From the time he sat down for an interview with owner Jimmy Haslam and chief executive officer Joe Banner to become the Cleveland Browns’ 14th full-time head coach back in January, Rob Chudzinski has been confident of the front office’s commitment to reversing the fortunes of a franchise that has had two winning seasons since returning to the NFL in 1999.
And despite the 4-10 record heading into Sunday’s game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium, Chudzinski remains focused on the same goal he had when taking over the coaching duties.
“Our goal is always to win,” Chudzinski said. “Our goal is always going to be to win a championship. Our goal is always going to be to make the playoffs. As far as expectations, the things that I expect are to see us working and moving in that direction and making the progress that I know needs to be done in order to get to those points and being able to do that.
“You look at the group, with Jimmy and his commitment, Joe Banner and his commitment to what we’re doing, I feel like our best days are ahead of us, and it is a bright future here in Cleveland.”
Chudzinski said he knows there “is a bright future” for the Browns because he has seen development from the players since they started the offseason program on April 1 all the way through to the 16th week of the regular season.
“I believe in our plan, and that’s a long-term plan for sustained success,” Chudzinski said. “I see progress, and although the outcomes and the wins and losses aren’t where I or anybody else want them to be, I see the progress, and it’s internal progress.
“It’s the things in developing what I believe are a backbone for success and for future success. I’ve seen player development. I’ve seen growth from them in our systems, and those things give me the feeling of excitement, hope for the future. I believe we will win here, and we have the right people.”
Gordon had 805 receiving yards and five touchdowns during his rookie season, but had a recent four-game stretch in which he gained 774 yards and set the NFL records for the most yards in a two, three and four-game span. During that time, Gordon also broke the franchise record for the most 100-yard receiving games in a season (seven), most consecutive 100-yard games (four), receiving yards in a game (261 against the Jacksonville Jaguars) and season (1,467).
Cameron has gained 848 yards and scored seven touchdowns on a team-leading 75 receptions. In the first three games of the 2013 regular season, Cameron surpassed his career totals for receptions, yards, and touchdowns.
Gipson went from being a spot starter as a rookie in 2012 to every-down safety for the Browns this season, and has been an impact player on the back end of the secondary. He has intercepted four passes, returned one for a touchdown against Chicago, and ranks third on the team with 92 total tackles and 73 solo stops.
“(That’s) an example of guys who really came from not having played or not having played much to being in the fore-front and really seeing a bright future for those guys,” Chudzinski said. “There’s a lot of guys who you may not see jumping out with the flashy-type plays, but some of those guys, like a