Analysis on Browns' coaching decision

Posted Dec 30, 2013

On Monday’s edition of "Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford," co-hosts Vic Carucci and Nathan Zegura reacted to the firing of coach Rob Chudzinski and what this means for the Browns’ organization. CEO Joe Banner spoke with Vic and Nathan to further explain the decision to fire the first-year head coach.
Jim Donovan and Doug Dieken, from the PNC Bank Cleveland Browns Radio Network, joined Vic and Nathan for a Roundtable discussion and provided their insight and reactions to the inconsistency at the head coaching position.

Je’Rod Cherry finished up the show with his thoughts on Chudzinski and the mentality of the Browns.

Here are some highlights:

Vic Carucci: “There is nothing that this front office has done so far that doesn’t say bold, and that is how they are conducting themselves. They hired Chud because they liked the bold philosophy of his offense and lived with that decision until they felt it wasn’t enough. This is a group that doesn’t care how they are being judged. They care about winning and this entire backlash will go away with a winning team. For as much as this team was missing, it had enough to win seven or eight games total. I think that is the ultimate piece that does the coaching staff in.”

Nathan Zegura: “I was as surprised as anyone, to be honest. It was very shocking to me. After listening to the press conference, I have a little more comfort in the fact that it takes a smart person to know quickly that they have made a mistake. They are admitting that and taking action to correct it. The message I got out of the press conference was if you look around the league, what separates us is that we have five Pro Bowlers. Given that there are so many key pieces in place, they should have improved in the second half of the season. At the end of the day, it is a very tough decision. It’s not a popular one and it’s not an easy one. The only thing that will cure how everyone feels today is winning, and unfortunately we won’t know that for a long while.”

Joe Banner: “This decision was very hard for us for a lot of reasons. Everyone here who knows Chud likes him and respects him. We went back and forth, had different ideas, but, ultimately, the fact that we continued to not show the progress we should have shown, what we thought were realistic expectations were not met. We didn’t think that the status quo would get us the wins we wanted, as quickly as we wanted. Only time will tell if we made the right decision. As we look around the league, if you compare other team’s progress throughout the season to ours, you saw a lot more than what we saw here. I understand the skepticism and disappointment. I can hear the words of the history, but I didn’t live through it so I can’t fully understand it. I actually think this move should send the message that we will do whatever it takes to make it right and win football games. We are going to demand excellence.”

Jim Donovan: “This is the most shocking of changes. We knew Chud, we knew his history and it seemed like such a great story. It’s just shocking to me that it came so quickly. I think it’s rubbing people the wrong way because everyone had a hand in the 4-12 record. Last year was an empty draft that was built for this year’s draft. There was a huge trade made in week two with (Trent) Richardson, then the on-going rumors of trading Josh Gordon. Chud was a guy that they went out and hired; he was their guy. I have to think that they know where they are going with this. If they thought that he was the wrong guy and attacked the situation, that’s a piece of comfort I can live with.”

Doug Dieken: “The suddenness of the decision is what surprised me. You have to allow coaches time to draft and develop, and one year as a head coach is not enough time to do that. Chud grew up a Browns fan and that just makes it so much tougher because you know how much he wanted this job. You know this fan base has patiently waited and to hear it happen again and again, you can understand the frustration. This is probably the biggest offseason that the Browns have had since their return in ’99. You not only have the coaching change, but you have the pressure of the draft. It’s a big year for the Browns.”

Je'Rod Cherry: “You never want to be around a situation where someone is told that they aren’t good enough, so my heart goes out to Rob and his entire family. It is hard to get your arms around these situations, but you look at the season and it pretty much speaks for itself. Ultimately, they led 10 games and only have four wins to show for it. Whenever you are leading in a game, that tells me that you have the talent and ability to win. The talent was there. It was an issue of the mentality; the guys just weren’t willing to sacrifice what is needed to win. The Browns need a coach who isn’t worried about being friends with the guys, but rather is here to win games and hold the players accountable for their actions.”

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