The Browns announced last night that they were firing head coach Rob Chudzinski after only one miserable season, and the news has been all over your various feeds today. The senselessness sort of speaks for itself. Chud will be given a gaudy $10.5 million severance package, and in some respects he's escaping from under the thumbs of villainous and literally criminal bosses, so you oughtn't feel too sorry for him.
Here's the Beacon-Journal's take on the current state of the Browns' leadership, post-Chud:
...They are under the delusion they can lure a franchise-changing leader after giving his predecessor less than 12 months to begin to turn things around. 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.
We also encourage you to listen to the podcast on WFNY with Scott Raab, in which Raab outlines some of the more overt crimes within the Haslam fiefdom.
Here's a clip of what we published soon after Chud, our "beefy, corn-fed tight ends guy from Toledo," was hired. We weren't necessarily enthused, but we saw potential:
Notwithstanding the absent “wow” factor, the stats are more or less on Chud’s side. His offenses have been electrifying (excepting, of course, the 2008 Browns). As tight ends coach in 2004, he made of the forgettable Steve Heiden and Aaron Shea a more productive duo than the combined ground attack. In 2007, he called the plays which led to Braylon Edwards’ 16 TDs — more than the entire receiving corps in 2009 (11) and 2010 (13). He turned Derek Anderson into a pro-bowler.
In that piece, we encouraged fans to start calling Browns' touchdowns "Chud Muffins" in honor of the man who would theoretically be orchestrating a lot of them. Though the Browns' win-loss record was somehow worse than 2012's, and though they lost seven consecutive games for the first time since the franchise's return to Cleveland, the passing game was awfully high-octane and fun to watch. Just saying.
In 2013, the Browns scored 26 passing touchdowns. In 2007, back when Chud was the offensive coordinator, the offense threw for 29 TDs. Between those Chud bookends, from 2008-2012, here's the Cleveland passing TD numbers: 11, 11, 13, 16 16. Guh-ross.
The success of the passing game — or honestly just Josh Gordon — can't be interpreted in a vaccuum. No duh. The Browns ran for only four touchdowns (4!!!), and couldn't summon the grit and/or psychic clout to win close games... but still. Chud was hired, in large part, to put butts in the seats, to create a team that would be, "candidly," fun to watch.
And for much of the season, losses obviously notwithstanding, they were.