Browns vow to ‘get it right’ with next coach
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam vowed to ”get it right” when he
hires his next coach.
Haslam fired Rob Chudzinski on Sunday night, just hours after
Cleveland’s 20-7 loss at Pittsburgh and less than a year after the
first-time head coach was charged with turning around the
Haslam and CEO Joe Banner cited an overall lack of progress in
their decision to dismiss Chudzinski, who had the Browns off to a
4-5 start before they lost their final seven games and finished
4-12 – the club’s sixth straight season with at least 10
”As the season developed, and as we got later in the season, it
was our feeling that the team was not getting better,” Haslam
He knows there are skeptics with their doubts about him and
Cleveland’s front office.
”Candidly, we deserve it,” he said.
Banner and Haslam have already begun their search for
Chudzinski’s replacement. Banner said the team is still deciding
whether to interview Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton for
Horton interviewed with the Browns last season before the job
went to Chudzinski, a lifelong Browns fan who was caught off guard
by his ouster.
Banner said none of the other candidates interviewed last year
will be considered again. That would rule out Penn State coach Bill
O’Brien and San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt.
”This is the crucial offseason for the Cleveland Browns,”
Haslam said. ”If we get that right, we’ll have a lot of positive
press conferences. We feel a lot of pressure to get this right for
our players, our fans and the city of Cleveland. It galls me when
people write, `Same old Browns.’ I think the key message needs to
be that we’re going to work hard to get this right.”
Chudzinski was told of his firing after the team returned by bus
”I shocked and disappointed to hear the news that I was
fired,” Chudzinski said in a statement released by the Browns. ”I
am a Cleveland Brown to the core, and always will be. It was an
honor to lead our players and coaches, and I appreciate their
dedication and sacrifice. I was more excited than ever for this
team, as I know we were building a great foundation for future
”While clearly I would have liked to see the long-term vision
through to the end, I am very grateful to Jimmy Haslam and the
Haslam family for letting me live my dream.”
Chudzinski has three years left on his contract worth a reported
Chudzinski’s firing is the fourth in six years by the Browns,
who haven’t made the playoffs since 2002.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org