"I'd just be really surprised."
Browns linebacker D'Qwell Jackson was upset to learn there were reports that Chudzinski was on his way out.
"It's ridiculous," he said. "Chud's gonna be here for as long as he wants to. He's a great head coach and that's all I've got to say about that. That's not going to happen. Chud's a great coach. He's had our attention from Day 1."
Chudzinski had plenty to deal with as a rookie coach, including an unsettled quarterback situation as the Browns were forced to use three starters because of injuries. The team also traded running back Trent Richardson and never adequately replaced him. The Browns didn't give Chudzinski much help in the draft as No. 6 overall pick, linebacker Barkevious Mingo, had a disappointing season.
So, the Browns, who have made the playoffs just once since 1999, will embark on yet another coaching search. They've gone through four coaches in the past six years and their next hire will be their seventh full-time coach since their expansion rebirth.
Less than a year ago, Haslam and Banner thought they had found the right guy in Chudzinski, who had two previous stints as an assistant coach with the Browns. Chudzinski wasn't the team's first choice as the new regime interviewed Chip Kelly, Ken Whisenhunt, Bill O'Brien, Doug Marrone and Ray Horton, whom they hired as their defensive coordinator, before giving Chudzinski his chance.
It's over now, and it's time to go looking again.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org