

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

Mike Shanahan is looking for work.

Kevin11
Kevin11

NFL Network devoted WAY TOO MUCH time to this firing, a 100% non-event. I mean, seriously, the Clowns? Almost 30 minutes of time wasted on this bit of "news"?

PhillyPenn
PhillyPenn

So glad Banner is out of town, you are welcome to him Cleveland

ChiefG
ChiefG

Coaching only goes so far.  The coaches don't actually play. Yes, I would place a lot of blame on offensive and defensive coordinators. More than I would place on the head coach. I was never a fan of Coach Chud, but I think he deserved more than one year to turn around a team that has sucked for the last 14 years. It's also time to start making these over paid players responsible for the losing just as much if not more than the coaches. They are supposed to be professionals. Watching the game yesterday was probably the worst game of this season. It was obvious nobody even seemed to care about who won and couldn't wait till the game was over. I have never seen so many players just standing around watching the play instead of taking part in it. It was a total embarrassment to all the fans and the City of Cleveland. These players get paid a hell of a lot of money to play a "game".  If I acted the way they did in my job, I would be fired. It was a disgrace. Coaching only goes so far. These are "professionals". They should already know how to play. I too am tired of the losing every season. But, it's time to spread the blame. It's not just the coaching that failed once again

RobertJacke
RobertJacke

Just watched an interview with the owner and GM, after 1 year you fired the guy you wanted, maybe they dont know what they want.....You are one and done in Cleveland........I guess the owner is upset because he is losing money and that what he cares about not winning.........

stagger
stagger

Funniest line of 2013: "We have high standards." - Cleveland Browns

6marK6
6marK6

Cannot imagine a legitimate coach agreeing to take that position. Here is garbage, you have one year to turn it around. There is a reason why they are right there with the Raiders for lousiest franchise.

strat68
strat68

Cleveland:  "The Factory of Sadness"

Matthew W
Matthew W

Pick whichever coach you can think of in history...no one is going to clean up that waste dump that is Cleveland in just one season. Especially when forced to play 3 different QBs due to injuries. 


Well run organizations don't run a coach out of town after just one year....then there's the Brownies.

Big
Big

Rumor has it they did this just so they could go after Bill O'Brien from Penn State.

Joseph Rodocker
Joseph Rodocker

This is a win or go home business. Period. Billionairs paying millionaires salaries to get the job done

NYGiants72
NYGiants72

I think we should hold off judgment until Haslam/Banner explain this to us via overhead projector.

slickwilly
slickwilly

Why would any coach want to go this dysfunctional organization? In a league where bad teams turn it around all the time (Eagles, Chiefs, Panthers this year), there's a reason why the Browns have been bad for as long they have.

Bearsclone
Bearsclone

"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."


If they don't make measurable progress next year does the front office get fired?



DAN B1
DAN B1

shocked so shocked.  you don't even give him a chance?  he went through 3 freaking quarterbacks

gary41
gary41

@Joseph RodockerIt's not about coaches or owners, but Jimmy Haslam is an owner who leveraged his ownership by fraud and will end up in jail.  Win at any cost??  There are rules to the game, as there are rules in life. 

Sulkaman
Sulkaman

@strat68You must not be from Cleveland because that description is both unoriginal and tired around here.  Although accurate.

tlm773458
tlm773458

@Big That would be VERY expensive.  Obrien currently has an NFL buyout clause in his contract with PSU.  While it was reduced from last year's 19.33M to the current 6.48M, that would still mean paying that out then coming up with a contract he will accept.  And I agree with the post below.  No one would choose Cleveland if they can take Houston instead

6marK6
6marK6

@Big Rumor has it that if they think he would choose Cleveland over Houston, they are insane.

strat68
strat68

@BearscloneThat's what the guys on NFL Radio, Opening Drive said this morning.

bobinpowell
bobinpowell

@BearscloneThe front office should resign en masse.  Meanwhile, get psychedelic uniforms and change the name to Bizzaros.