Rob Chudzinski, now former Cleveland Browns head coach, was fired after one year on the job.
Even though is team went 4-12, this was his first season, mind you. The NFL is known as a bottom line business, but even this seems to be a little bit over the top.
Generally, coaches will get about three seasons to turn things around. They need that time to implement their system, and more importantly, draft, trade or sign the players they believe will fit that system. Nothing is more hamstringing to a coach than trying to fit in the old coach’s players into a new scheme that doesn’t fit them.
That’s why firing Chudzinski after one season has apparently riled up some of Cleveland’s players. Here are some quotes via Michael Silver of NFL.com:
“This organization is a joke,” one Cleveland veteran told NFL.com. “I’m completely in the dark about this. Please (rip them). I feel for Chud. He was good to us.”
Added another veteran: “We are so dysfunctional. 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.”
Here’s another quote from a player who echoes the above sentiments of patience for a new head coach, per Silver:
“Yeah, it’s hard to say (Chudzinski) got a fair shake when usually it takes a few years to get things established and see dividends, especially with all the quarterback changes we had,” another Brownsplayer said. “There’s a reason coaches typically get a few years before changes are made, right? The whole thing just seems odd.”
Obviously the Browns are in disarray, and many of the organization’s players are highly upset over Chudzinski’s firing. At this point, the only thing Cleveland’s front office can do is try to quickly bring in a new coach who will create some positive buzz around the organization.
The Browns will also have to hit a home run in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.