CLEVELAND - The Browns fired head coach Rob Chudzinski late Sunday night after just one year at the helm.
At a press conference on Monday afternoon. Browns CEO Joe Banner said the decision was made on Saturday.
"I think the fact that this didn't go well doesn't change the track record we both have in recognizing good people," Banner said, speaking for himself and owner Jimmy Haslam.
"These type of decisions that we announced last night are always difficult," Haslam said. "It's really important that we show improvement during the course of the season. We needed to be better in the last three games than we were in the first three games and as the season developed it was our feeling that as a team we were not getting better."
Chudzinski started 3-2 for the Browns in his first five games but the team dropped 11 of its final 12 games.
He released a statement at noon Monday:
“I was shocked and disappointed to hear the news that I was fired. I am a Cleveland Brown to the core, and always will be. It was an honor to lead our players and coaches, and I appreciate their dedication and sacrifice. I was more excited than ever for this team, as I know we were building a great foundation for future success. While clearly I would have liked to see the long-term vision through to the end, I am very grateful to Jimmy Haslam and the Haslam family for letting me live my dream.”
NewsChannel5 spotted Chud leaving the Browns facility in Berea after being relieved of his duties.
The team released the following statement:
"We appreciate Chud's passion for the Browns, and we have great respect for him both personally and professionally. We needed to see progress with this football team. We needed to see development and improvement as the season evolved and, unfortunately, we took a concerning step backward in the second half of the year.
"Our fans deserve to see a consistently competitive team. We have high standards, and there's an urgency for success. When we believed we were not positioned to achieve significant progress in 2014, we knew we had to admit that a change was needed, and move forward.
"Browns fans are the most loyal and passionate supporters in the NFL. We're fully committed to bringing them the winning football team they deserve."
Many fans were upset over the move but Browns analyst Reggie Rucker said the move was justified.