Ian Rapoport reports that a team sources has informed him that the Cleveland Browns have officially fired HC Rob Chudzinski.
The Browns have since confirmed the move.
BREAKING: The Browns have relieved Head Coach Rob Chudzinski of his duties, the organization announced Sunday night.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) December 30, 2013
Browns press release regarding the decision:
“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.”
- Pro Football Talk is reporting that the Browns will retain the rest of the coaching staff, “for now.”
Chudzinski reportedly asked to have the meeting moved up to tonight instead of waiting until tomorrow to hear his fate. He lasted less than a calendar year as the team’s head coach and finished with 4-12 record.
The coaching search for the Browns officially begins again on Monday. As of now, the top candidates are: Penn State’s Bill O’Brien, Patriots OC Josh McDaniels, Browns DC Ray Horton and current Lions HC Jim Schwartz.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is reporting that league sources have informed him that the Browns will in fact fire HC Rob Chudzinski.
- Jason La Canfora reports that Chudzinski has not been fired yet, but adds that changes could be coming next week.
- La Canfora adds that Patriots OC Josh McDaniels and current Lions HC Jim Schwartz could be potential replacements if he is let go.
Albert Breer reported earlier in the day that the Browns are expected to target Penn State’s Bill O’Brien and Josh McDaniels as possible replacements.
- Breer also mentioned that Cleveland’s issues with Chudzinski was that he reportedly didn’t hold players accountable, and he had shown a lack of decisiveness in big moments.
The news that Chudzinski was came as a bit of a surprise given that expectations for the Browns this season were limited this season and some young players like WR Josh Gordon and TE Cameron Jordan were able to put together breakout seasons.
The Browns will still owe Chudzinski some of his salary, which also seems a little strange considering that he was given just a single year to coach the team. Under Chudzinski, Cleveland finished the year 4-12.
Defensive coordinator Ray Horton could be a candidate to takeover as head coach.