April 23, 2014

Rob Chudzinski: “We won’t stand for losing.”

Weeden - ChudThe media waited outside the locker room a few minutes longer than usual after Sunday’s loss to the Jaguars. Judging by Rob Chudzinski’s mood for his post-game press conference, it would come as no surprise if the first year coach didn’t deliver a stern message to the team.

“Disappointing, difficult loss,” said Chudzinski stepping to the podium. “We made too many critical mistakes we were not able to overcome today. We won’t stand for losing. We’re going to get this fixed; it’s unacceptable.”

Disappointing is a word that Chudzinski has used several times in previous losses. Perhaps it was the tone behind the words on Sunday that seemed different. The words were crisper. Sharper.

“It’s not about the effort of the group today; it’s about the mistakes,” Chudzinski continued. “This was a team loss. Everybody is accountable. Every area of the team can get better and could be better today.”

No question that there were let downs in all three phases of the game. The offense killed the team’s chances with turnovers. The defense had the lead to protect with under four minutes to go and Jacksonville 80 yards from the end zone. The special teams didn’t have many errors, but Billy Cundiff did miss a long field goal.

It isn’t hard to imagine which particular portion of the game upset Chudzniski more than most. In the last two minutes and forty-seven seconds of the second quarter the Browns lost the lead on a pair of interceptions and a fumble by quarterback Brandon Weeden. The Browns went from being up a touchdown, to down a field goal heading into halftime.

“It was critical in the course of the game,” said Chudzinski about that sequence. “It was huge and a huge momentum swing going into the half. Multiple turnovers there occurred, and [we] can’t have it. They were able to get 13 points in a short amount of time, and it really changed the complexion of the game. I thought our guys rallied at halftime and came out with a big drive in the second half and showed their determination and showed the type of character that this teams is made of. But again, those critical mistakes, turnovers, are killing us in those games. We’re just not able to overcome.”

There were several players that could have, and did share blame after this one. Cornerback Joe Haden took responsibility for allowing the game winning touchdown. Alex Mack took responsibility for the errant snap that sailed over Weeden’s head and cost the team a safety and the lead.

Safeties Tashaun Gipson, and T.J. Ward were both quick to defend Haden, saying that the whole defense was responsible for surrendering that final touchdown drive, not just the last play in which Haden was beat in the end zone. D’Qwell Jackson would echo those sentiments.

Chudzinski was quick to point out that despite the mistakes, the team didn’t quit and will get better.

“We will stick together as this team has done,” Chudzinski said. “They’re professionals and they won’t give up. They didn’t give up today. I’m fully committed to getting this thing turned and finishing our last four games and getting this thing on the right track.”

That right track may be difficult to find this coming week.

Following the game, Brandon Weeden was examined for a concussion. Those results were positive and Weeden entered the league’s concussion protocol. That could mean he is unavailable for next Sunday’s game against the Patriots. It is possible that Jason Campbell is cleared of his concussion in time to play this week, but there is still a question of his ribs which were hurt again last week against the Steelers. Campbell was forced from the game in the first half after a shot to the midsection. He later returned to the game, but those ribs are going to be bothering him for a while.

That could mean the Browns are down to newly signed quarterback Alex Tanney on the road in Foxboro against the 9-3 Patriots.

Following New England, the Browns have one more home game against the Chicago Bears (6-6) who are fighting for the NFC North division title, just one loss behind Detroit. Then the Browns hit the road for their final two games against the Jets (5-7) and the Steelers (5-7). Cleveland will likely be underdogs in all four of those contests, with the possible exception of the Jets.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I started as a Bridgewater supporter and I’m still with him. All of the other darlings have had issues which is why you see so many people changing their opinions from week to week. Honestly right now what I was afraid would happen has happened. That is not a single college QB (point in fact you need at least two maybe three because unless you pick #1 your choices shrink) has really separated himself as being the clear guy. In other words there’s no Luck. Instead there are Tannehills, Griffins, Cousins and Weedens. That for me is big time trouble especially when it comes to this organization regardless of who is making the pick. Since their return they have made bonehead drafting decision after another. If you want to give the latest brain trust the benefit of the doubt that is understandable until you look at what they’ve done in a year. In the draft and in free agency. I see no reason to be optimistic.

  • mgbode

    what are you talking about? we have kickalicious. oh wait, not him, the other youtube guy.

    maybe we’ll just start Joe Thomas at QB because, well, why not?

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    You and I do differ on that point. I didn’t think the Browns were that far away and so didn’t think it imprudent to make a meaningful run at it this year. (And the corollary also applies which is that I’m pretty sour on the ‘building for the future’ stuff based on how that has worked.) (e.g., there could not have been a better build-for-future confluence of events than the cavs enjoyed and mother of god..)

  • WFNY_DP

    Ken Dorsey was one of the winningest QBs in college football history, too. Ergo, he could have single-handedly saved the franchise. Except that he couldn’t play.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    The current Cleveland Cavaliers are a perfect example of why not to believe that drafting high over a number of years is a sound strategy for team building. That being said Grant still possesses one important card and that is a huge piggy bank. Based on how this team is playing it’s quite clear that this off-season they’ll have to overpay for a legitimate superstar. Or just suck again and hope that when your in the lottery Nick Gilbert can continue to weave his magic.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    right.
    but there’s a problem in the one QB can change everything thinking because what if he goes down? that’s why, in retrospect, going to war with greco-lauvao-miller-gilkey-50%pinkston might be the biggest failing. sure i know hoyer was injured on a tuck-and-run play but campbell and now weeden concussions had a lot to do with pass pressure. offensive guard was a known problem, relatively cheap to address, that was ignored.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Dorsey is a QB coach too now. QB coach or some sort of assistant. Funny.

  • Hopwin

    Look at the NFL and how many teams need their starting QB besides the Browns. Then compare that to wherever we could drop down to in the draft while reasonably expecting there to be a quality QB available. There are 6 I can count with records worse than ours who need starting QBs and 3-4 with better records who need one too.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    All those wasted years for #73 having to protect a bunch of scrubs. So glad they drafted him #1 and built around him!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Oh I agree say nothing more then Oneil Cousins at OG. This scrub was let go by Baltimore only to be picked up by Cleveland. He couldn’t play OT which I believe was his natural position so lets use him as a starting OG.

    But I agree the OL was overrated as well but in the list of problems it was just that the OL was much lower on the list as opposed to QB, RB, WR, CB, S, LB, K and P.

    So many holes, so many problems. Good thing they stockpiled all those draft picks huh?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Just use all the draft picks on QBs! No wait use all of them except maybe one or two. Trade those for draft picks next year.

  • mgbode

    isn’t starting Weeden more like laying down though?

  • EZ

    “Trade those for draft picks next year.”

    No, dude. We still need one of those picks for Carlos Hyde!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Love me some Hyde but he’d need to bring some lineman with him. I just don’t see it happening regardless.

  • BenRM

    +1 for the use of “True Scotsman”

  • BenRM

    the sad thing is, i’d legitimately be okay with drafting 3 QBs.

  • mgbode

    i’d stop at 2 QBs. Hoyer proved himself a capable backup QB.

    QB1: 1st round QB
    QB2: Hoyer (who must never slide again – take the head-on spearing and it’d be less risky than his slides)
    QB3: 3rd-5th round QB

  • Harv 21

    This is exactly what I’ve been suggesting over the last few weeks. They even have that extra 4th to slide up in the third if someone’s potential really tickles their fancy. It’s out of the box thinking – how does Norv give reps and scream at 2 rooks simultaneously? – but they just need to find The Guy right now, even if he emerges from some weird, intentionally cutthroat process. Because as I keep writing – Jason Campbell and Weeden were both first rounders, and a real championship competitor needs better than that.

  • Garry_Owen

    Given that drafting in the top 5 (or 10) is such an unreliable crapshoot when it comes to QBs, I completely agree (and I’m in the minority of folks that disagree with the premise that this draft will be a good QB draft – I’m not convinced by any of those guys). If the Browns had gone out of their way this year to actually compete, we probably would have ended up, at best, 9-7 (plus a short playoff record). That still puts us in position (particularly with the Richardson trade – still a great move that needed to be done) to draft well and potentially get a QB, even if not in the top 10. This is why the Browns have finally lost me – at least for the year, maybe for longer.

  • mgbode

    it’s easy. since we start 4-6 quarterbacks every year:

    QB1 – he gets games 1-3 & 13-14
    Hoyer – he gets games 4 & 5
    QB3 – he gets the 2nd half of game5 after Hoyer shatters his ankle while doing a pirouette to avoid a defender and games 6-8 and 17.

    I’m not sure who gets games 9-12 or 15-16 yet because they aren’t on anyone’s roster nor will be they be drafted or picked up in UDFA by anyone before the season. but, one (or more) of those other “gems” will be signed.

  • bupalos

    The gaping HOLE that has singlehandedly turned this year from an EASY wildcard or a good shot at the division to another standard dumper is singular and parks itself squarely behind Alex Mack’s non-extended, high snapping butt. And unless you are prepared to explain retroactively exactly what the regime was supposed to do with that position (when earlier you weren’t making peeps about it), all the other specific carping is beside the point. Because we could have 3 pro-bowl 6’6″ 225lb corners and another ILB and whatever else you want to go on about and would still be sitting exactly where we are without being able to address that gaping, Weeden-shaped hole, the one that grows a little bigger with each concussion and torn ACL that gets tossed into it.

    The obvious hindsight rejoinder to this is they should have outbid KC for Smith. To which I remind that no one thought this was a good idea before, and ask whether he would have ended up being out with the concussion or the ACL. You simply can’t frag the results for a team working on it’s 3rd of 3 3rd string QB’s.

    Also the one man chorus of “we’ve got too much pass rush” falls a little flat at this point. As it turns out, we could apparently use more. In fact, the first thing I’d add to this team beyond QB would be a hybrid guy that could rush the passer or cover backs and TE’s. Which in theory happens to be exactly the guy that we drafted. Though they They do have to figure out that this is his role- drop and delay rush up the middle as available.

    Meanwhile, the regime added a 1st rounder for a former 3rd overall that we both supported who took a giant step towards being out of the league yesterday. No one is happy about the way this thing has panned out, but I think it’s beyond beyond to be doing “I told you so’s” given the facts on the ground. This is a very good defense, and an offense with potential that simply has no engine.

  • bupalos

    Would that be 9-7 with Weeden, Campbell, or Hoyer behind that buttressed line? Because I think you can make a pretty good argument that there isn’t a team in the league you would expect to get to that record with any of those guys. The rest of the team has played winning football each of the last 2 weeks, and take away the punt team and I’d say each of the last 3. The QB play has killed it. Unless you really think there was something to be done at that position (long term commitment to Smith?) I just don’t get the criticism.

    I do agree with the skepticism on this QB crop and don’t believe in the tanking thing in any event.

  • Garry_Owen

    I’m not at all suggesting that they would have been 9-7. My point is that they would have AT BEST been 9-7; which is only to point out that tanking on the season – in whatever form they might have (and seem to have) tanked (e.g., not buttressing the OL; not acquiring a FS/better DB support; not acquiring a K; not spending their substantial cap (maybe a LB?); not actually replacing a starting RB; whatever) – did not produce that great of an impact, if we’re only talking about draft position and 2014 rookie QBs (none of whom, we agree, appear to be “franchise” caliber).

    In the end, whether they tanked or tried as hard as they could (and maybe they’ve done neither), I don’t think that the variance in their draft position would have been all that different. Maybe 15 spots? Regardless, it wouldn’t have been a #1 (for what that’s worth).

  • playing left out

    they’d rather sit…with their feet up. it’s good for circulation

  • nj0

    Quibble!!! The hole isn’t Weeden-shaped. If it were, he would be able to fill it nicely.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    1. QB wasn’t viewed as a hole coming in. A decision was made to give last year’s first round rookie a second year. Not outrageous.

    2. Making a mistake in the QB eval is far different from deliberately doing all the non-bulleted points outlined in the first paragraph.

    3. The conjoining of the two points is a peculiar problem in this discussion and a frustrating obfuscation. i.e., you had to be a fortune teller to know weeden (with shiny new vertical OC norv turner!!) would suck that badly and/or become dead to the world without gordon for two games. you did NOT have to be a fortune teller to know that sean lauvao backed up by ryan miller would be a problem. ditto craig robertson.

    4. Having a draft choice and using it wisely are two separate things. It’s kinda like… conserving cap space and then not using it. (All while simultaneously letting two of your best players hit the FA market.)

    5. Anyways, not sure why you’re so pro-Banner. Of course he’s building for the future.. that’s what they all say and it’s been a load of crap for 49 years now. Fans gonna fan. “YAY!! DRAFT PIX!!”

    6. Me? I say go for it now. I say thank you Dolans/Indians. I’ll take that one game wild-card playoff… it’s a hell of a lot more than the Browns have given us in 20 years.

  • bupalos

    It’s not ‘fan gonna fan.’ It’s after you make point 1, you need to realize that whether or not they went with your priorities on the other stuff, we would still be right here. And you can’t do much of that other stuff without making commitments that will restrict you moving forward.

    I think it’s both more and less than not knowing whether weeden could be good. I think they had a fair idea that he stunk. There simply wasn’t much to be done about that. What there was to be done, they did. Hoyer and JC are both better QB’s. Hoyer and JC both provided brief glimpses of playoff possibility.

    Installing the new D? Well, it improved the D. Significantly. I get the skepticism going in, but if there is any “see I told you” to be done on that, it’s on the regime’s side. As for the rest, I wanted to win as bad this year as anyone, but there simply isn’t anything that would have done it with the QB play, and those commitments would not evaporate for 2014. It’s not “do you want to win now or hope to win later?”

    With the QB in that state, it’s “do you want to lose now and have more flexibility, or lose now while restricting your future moves.” That’s how I see this, and that’s why acting like this is all some big scam on the fans seems bonkies to me.

  • saggy

    I agree with everything you’re saying and would just add this: I think the Browns could really benefit from a high draft pick in that they could sell it at a really high price to a team in “Win-Now” mode.

    I hope I don’t know what I’m talking about but it seems that, every year, I keep saying things like: “don’t draft Weeden!!” or “don’t draft Richardson,” only to be proven right. I just can’t put much faith behind any of these to-be-available signal callers….yet.

    But I’d be proud of the Brown and Orange if they could parlay a high pick into a nice haul, including more picks sooner rather than later.

  • maxfnmloans

    1983 was the last time. Sure that was the Baltimore Colts, but you didnt specify :)

  • maxfnmloans

    NOOOO! If we start Joe Thomas at QB, he will get hurt. It’s an immutable law of nature regarding Browns Qbs

  • maxfnmloans

    Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode at the car rental, “Anyone can take a reservation, the real key is to hold the reservation”

    You are so right though, anyone can stockpile assets (see Tom Heckert 2012), the real key is capitalizing on those assets

  • dan

    Hearing Chud complain that he “won’t stand” losing reminds me of nothing so much as a police officer parked on the side of the road with a radar gun in his hand, complaining that too many people are speeding and somebody should do something about it.

    Hey, Chud? You’re the head coach. If you’re not happy with what’s going on with the team, change something!

  • tnb

    Everybody here knows Brandon Weeden is the worst “starting” quarterback in the NFL. Quite frankly, if weeden doesn’t start at all this year, the browns are probably looking ay something more like 7-4 than their current record. He is literally the only option left for Chudzinski leading into this game, so they’re already handicapped by an immobile player who hesitates to make decisions in a league that relies completely on quick plays. So what are we shocked and amazed that the browns 1) lost a game and 2) are in a position to have a top ten pick again?

    I remember the article.where most of you seemed to think Weeden was going to be a 3k yards, 20td 12 picks kind of guy, but we all know thats clearly not the case and now all of a sudden everyone “knew all along” because of some phantom losing culture, which is the new boogyman for fans to cry about apparently.

    This front office assembled a group together and positioned themselves to get the FINAL pieces together, and not a complete restart. This front office has assembled a top five, yes five, defense in the NFL who wouldn’t look half as bad if they weren’t on the field for over 60% of a game to teams like JACKSONVILLE. The fact is that this coaching staff has shown that with just a little bit of competent, league average QB play this is a team that looks like it will contend. Imagine next year when they have the ability to not just draft a quarterback because they have to, but pick the quarterback that best fits their system and place legitimate depth at the rest of their positions on the field.

    While we all joke about “waiting for next year”, for the first time in a very long time you can legitimately say that about this browns team, who was honestly still in contention until week 12. People need to stop pretending that this is a team that was 12-4 last year. This is a team that has been perennially a 5 win team, that finally looks legitimate and are only really A player or two away from being a strong team in the AFC for the immediate future.

  • Chet Manly

    I certainly don’t want to be the guy to defend Weeden, because he sucks by just about any measure, but he is still light years ahead of some of the QB’s we’ve started over the last decade plus.

  • 240

    Shurmur made clear tactical errors (not knowing how to run the down 10, inside 3 minute drill, challenges on 1st and goal from the 1 yard line in the first quarter, etc.). Comparing Chud to Shurmur just because of losses is ridiculous.

  • http://brian23.com Brian

    Draft slots hardly matter since they don’t draft well regardless.

  • Big Z

    Wow. So tell the FO to get a QB!

  • bupalos

    Agree. Will we “stand” for poor use of timeouts? Get a quant Chud.

  • bupalos

    I am proposing that he is made of anti matter.

  • bupalos

    The answer to “what if your starting QB goes down” is the same for the browns as the other 31 flavors. You lose. No matter what. Period.

    Value of decent QB’s+Salary Cap+passing game rules = keep your QB healthy or lose.

    Which in turn means Value of decent OL’s skyrockets.

    I’m also not so sure on the concussion issues being on the line. Campell hung himself out to dry, I have no idea how he didn’t see the free man from the get go, and it wasn’t a line issue.

  • bupalos

    Probably the best way to get out of cap hell is go with a rookie QB. I think they are paying Shaub like 12MM. Which seems pretty nuts.

  • George Griffin

    maybe browns fans don’t want to admit it or are just in total denial…rob chudzinski is a total loser…was anybody watching the game???we have no running game…instead of going for the “sure”extra point this idiot “runs” on the two point conversion…are you kidding me???even with everything that happened in the game,if this moron had just made the decision to kick the extra point the most we were looking at was overtime…this guy always has been 7 always will be a LOSER!!!!!!!!!!