CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns have fired coach Rob Chudzinski following one season, which started promising but ended with a seven-game losing streak.
Chudzinski had only been in place since Jan. 11, when the Ohio native and lifelong Browns fan was hired for his dream position by owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner. The Browns started 4-5, but collapsed in the final two months and the organization decided Sunday night to cut ties before heading into a second season with Chudzinski.
Cleveland ended its season with a 20-7 loss in Pittsburgh. The Browns dropped 10 of their last 11.
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.
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Jets say Ryan will return
Shortly after Sunday’s 20-7 victory over Miami to conclude an 8-8 season, Jets owner Woody Johnson told the team that Rex Ryan would return for a sixth season in 2014.
“Everyone in the locker room was ecstatic,” quarterback Geno Smith said. “It felt as if you won the Super Bowl. Having our head coach back, a guy we enjoy playing for, it’s great.”
Ryan was given the news before the game. He’s 42-38 in the regular season with the Jets, and his future had been in doubt even though he’s popular with players, has a 4-2 postseason record and has a year left on his contract.
• Mike Shanahan was soaked in both rainwater and disappointment as he walked off the field for what is expected to be the final time as Washington coach. He had stood on the sideline absorbing a steady rain on a gray afternoon in a mostly empty, lifeless stadium as the Redskins lost their season finale to the New York Giants, 20-6, to drop their record to 3-13 with their eighth straight defeat.
Shanahan said he is scheduled to meet Monday morning with team owner Daniel Snyder to determine his future with the organization. Multiple people familiar with the situation said earlier Sunday they expect Shanahan to be fired.
“I’ll get a chance to talk to Dan tomorrow,” Shanahan said. “And after I talk to Dan, hopefully I’ll get a chance to talk to you guys, and you guys can ask me all those questions you’ve been wanting to ask me for a while and I’ll get a chance to answer them.”
• Retiring Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez had four catches for 56 yards and was honored at halftime in his final regular-season game.
• Detroit star wide receiver Calvin Johnson probably will need offseason knee surgery.