In order to get through the fourth consecutive meaningless Browns-Steelers game to end a season, this one offered a little twist.
Is this the last game for coach Rob Chudzinski?
FoxSportsOhio.com’s Lindsey Foltin had the rundown of the pregame rumors swirling around league circles.
ESPN’s Chris Mortenson and John Clayton, ESPN 850 AM’s Tony Grossi and NFL Network’s Albert Breer all tweeted something to the effect that Chudzinski role as the Browns head coach in 2014 is in doubt.
The rumors even forced the Browns to issue a statement around 3:30 p.m.
"Our focus is on the game today. We will not discuss any evaluation of the season until this upcoming week."
Here is what is true without a doubt. The loss to the Steelers on Sunday was the team’s seventh consecutive and it made history. No Browns team has ever lost seven games to finish a season … until now.
At one point the Browns were 3-2, but the season’s final 11 games have been anything pleasant especially the way the team failed to close out games against Jacksonville in Week 13, New England in Week 14 and Chicago in Week 15, the way the Browns gave up in the first meeting against the Steelers in Week 12, at Green Bay in Week 7 and at the Jets in Week 16 or the way the team lost at Cincinnati coming out of the bye week with a chance for first in the AFC North.
Is that worth firing a coach after one season? Maybe. Maybe not. What matters is if owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner decide that Chudzinski isn’t taking this team in the right direction.
Here’s a quick pros and cons list. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Reasons for firing Chudzinski:
•The inability to win the close games - Again, the Browns left wins out there on the field against Jacksonville and especially at New England.
•The decision to go with Brandon Weeden as the starting quarterback. Look, Jason Campbell isn’t getting any Pro Bowl votes, but we all saw how he and Brian Hoyer played compared with how Weeden played. Uh, seemed like a no-brainer?
•Seven losses to end the season. This is a bottom line business and after staring 3-2 to finish 1-10 is not a direction this team needs to continue on.
Reasons for keeping Chudzinski:
•It’s just one season. The Browns turnover at the head coaching position has been well documented. The franchise desperately needs stability. This won’t help.
•Need a quarterback. Give Chudzinski a chance to work with a decent quarterback. The Browns offense has four Pro Bowlers, three of which will definitely be back in 2014. Center Alex Mack may get big money elsewhere, but wide receiver Josh Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron are two nice targets for any young quarterback.
•Who else you gonna get? Paul Brown ain’t walking through the doors at the Berea headquarters.
So, what would you do?