This was planned to be the final Browns recap of the season,finishing off a 4-12 year with another painful loss to Pittsburgh,lead into my planned next few posts that I wrote about before I return to work (Ugh) and then work next week a review of the Browns season on both sides of the football.
Those plans leaked out the door when word broke just before kickoff when the rumor broke that the Browns were considering firing Rob Chudzinski and before the evening was over-Chudzinski was looking for a job.
I was non-plussed on the hiring of "Chud" back in January,I preferred the track record of former Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt as the new head man,I mean after all-he did take the CARDINALS to within a few minutes of a world title (Whisenhunt is still available by the way),but was more concerned about the promises of a big name hire and coming up with Chudzinski.
Jimmy Haslem was reportedly furious with the team's effort in New York last Sunday against the Jets and yesterday against Pittsburgh to the point of leaving before the game was ended.
I cannot really blame him for that,but there is more to the teams 4-12 record than just Rob Chudzinski.
I'll get into the on field stuff when I do the season in review posts,but this is a team that gave its coach three quarterbacks,none of whom will remind you of a top passer,a trade of their top runner and previous number one pick (I was on board there),a trade for a supposedly sure handed receiver that could not catch,adding zero offensive weapons for a team crying for more and the list goes on.
I don't want to say that I thought Rob Chudzinski was a great coach,he made mistakes and I'm hesitant to say that I believe that he would have been the answer to the Browns woes,but considering the hand that he was dealt,I think this is an unfair firing.
Tony Grossi offers some behind the scenes reasons for the firing here and if things had gotten so far out of sync that this had to done,then I could see there being no point to bringing Chudzinski back.
However,he didn't do a poor job or one that deserved just one season for his on the field work.
If Jimmy Haslem was so frustrated with his team that he felt changes were in order,perhaps he should have taken Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi with him for providing him with such a group.
Put the five Pro Bowlers aside,the Pro Bowl is a joke for the most part,this team is not loaded with talent and with the exception of talented but still unproven Barkevious Mingo,show me one piece of young talent added by Banner/Lombardi.
Desmond Bryant was playing well before his injury,but Paul Kruger disappointed and that pair were essentially the free agent signings.
The rumor mill is already running with candidates with three names most prominently heard.
The aforementioned Whisenhunt,Penn State head Bill O'Brien and New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels are names and this brings me to another point.
I promoted the hiring of Whisenhunt last year,but why would he take the job after being turned down once and then seeing how quickly Chudzinski was dispatched?
O'Brien likely would prefer the Houston opening with a talent remained from a team that made the playoffs one year ago and the number one pick.
To me,that leaves Josh McDaniels,who struggled in Denver,but has the beloved Bill Belichick connection.
When you consider the negative reaction that is bound to come,one has to think that the team has targeted their one or two guys and believe they will get their guy,but watching this thus far gives even more doubts to me.
Jimmy Haslem came to Cleveland crowing about how he had learned from his time in Pittsburgh the importance of continuity,yet in a years time,the Browns are about to hire their third head coach.
For Haslem and the Browns-this hire had better be the right one...