In one swift move after another poor and lackluster performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Cleveland Browns disposed of their first year head coach Rob Chudzinski on Sunday night. It’s moves like this that make the Browns fans crazy and left scratching their heads one more time. The Browns upper brass management felt that “Chud” lost the team’s attention and despite sending five players to the Pro Bowl, his effort was not enough with a seven-game losing slide to end the season. Was this a stupid premature decision or did the front office know something we didn’t?
As if they weren’t already the laughing-stock of the NFL, making a decision like this begs two major questions – Why on earth would Joe Banner and company fire Chudzinski after just one season? And, Where do they go from here? Unbelievable, that the Browns fans are back at the same place they started – again.
The Browns have won just 77 football games since their return in 1999 and having six (soon to be seven) head coaches just might have something to do with that fact. With each new regime, by the time anything is built, it’s taken right down by another. There is a reason why teams like New England, Pittsburgh, and New Orleans are successful every year – because they stick with the plan and don’t dismantle it after one year! NFL Network sources said earlier tonight after the news was announced that an unnamed Browns player told them that this (Browns) franchise was a joke. Could you blame him?
Is there some huge conspiracy to all this that Jimmy Haslam and his group knew all along? Let’s look at the facts.
The Browns traded away their first round pick from 2012, Trent Richardson just two games into the season. Whether it was the right move or wrong move does not matter and is not the debate here. Everyone in upper management to the coaching staff preached to the fans that Richardson was going to have a key role in the 2013 offense. Then, in a blink of an eye, Richardson was gone.
The Browns continued to believe that Brandon Weeden was their guy. Despite playing questionable in exhibition play, Weeden was handed the starting position at the start of the season. While the front office didn’t injure Weeden, shortly after, third string journeyman quarterback Brian Hoyer was promoted. Mysteriously, back up Jason Campbell was skipped over. In the end, Hoyer, Campbell, and Weeden, would all find themselves injured at one point and the Browns would start three different quarterbacks in a season.
And, what about the infamous NFL Draft? When they weren’t trading away picks, the Browns were making moves in the draft that didn’t produce one solid starter in 2013. In fact, the Browns decided to go all defense until the final round and selected offensive guard Garrett Gilkey with their final selection. From the looks of it, they completely focused on the defense both in free agency and the draft. Did they not know they had some serious holes on offense?
Like the Hunger Games, the odds were never in his favor.
From what was once an exciting and hopeful season for the orange-and-brown faithful, has turned into another nightmare for them where the only thing missing is a certain “decision-maker” and “driving” quarterback.
Ryan Ruiz is the Cleveland Browns Beat Writer for The Inscriber: Digital Magazine. You can follow him on Facebook: Ryan (BrownsWriter) Ruiz and Twitter @ryanpruiz24. Ryan is also a Browns correspondent for The Sportsfix. Tune in every Friday at noon on www.thesportsfix.net. Have a question or comment for the “ASK Ryan” column on Fridays? Email Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org