Browns fire Rob Chudzinski, say “change was needed”

AP

Rob Chudzinski lasted only a season as the Browns’ head coach.

Chudzinski was informed this evening that he is fired. A league source tells PFT that the rest of the coaching staff has been retained, at least for now.

“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. 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.”

The Browns hired Chudzinski in the hopes that he’d be able to do as a head coach what he did as an offensive coordinator in Carolina, and build a good offense around an inexperienced quarterback. Instead, the season was a disappointment as the Browns moved from Brandon Weeden to Brian Hoyer to Jason Campbell.

Still, it’s fair to wonder whether it’s really Chudzinski’s fault that the Browns were 4-12 last year. After all, he’s not the one who chose to go into the season with Weeden, Hoyer and Campbell as the team’s three quarterbacks. And Chudzinski going 4-12 this year wasn’t some big step backward for the Browns — they’ve been either 4-12 or 5-11 in each of the last six seasons.

Now the Browns, who went from Romeo Crennel in 2008 to Eric Mangini in 2009 to Pat Shurmur in 2011 to Chudzinski in 2013, will hire their fifth head coach in the last seven seasons.

132 responses to “Browns fire Rob Chudzinski, say “change was needed”

  1. One year, with that kind of a team history? That’s definitely unfair. The Browns had some flashes, this year. They’re a bit light on personnel. That isn’t Chud’s fault. Heck, the team traded their star back and wanted to trade their star receiver as well…………both during the season. You cannot win with that nonsense going on.

  2. Absolutely unbelievable!!! This regime is just as bad as the last. I seriously can’t believe it!! You fire a guy after one year while playing with a third string qb. 1-12 with Weeden and Campbell, 3-0 with Hoyer. Get the coach a qb and see what he does. Unreal.

  3. Change from what? Chudzinski was only there for all of one year. He was given mostly à mediocre cast of characters -including no quarterback to speak of- and not much else.

    His team was essentially like the Cleveland Indians in the first “Major League” movie.

  4. In other news, the Browns are still the Browns. LOL! Have a good offseason, Cleveland. See you next year at this time when you fire Mr. 2014!

  5. The Browns organization is just spinning its wheels in mud…on a hill…in the rain…with ten anvils in the back seat…at night…with blind mice behind at the steering wheel.

  6. The team got worse not better as the season went on so I can understand why they would fire him. Usually good coaches see progress as the year goes on but this team just got worse

  7. It’s amusing that some coach who cares more about his career/job than just getting a solid payday will accept being hired by that chump organization knowing full well they may get fired in a year because the front office is incompetent at building a good roster.

    You’d think firing all these coaches yet still having the same outcome would be a clue it isn’t the coaching yet apparently that’s too logical.

  8. Banner described the hiring of Chudzinski, Turner, Horton and the rest of the new coaching staff as “the most important and the proudest thing we’ve done so far.”

    Banner also stated: “I have no problem saying, ‘If there’s a criticism of the coach, I picked him, so if you want to criticize me, I have no problem being held accountable for that.’”

  9. Unbelievable! Not even nick saban would have had a better season with the personnel. If I we’re jimmy I would really take a hard look at Lombardi and banner and re evaluate that hire. If I owned a team and my people handled the head coach and staff this way, they would be fired immediately. Who was “leaking” this information to the press?
    Unprofessional, makes the organization look bad and just plain tacky.
    Not another ticket, merchandise or anything to be bought by me. I’m out

  10. The only reason he deserves to be fired is if he personally tore Hoyer’s ACL and gave Campbell his concussion.

    He’s like the reverse Kubiak,instead of getting fired because he kept obsessively going back to a crappy QB, Chudsinski got fired because everyone got injured except a crappy QB he didn’t want to put in.

  11. Maybe Jimmy Haslam should look in the mirror. It is his selections of Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi that failed. They picked the players. They screwed up the draft and free agency. They failed to spent his dollars wisely. There are no miracles in the NFL. There is the rare quick fix like the chiefs this year.

    The guy that blew it wasn’t fired because he owns the team. Jimmy you are the next Dan Snyder , Donald Sterling.

  12. Bad luck for Browns’ fans. Rob did good for what he had. He came into a team without a QB, RB, and players he didn’t draft. suck for your brown fans

  13. I think they pulled the plug on him way too quickly…but ultimately, they did him a personal and professional favor. He’ll be better off working for someone else who might have more than a five minute attention span.

  14. Not easy to turn Cleveland’s offense in to the Panthers with Jason Campbell or Brandon Weeden. Not that Newton and the Panthers have been that great until this year when the coaching staff had time to develop the team.

    Good luck Browns starting again with a new QB and a new HC. When that fails they’ll likely get a new GM and new coordinators.

  15. Despite impressive offensive stats the players in Carolina had little to no respect for him and were happy to see him go. I don’t think this is a coincidence.

  16. Really? I am a Bengals fan but seriously give the poor guy a chance at least. It takes more than a year to fix that mess.

  17. I don’t know what Browns management was watching this season. I saw a pretty scrappy bad football team that fought hard every week. You can’t ask for more than that from a coach. You CAN, however, ask for more talent out of your front office.

    Perhaps Chudzinski was a little too vocal with his bosses in that regard. Suits don’t like being told they are screwups, especially when they are.

  18. How about you draft him an NFL QB first. The rest of the team played their butts off for him, hard to overcome Weeden/Campbell.

  19. I feel disgraced to call this “my football team”.

    Am I disappointed that they are firing Chud? No. Chud is not a great coach: see his 4-12 record. Is it all his fault? Absolutely not. But a lot of it is. People we just giving him a pass because he was a browns fan.

    I’m disappointed that the front office so clearly made the wrong decision. And they are obviously admitting it.

    Now we get to start all over in a new offense and new defense. Not to mention our own players calling this organization “a joke” which it so clearly is. So good luck hiring a good coach and getting/retaining free agents. They don’t want any part in this mess. People around the league may have been fooled to think that this organization would change under new ownership but it is now officially still a joke. Do they not think the rest of the league sees this?

    On a side note I would not be opposed to just giving the HC job to Ray Horton. I thought he should have gotten the job over Chud in the first place. He was the only person to come in and do his job.

    And we sure as heck aren’t gonna lure a good coach to this joke of an organization.

  20. What decent coach would want to work for this kind of organization/GM/Owner? Not a good message to fire a guy over 1 year. You’d think people would learn from the Panthers and Ron Rivera.

  21. New owner…same story. I’m done with you Cleveland. Your organization is a JOKE that starts with its owner and managers. I wish Chud the best of luck in his coaching career and it is my hope he lands with someone who has a clue on how to a football team.

  22. Been a fan for 59 years. Have just about had my fill. Feel like I’m trapped in a bad cult. I have a big decision to make. I feel like I’m the stupid one for following this organization. I’m thinking I should maybe get a football loyalty divorce lawyer.

  23. considering he had a 52 year old second year QB & jason campbell, four wins weren’t bad. they were close in a lot of games & did take down the SB winners

  24. As a Bengals fan who has a soft spot for the Browns because he lived in Cleveland for 7 years:

    Are you serious?

    I was shocked – shocked to hear this. I guess it’s nice that we have some neighbors in our division who are polite enough to commit to living in the basement of the NFL, but I do feel bad for the fans.

    I don’t know why you would ax *any* coach after 1 year, but one who was stuck with Weeden half the time? Unreal. What a dumpster fire the Browns are. Condolences, Clevelanders.

  25. The Browns needed a change BEFORE he was hired, and they will need a change after the coming year no matter WHO is signed. One year is not enough time to pull this team AND franchise out of the morass.

  26. There must have been something else going on behind the scenes that led to this. Because on the surface this just seems completely nonsensical.

  27. frank booth says:
    Dec 29, 2013 9:54 PM
    That was fast. Change is needed. Could the Browns fire Obama?
    ————————————————————-
    Brilliant and poignant question. Oh wait, how does it help the Browns?

    Incidentally, the last man to coach the Browns to the playoffs and win a game: Bill Belichick.

  28. littlestinger says:
    Dec 29, 2013 9:45 PM
    Dear FBI,

    Please hurry up and arrest Jimmy Haslam.

    Signed,

    Cleveland
    ********************************************
    Best post I’ve read in a long while!

  29. Behind the scenes there’s gotta be more to the story- he had big personnel issues that were beyond his control, to have instant success in one season is unrealistic with the team he was handed. I wonder what the real story is…

  30. The New Cleveland Brown HC for 2014 is……
    Current DC Ray Horton

    3 more years of rebuilding added to the previous
    14 years of rebuilding….

  31. The Steelers, Ravens and Bengals should be fined for being in the Browns division for all of these years. It’s should be illegal for teams to have such a competitive advantage over the rest of the NFL. Same for the Packers, Vikes and Bears. The Browns and the Lions should rotate between divisions every season to maintain competitive balance among the various divisions.

  32. I remember when they hired coach, Mr Haslam said they
    Were picking a coach they would stick with their choice so give the stability and give that man a real chance to make a deference, yeah guess that was just a bunch of lip service to make the fans feel good, I no longer have any fair in this team and I’m actually glad I’m deploying for the next year so I don’t have to see them make anymore horrible decisions.

  33. As the buffalo bills continue to disappoint me week in and week out, at least I can turn to my fellow billievers and say, “at least were not the browns…” I am truly sorry browns fans. Best of luck this offseason, Ill be rooting for you on the other side of lake erie

  34. Just got this on my Twitter Feed:

    RT @FootballExpert: The last four coaches fired in the AFC North have been the coach of the Cleveland Browns.

  35. I for one have been a supporter of this FO and what they’d done so far, but after this crap, I am flabbergasted. I guess I shouldn’t be, it is the Browns after all, but wow. I will not support the Browns any longer until they prove they can put an NFL team on the field and act like a professional & competent organization. No more attending games, wearing, or buying anything Browns related. Hopefully more fans do the same until it’s felt in the pocket books of Haslam, Banner, and the rest. What a sorry & dysfunctional team!

  36. Pretty sure he’s from Toledo not Cleveland.

    I hope he gets a nice O.Coordinator Job next year.

    He was tasked with making Filet Mignon out of old Bologna and gets canned.

    Browns are a disgrace.

  37. jr507 says:
    Dec 29, 2013 10:22 PM
    They would have improved to 5 wins if the league didn’t give Tom Brady a phantom PI call every time he needs one.
    *************************
    You are giving fans everywhere that complain their team lost because of the refs a bad name..

  38. Didn’t they say the same thing a year ago? And the year before that…….and the year before that? I see a pattern here…….

  39. I’m a fan of the browns but I can say that this franchise is a joke I mean really another head coach so that means another oc and dc and that means next year and the year after we will have top 5 picks again. Please go after chucky

  40. I feel bad for the people in Cleveland. Honest, I do. Given that the Browns haven’t done one thing right since their return, one can’t help but wonder why the NFL gave this poor city another franchise.

  41. Ray horton’s Browns defense was horrible. After the season’s first month , other teams figured out Horton’s bltzing almost all the time. Chud was fired by Browns as an asst coach only five yrs ago. No other teams views Chud as head coaching material.

    It is a sick joke that successful coaches like Jim Fassel and Mike Martz are out of the league (and are media whipping boys)….while proven losers like leslie frazier (18 wins past three yrs) have many writers going to weird, nonsensical reasoning to keep frazier. Ohhhh, and unbelievably singletary worms his way into articles about coaching vacancies.

  42. I guess they were expecting a Reid/KC type of turn around. They do have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball.

  43. If you have a big name coach in mind – how much of a guarantee is he going to ask for after they did this? And if they aren’t willing to put up a big guarantee – who would possibly take this job, now?

  44. As a Packer fan – this year taught me to appreciate having an awesome QB.

    He makes the offense/defense/coaches/GMs look awesome.

    A bad QB makes everything look awful.

    Brandon Weeden and Campbell are awful.

  45. You can’t draft owners….YET!….lot of clowns own NFL teams. I thought Chud would be given a chance in Cleveland with his Kosar connection! I really hope he pulls an Andy Reid and pops up somewhere where the Browns mgmt can feel the sting!

  46. Lombardi is NOW in control. He condemned the Gordon supplemental draft pick, he has a serious love crush with anything associated with Bill Belichick and the Patriots, he proved himself ineffective in Cleveland and Philadelphia, he’s proven to be a flop as a GM and “HE’S BAAACK!”
    The players and fans are disgusted with the continued dysfunctional front office that continually makes poor choices and blames everyone but themselves.
    Seven different Head Coaches in fourteen years and most recently now five in seven years and these idiots think this is a winning formula so let’s do it again. This is their formula for success and God Help Us, they’ve Josh McDaniel. A losing record in Denver surely qualifies him for the position as our head coach.
    Sounds like our Federal Government!

  47. Its not Chud’s fault that a cheap shot took out Hoyer.

    However, trading Richardson was the lone bright spot on an otherwise lackluster season.

    Now the Browns should trade for a decent veteran quarterback and not waste a high draft pick on another Quinn or McCoy, more first round QBs flop than succeed.

  48. So where are all the fans crowing about how the Colts got fleeced in the TRich trade? Your organization just fired its coach after ONE SEASON. I don’t care if Cleveland has 5 first round picks next year. Their leadership is terrible. TRich is finally showing signs of life and had a decent game today, on a team that has made the playoffs 13 of the past 15 seasons. Yeah, the Colts sure got robbed. 11-5 and rolling into the playoffs while the Browns are stuck in the mud as always. I feel sorry for the long suffering Browns fans. You deserve better.

  49. I guess Jimmy Haslam didn’t learn anything from when he was with the Steelers. They haven’t fired a head coach since 1969. In my opinion you don’t fire a head coach when you don’t have a franchise QB. They should have kept him on. He seemed like a pretty good head coach. His team was in almost every game. SMDH.

  50. On a long list of things wrong with the Browns this season, I never once had the feeling that the head coach was one of them. Honestly, with the ridiculous injury bug they had this season at QB, trading off your top RB three weeks into the season, trying all year to trade your top WR… I thought things went about as well as one could ask for, really.

    Perhaps Chud got lucky- at least he doesn’t have to spend another year dealing with this mess.

  51. axespray says:
    Brandon Weeden and Campbell are awful.

    ============================

    I completely disagree. Did you watch any of the games? Weeden and Campbell are not even on the same level.

    Campbell is mediocre. He is a perfectly serviceable backup quarterback, which is exactly what he was hired to be. When someone like that gets pressed into the starting role, you’re lucky to break even if the rest of the team is good (see: GB this year and the Colts from a couple years back). Cleveland has some good pieces, but it isn’t a good team at the moment.

    Weeden, on the other hand, is one of the worst 1st round / starting QBs in recent memory. Did you see that backwards underhanded flip-ball interception he threw? And then when he did virtually the same thing the next time he was put into a game? That is special.

    Brandon Weeden is special. Campbell is not.

  52. Chud is the fall guy.
    Banner and Lombardi gotta go. They failed to provide talent, especially at quarterback.

  53. The sad part about it is that Browns coaching staff will coach circles around my Raiders coaching staff…and Raider Nation may be stuck with 3 years of this miserable football.

    Not a Lombardi fan, but like Al Davis(RIP)will say. You rather be right than to be consistent. No need to prolong misery for the sake of continutity. Don’t worry about what other franchises will do..do what’s best for your team. It’s the Raider Way…Looks like Lombarid learned something while he was here.

  54. He will get a good job somewhere and forget he ever worked for the Browns. Hard to feel sympathetic for a franchise that is pathetic.

  55. The browns should take a hard look at Greg Roman … He’d be a solid hire and would get the most out of Brian hoyer while grooming a young qb to eventually take over … He also coaches a very physical style of football and demands his players to be tough and physical as well and most of all he’s a genius in the run game and truly believes in staying committed to it … So all in all I think he’d be a perfect fit in the AFC North

  56. I thought this was a stupid hire from the beginning. Look how much better Carolina is doing without him. But Cleveland is probably just gonna hire Ken Whisenhunt anyway, so they’re not really fixing anything.

  57. LOL All the Browns fans hated Lerner because he supposedly “didn’t care” (despite never pinching one penny and spending tens of millions of dollars on the team) because he owned a soccer team.

    So how’s Haslem working out for you?

  58. Being able to dangle those two first round picks in front of potential head coaches will be nice for them. Coach C.H.U.D. got shafted, he was winning with Hoyer. Douchey moves by douchey management.

  59. They hated Modell when he owned the Browns; he moved the team. Lerner was snubbed for helping Modell leave Cleveland; his son was despised for being a non-caring owner who would rather sit on his Ashton Villa and count money. Haslam paid 1 billion dollars for this team and all I read is his being guilty of criminality for which he has not been charged.

    The fans made death threats against Schottenheimer and were calling for the head of Belichick. The fans hated Mangini, the fans hated Shurmur; they cheered Policy and Holmgren out of town; now hate on Banner and Lombardi.

    Some like it cold, some like it hot. But the fans always want what they have not.

  60. Haslam and his Flying J executives robbed trucking companies of rebates. Now Haslam, Banner, and the Browns executives are robbing fans of any hope. You can’t trust anything coming out of the mouths in Berea. Browns fans desrve better.

  61. Chud out?
    Mr. Banner, when you took this job you were the personnel guy, and Chud had to work with what you gave him…..

    Things we knew before the season:

    We needed NFL quality offensive guards

    We cannot run in the North with out a full back
    who would also give the QB more time in the passing game

    We needed better running backs

    We needed possession receivers who could catch the ball

    We needed a QB

    We needed a #2 receiver to open the field

    We needed another LB to stand next to Jackson

    We needed to make your draft picks count, (Did they)?

    We needed depth at CB in this pass happy league, yet you released Owens as soon as he was healthy.

    Before we look at the coaches who had to use what you gave them, maybe some self reflection is called for.

  62. How can any struggling team, particularly a train wreck like the one that Chud took over last year, fire a coach after one season? Hardly enough time to change a culture and turn around a program. Do they really think that they can compete with the three (and climbing) other teams vying for the scarce candidates out there? Those teams have actual talent on the roster and a winning history. This should shore up their decades of failing ways for at least another one.

  63. I am 52 and have been a Browns Fan all my life. I am so angry over this firing. Chud was Mediocre at best but from owner to the players so was the team with a few exceptions of course.

    How can the Brown attract a head coach with this messag let alone keep some of our good players like Haden who are entering into free agancy?? I would not want to come here at all given this message or cicumstance.

    Also you would think Haslam who as a part owner once of the Steelers would understand how important consistancy in the front office and coaching staff is!!! IDIOTS!!!!!!!

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