As if finishing the season at 4-12 and on a seven-game losing streak wasn't bad enough, the players in the Cleveland Browns locker room had to face the media following the stunning firing of head coach Rob Chudzinski. When I mean "face the media," I mean that any player who was willing to speak was going to be swarmed like this:
Here is what we have gathered from tweets:
- WR Greg Little and RB Edwin Baker declined to speak with reporters. Other than saying he was "shocked," TE MarQueis Gray declined to say anything else.
- WR Josh Gordon said, "he didn't known firing a head coach after one year was possible." He said that Rob Chudzinski actually met with the players today, as his goodbye of sorts, stating that he wished he could coach them next year. Gordon threw some support in the direction of offensive coordinator Norv Turner, saying he really liked playing in his system.
- WR Josh Cooper said that Haslam and Banner met with the team early on Monday. He said that they were told about Chudzinski's fate on the bus ride back from Pittsburgh Sunday night.
- RB Willis McGahee said, "I'm alright; the owner is around and you can talk to him; you'll get all the answers you need."
- RB Chris Ogbonnaya said that Chudzinski taught him a lot and made him a better player, but he also understands that coaching changes are part of the business, just like players face the chopping block all the time.
- OG Shawn Lauvao said that in the meeting with Banner and Haslam, it was mostly Haslam doing the talking, and he cited the team's decline in the second half of the year as the reason for the decision.
- DE Jabaal Sheard said that he felt given what Chudzinski had to work with, the team did the best that they could. In other words, effort wasn't an issue. Sheard said the meeting with Banner and Haslam felt a lot like the previous year's meeting, when Pat Shurmur was fired.
- OLB Barkevious Mingo said he had been looking forward to getting into the playbook this offseason, but now, he's not sure whose playbook that will be. He said finishing the season with Chudzinski being fired leaves an "uneasy feeling" and that it'd be a setback if Ray Horton didn't return.
- LT Joe Thomas, LB D'Qwell Jackson, CB Joe Haden, QB Brandon Weeden, QB Jason Campbell, SS T.J. Ward, and TE Jordan Cameron were not in the locker room while the reporters were there. For those wondering, that is not out of the ordinary -- it is common that only a subset of players are available to the media following a game.
Banner and Haslam will address the media Monday afternoon, and we have an open thread ready for that.