In one of the more surprising moves for Black Monday, which happened after an emotional reaction from a disastrous showing against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Cleveland Browns announced Sunday night that they fired head coach Rob Chudzinski. The firing came only 352 days after he was hired by Cleveland's new ownership group led by Jimmy Haslam, who had become "convinced" that "they made a mistake and did not want to continue down their current path with Chudzinski," ESPN NFL Insider Chris Mortensen wrote.
After starting the season 3-2, the Browns lost ten of their final 11 games, including a season-ending seven-game losing streak.
May players supported Chudzinksi, while ripping the organization.
"It's just absurd to me that a report would be out like that, about a good coach like that," Browns linebacker D'Qwell Jackson said. "It's crazy, and that (ticked) me off when I heard that."
Mike Silver with the NFL Network tweeted a series of reactions from Browns players.
A Browns coaching source, regarding reports that Chud may/will be fired: "This is out of nowhere."— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) December 29, 2013
I am texting with numerous Browns players and their emotions range from bewildered to furious— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) 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
"... you can't dump them if they (fail to please you) one time."— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) December 29, 2013
I just heard from a knowledgeable Browns source that the reported Chud firing "is not a done deal."— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) December 29, 2013
Another Browns player: "This organization is a joke."— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) December 29, 2013
A third Browns player: "I'm on the wrong bus, and very happy I don't have to sit on bus one in awkwardness..."— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) December 29, 2013
Even Browns fans were shocked, writes Chris Pokorny with SB Nation's Dawgs by Nature.
Wow. If you would have asked me this morning how confident I was that head coach Rob Chudzinski would be back in 2014, I would have laughed at you and said that I was 100% confident that he would be back. It's not that I thought Chudzinski was a tremendous coach, but this was his first season, and the front office seemed to have no plans of replacing him.
Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer interviewed with Browns management last year before they hired Chudzinski. But with how quickly Cleveland abandoned a head coach after one season, one has to wonder how willing Mike Zimmer is to leave for such instability up north.