Chud Fired: Browns Say They Understand Fans’ Skepticism

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(Browns owner Jimmy Haslam at a news conference on Dec. 30, 2013 following the firing of Rob Chudzinski.)

BEREA, Ohio — Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner said they understand there’s skepticism about the team’s direction and leadership after the firing of head coach Rob Chudzinski.

Chudzinski had less than a year to make an impact on the team, and apparently failed to do so.

The Browns fired Chudzinski Sunday night, just hours after the team’s final game, and loss, of 2013.

“A lot of people will say we should have given this staff a second year, a second chance, and that’s a fair statement,” Haslam said at a news conference Monday.

He added fans have a right to be skeptical until the team starts winning.

Banner said the decision to fire Chudzinski was made Saturday night.  The topic had been discussed for about a week.

He also said no time limit will be placed on the search for a new head coach.

Scroll down to read more from the live blog below.

The reaction of the players was slowly becoming known.

“I know people in Cleveland really want to see this team do well, I know the owners want to see this team do well,” said Browns WR Josh Gordon.  “The players want to win.  Everybody has the right mindset, it’s just so many things snowballing right now in the wrong way.  Gotta try to pick it up and get on the right path.”

In a statement, Chudzinski said he was shocked and disappointed, but grateful to the Haslam family for letting him live his dream.

Read the full statement here.

Click here for ClevelandBrowns.com.

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 20131:09 pm

News conference ends.

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 20131:01 pm

Q: How do you convince the fans to believe?

A: I don’t think this press conference will change anybody’s mind.  We just have to go out and get results.  And there’s no one who understands that better than (Banner and me).

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 20131:00 pm

Q: How do you convince these (coaching) candidates coming in that they will have more than a year or two to get their job done?
A:  Haslam says interviews are intense sessions and he feels confident that this is not a good, but a great place to coach and that the coaches will have great support.

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 201312:58 pm

Haslam: We’re in this for the long run, I’ve said that time and time again.

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 201312:57 pm

Banner says he understands the changes are frustrating (to the players).

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 201312:57 pm

“I think we’re open to whatever structure we need to get the right person,” Banner says.

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 201312:52 pm

“We expect the Browns to be a long-term asset of our family,” Haslam says on his future with the Browns.

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 201312:50 pm

Media member asks about the legal issues Haslam and his company, Pilot Flying J, face.

Haslam: “It’s embarrassing for our family and our company and I apologize for any cloud that it’s put over the city of Cleveland or the Browns. The company has done everything it said it would do.  We paid everyone back, we’ve dealt with people.”

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 201312:49 pm

“I still am convinced that this group can identify, attract and recruit the right person,” Haslam says.

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 201312:48 pm

Decision to fire Chudzinski was made Saturday night.  Talks of his firing had gone on for about a week.

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 201312:48 pm

Q: How do you know the improvement you wanted wouldn’t have come in Chudzinski’s second year?

Banner says the Browns looked at the progress of other first-year head coaches to be fair.  “If the answer was time, then we should have seen the (progress) trajectory moving upward.”

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 201312:46 pm

Banner says the fact that he and Haslam are at the press conference acknowledging they “didn’t get it right” shows they are committed to making change.

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 201312:45 pm

A media member reads Facebook comments about fan “embarrassment” and “disappointment”. 

Haslam responds, “I feel really confident we have the right people to take this organization where we need to.”  Says they’re going to work hard to get it right.

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 201312:42 pm

Banner: There was reasonable basis for the team to get better as the season went on.

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 201312:40 pm

Banner says there is a track record of attracting good people.  Says there will be continuity once they attract the good people again.

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 201312:39 pm

Haslam says he just met with a core group of players.

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 201312:39 pm

Haslam acknowledges the team isn’t where it needs to be talent-wise.

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 201312:38 pm

Q: If you couldn’t’ get the right guy the first time, what makes you think you can get the right guy this time?
A:  Haslam says they understand the skepticism, and “actions speak louder than words.”

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 201312:37 pm

Banner reiterates concern over lack of improvement in the team.

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 201312:36 pm

No time limit will be placed on the search, Banner says.

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 201312:36 pm

Joe Banner talks about how difficult the past couple of days were.  Says everyone respects and likes Chudzinski.

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 201312:35 pm

Haslam: The important thing is to get it right.

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 201312:34 pm

“(Fans) have a right to be skeptical, and until we turn it around (and win) … you have every right to be skeptical,” Haslam says.

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 201312:34 pm

“A lot of people will say we should have given this staff a second year, a second chance, and that’s a fair statement,” Haslam says.

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 201312:33 pm

Haslam:  A young team should be getting better, and that wasn’t happening.

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 201312:33 pm

“We needed to be better in the last three games than we were in the first three games,” Haslam says.

Jessica Dabrowski December 30, 201312:32 pm

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam begins news conference, saying these kinds of decisions are difficult and affect lives.

25 comments

  • Jujubean

    Do you think most of the players even want a winning team? My thought is win or lose they just get a check and wait for a better offer.

  • pappy

    we are a farm team for the nfl, thats all. fire the guy calling plays from the box. how can we be doin so good first half an give it away second half? not players not chud but play calling the caller is getting a brown envelope some where.

    semper fi

  • Rick Adams

    They were “WRONG” and they know it.

    They are FAST at firing and letting go of players it’s unreal.

    What they need to do is get rid of the STAFF all of them that’s the browns team.
    They don’t need football players all they need is “STAFF”.

    I would not “play” let alone “WORK” for the brown’s.

    (well get paid for doing nothing i don’t know i have to think about it one more time)

    The ONLY thing the browns are good for is a “PAYCHECK”.

    i like others have had enough of the browns and the cav’s it’s time to move on to a better team i think i go with Stow high school i think they could do alot better.

    Instead of being a football team why not just be a training camp for anyone that wants to learn the basic of “FOOTBALL”.

    Now that’s what i call getting “PAID” for doing nothing.

    They have men on the bench that have not played all year and if so maybe one time and sit there and get paid millions.

    Give the whole “STAFF” pick slips and see what happens hell the entire staff gets a ring when they win a Championship so if you fire one fire all.

  • Becky

    The only way to have a winning team is with consistency – something the Browns organization doesn’t seem to have, and until the head office understands we cannot keep changing coaches every year, or two, that it takes time to develop, we will never have a winning team. Such a shame!

    • Don

      I agree whole heartily. How can a team become consistently competitive when the head coach is being replaced every other year. It’s obvious that the browns will select a quarterback in the first round of the draft, but the odds of him having a winning record in his first year is very slim. what is going to happen then? it is very frustrating being a browns fan. It’s hard to understand the thinking and logic behind some of the decisions that have been made during the season. I’m upset now, but it will pass and will be excited again when next season rolls around, only to be disappointed again.

  • Brian

    To the head office:
    How is a coach supposed to form a team, and get the players to play as a team… if you don’t allow him to stick around long enough?

    How, or where does the cohesion come from?

    I will never understand why you, the Cleveland Browns have so many loyal fans, because you shit on them repeatedly year after year.

    You want money for upgrades to the stadium and charge exuberant prices for tickets. To come watch a losing team,… and it’s only a losing team because of YOU; the head office, owners and decision makers.

    You should all be ashamed!

    +1 Vote to move the Browns to another town!
    Someone call Art Modell!!!!!!!

  • Gary Morrill

    It was a wrong move to fire chud. how does anyone expect the team to make progress and become a top team if the front office is firing head coaches every year. The owner is thought to has issues running his own company. It appears to be the same for running the Cleveland Browns

  • joe

    It was only a year ago that the Browns said they had found their man and gave him a 5 year contract to prove it.

    Now after one year in which his #1 running back is traded, his shinning star backup is out with a broken leg, his starting quarterback is benched then his replacement wins the next 2 games and there is hope for the season goes out with knee surgery for the year and they wonder why he can’t win. I forgot to add the 2 receivers, Bess and Little who couldn’t catch a cold. You could have had Vince Lombardi coaching the team and got the same results. To me this is upper-management using Chud as a scapegoat for their short-comings. The man was asked to coach the island of misfit toys. Why do you think anyone with any stature didn’t take the job at the time?

    GM’s and their appointees have a little problem with winning or losing with people they didn’t pick, so now we start all over so Banner can say I put this team together and I MADE THEM A WINNER.

    I’m more worried about this management team making these knee-jerk decisions than a coaches record after one year with the hand he was dealt.

  • David Staufer

    The Browns do not have a winning attitude and from watching this last game they lack any desire to even want to win a game. From seeing the smile on some of the players faces after the game yesterday It looked like they were happy to see the season end so they can go party and spend there (hard earned money) LOL…. Wait till next year all over again.. 1999- 2013 and counting.This has got to be a record for longest losing streak in the league…

  • tim akin

    Why does our browns owner have a black and yellow tie on today. Does the stellers still close to his heart. He should have the team colars of his team not his old team.

  • Sharon Ulman

    Banner said they have a track record of getting good people. Is he kidding? We always take the coach that just got fired because of a 0-16 record with another team. The same thing goes for players. Anyone that another team has rejected, we pick them up. Haslam has deep pockets. Let’s actually pay for some talent.

  • Eddie B

    Chud is a nice guy and I can see why player like him…but, there is no denying the team regressed over the 2nd half of the season. Good corporations that make hiring mistakes correct them quickly… I think the Browns made the right decision and will hopefully find a candidate who will put the Browns in a position to win

  • Ken

    I am interested to see if the next coach has the final say in the Draft or personnel. If a coach lives and dies by the performance of his team. The coach should have the final say in his players. Hey look at Andy Reed in KC? Everyone should think about it!!

  • Suzanne Coombs

    We Browns fans will continue to be skeptical until the front office stops making stupid decisions!!!! 1st Josh Cribbs, then Phil Dawson, & Trent Richardson “took the cake”…. Now this?!
    I will ALWAYS & FOREVER support the team, but you people wearing the suits, NEVER AGAIN!!!!

  • george valachi

    It’s obvious to me why this city will never have a winning team. We now have an owner that puts no money into the team. The city and tax payers will be paying for upgrades and the owner says “wait till next year”. Have we heard that before?

    But than no matter how terrible the team is the idiot fan base will fill the seats, “Please can we have another losing year”. As long as the team is supported when doing terribly the owner knows he doesn’t have to have a good team.

  • David Bunsey

    I can be happy with a 6-10 season and upset with a 15-1 season. There are 6 games that the Browns must NEVER lose, 2 with Pittsburgh, 2 with Cincinnati, and 2 with Baltimore. Any loss to one of these teams should send the coach to the bottom of Lake Erie with cement overshoes.

  • Carla Hale-Sophus

    You can’t win or rebuild if you fire everyone in the midst. Then you have the NERVE to ask the taxpayers to allocate funds for the stadium! try this resolution for New Years…tear down the stadium and build housing and rebuild with employment??

  • mark kempe

    ATTENTION JIMMY HASSLAM!!
    YOU WANT A WINNING TEAM IN THE BROWNS…..THEN F-I-R-E JOE BANNER AND MIKE “DUMBARDI” AND PAY OFF THE RAVENS (“CROW’S”) AND BRING THE ONLY PERSON HERE THAT CAN RIGHT THIS TEAM & ORGANIZATION….OZZIE NEWSOME!!!!!! HE IS A CLASS PERSON AND A TRUE CLEVELAND BROWN!!!
    HE BELONGS HERE IN CLEVELAND…..NOT IN BALTIMORE OF ALL PLACES!!

  • So tired.

    Someone with a better memory than mine, please name how many coaches we fired that went on to championships with other teams. How can a coach win without a quarterback on the freakin field? I swear the motto of the front office is screw the fans. WE yes we the fans brought back a team after model sold out. And we dont have a say.

  • sanduskybaypoolleague

    Bill Bellicheck is the first to come to mind, possibly one of the most winningest coach in NFL history. Oh and by the way Mr. Scamsem, what you did to the truckers pales in comparison to what you did to the most loyal fan base in the NFL, one of whom you have just lost. Art got it right
    and moved the team,maybe you and Joe should move too, and take your staff with you.

Comments are closed.