The Cleveland Browns fired their third head coach in four seasons this week, creating even more instability within an already unstable organization and setting off their players.
Rob Chudzinski was let go after only one season, meaning the Browns will conduct yet another coaching search this offseason. While Cleveland players were unhappy about their 4-12 record, they were infuriated by Chudzinski’s firing.
"This organization is a joke," one Browns veteran told NFL Network’s Michael Silver. "I’m completely in the dark about this. Please [rip them]. I feel for Chud. He was good to us."
Another veteran took issue with ownership, specifically when talking about the carousel of head coaches who have passed through the organization over the past few seasons.
"We are so dysfunctional," the player said. "These billionaires need to pick somebody and stay with them. These aren’t girlfriends. You can’t dump them if they [fail to please you] one time. Too many dominoes fall and (screw stuff) up when that happens. This is highly upsetting."
The Browns now are in search of their fourth head coach since 2010 and their fifth since 2008. Eric Mangini (2009-10), Pat Shurmur (2011-12) and Chudzinski (2013) all failed to meet expectations early in their tenures and were fired before they really had a chance to establish themselves. One Browns player was so infuriated by Chudzinski’s release that he called the move a "tremendous mistake, just epic."
"It makes no sense," the anonymous Browns player told Silver. "Everything we did this year was setting up the future – trading draft picks, trading players for next year’s picks, playing young guys toward the end of the year to see what they look like, sitting older guys at the end to get them healthy when they could have played.
"This is such a rash decision. They just (expletive) hired him last year! The whole year we were making all decisions for the future and now you’re pissed the coach didn’t win this year? What the (heck)? It was like a big experiment with players and scheme. I think it came from upstairs, and then they are surprised we didn’t win more games? Yes, it’s all about patience and then fire your coach Year 1. This blows."