Rob Chudzinski has been let go after one season in Cleveland
After one season, head coach Rob Chudzinski has been dismissed in Cleveland.
Tasked with taking over a program that hasn't won a conference or division title since 1989, and a playoff drought dating back to 2002, Chud went just 4-12 in his only season as a head coach.
According to multiple reports, ownership was not happy with some of the decisions being made, and felt that an immediate change needed to be made. Team officials met with Chudzinski late Sunday night and then released this 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."
Growing up in the Toledo area, Chudzinski's coaching career started as a grad assistant at Miami (FL) back in 1994. He was eventually promoted to tight ends coach in 1996, and took over as offensive coordinator in 2001. In 2004 he took the tight ends job with the Browns and then moved to San Diego (where he also coached the tight ends), back to Cleveland (as offensive coordinator), then back to San Diego (as tight ends / assistant head coach) and finally to Carolina where he used their success with Cam Newton to catapult him to the head coaching job in Cleveland.
Coach Chud has worked under Butch Davis, Marty Schottenheimer, Romeo Crennel, Norv Turner, and Ron Rivera during his coaching career.
The last time the Browns finished with a winning record was 2007 (10-6 under Romeo Crennel), and the last coach to leave the Browns franchise with a winning record was Mary Schottenheimer back in 1988 (71-44).
This marks the second NFL opening so far this off season, following the dismissal of Gary Kubiak in Houston back in early December. There are now two NFL jobs open (Houston and Cleveland), and no hires have been made.
Rob Chudzinski will be fired by the #Browns, per league sources.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) December 29, 2013
One Browns player: "We are so dysfunctional. These billionaires need to pick somebody and stay with them. These aren't girlfriends..."— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) December 29, 2013
A gem from D'Qwell Jackson right now, to me: "We fired Chud? You're kidding, right? Are you kidding me?"— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) December 30, 2013
The #Browns are retaining their assistants for now, I'm told. They will search for a head coach with them in place. Makes it interesting.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 30, 2013