After just a single season at the helm of the 4-12 Cleveland Browns, head coach Rob Chudzinski was given his pink slip after Sunday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers; the seventh consecutive defeat of the 2013 season.
“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,” said the Browns press release announcing Chudzinski’s firing.
NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweeted that Rob Chudzinski’s staff of assistant coaches will remain in place as the team searches for a new head coach, calling it an “interesting” move.
The announcement said the Cleveland brass appreciates Rob’s “passion for the Browns, and we have great respect for him both personally and professionally,” but the results just weren’t there. Rob Chudzinski was the sixth full-time head coach the Browns have employed in a seeming revolving door since 1999, in which time the team has broken.500 only twice and made just a single playoff appearance; a wildcard round knockout by the Steelers under head coach Butch Davis.
Cleveland players were vocal in their disapproval of the somewhat shocking news. Prior to the game, left tackle Joe Thomas said he’d be “very surprised” and “very disappointed” if Rob Chudzinski was fired this year.
“It sets everything back,” Thomas said via the Akron Beacon Journal. “You just hit the reset button. Anytime you hit the reset button, it severely damages the organization, and it lengthens the amount of time that it takes to get back to the playoffs and turn the team into a consistent winner.”
According to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, Browns linebacker D’Quell Jackson had a less pointed but more comical reaction to Rob Chudzinski’s release.
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
Cleveland players aren’t the only ones critical of Rob Chudzinski”s release after just a single season.
“When the Browns relieved coach Rob Chudzinski of his duties Sunday night, it illustrated the height of their arrogance, the cartoonish level of their dysfunction,” said Marla Ridenour of the Beacon Journal.
What do you think of Rob Chudzinski’s ouster after only one year?