Needless to say, the sudden firing of Cleveland Browns coach Rob Chudzinski brought a passionate response, both locally and nationally. The vast majority of Twitter followers weighed in against the move, citing the fact Chudzinski was given too little time and not enough talent. Then there was the amazement over the constant and never-ending process of change in Cleveland, which took place even though Pro Bowl and future Hall of Fame left tackle Joe Thomas said after the game that “great organizations” do not change coaches after one year.
With the Browns, so it goes.
There also was this tweet, which seemed to sum up the way things have gone for Browns fans the past many years:
I weighed in twice on the subject Sunday, as a fast-moving Steelers finale turned into a frenetic chase of reports that seemed absurd at first. But with every non-denial by the team and with the statement the team released in the fourth quarter, those reports became more and more real.
Here (Warning: Shameless self-promotion coming) I wrote about how Chudzinski’s firing seemed tough to justify, and it was written prior to the official announcement. I feel like there was a lot of responsibility (note the absence of the word blame) for the way this season went -- and it went beyond the head coach.
Here I wrote about the next hire, and how his hire would bring the same promises Browns fans have been fed for years.
With the Browns set to explain the decision to let Chudzinski go at a 12:30 p.m. news conference on Monday -- and they deserve the right to state their side -- there is time for pre-presser reading.
Here’s a sampling of thoughts from the Internet:
Tom Reed of Cleveland.com points out that few NFL teams have had the instability the Browns have had, and he reminds me that I heard Joe Thomas say this on Friday (two days before the game): “(Continuity) is the best strategy for any NFL franchise because blowing it up every couple years doesn’t work."
Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer writes that the move puts the front office on the spot, and states: “...I don't know if (Joe) Banner/(Mike) Lombardi will be an effective front office. It was their decision to hire/fire Chudzinski, to trade for the now missing Davone Bess, to execute a very mediocre draft and several so-so free agent signings.”
Bud Shaw of the Plain Dealer also weighed in on the front office’s statement when it announced Chudzinski’s firing. Shaw wrote that Banner pandered to the fans: “The organization's statement claimed Chudzinski's team hadn't shown enough progress as the season wore on and that Browns' fans deserve better. What they deserve is a front office that knows what it's doing. Just last January, this one sold Rob Chudzinski, flanked by veteran coordinators, as the beginning of something special.”
Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal did not mince a single word: “When the Browns relieved coach Rob Chudzinski of his duties Sunday night, it illustrated the height of their arrogance, the cartoonish level of their dysfunction. They actually believe there’s a future NFL coaching star out there who wants to work with an owner under federal investigation and a CEO and general manager who have yet to prove they know anything about talent evaluation.”
All of which pretty much sums up the local reaction.