Board Topics: African Republic and just above Lebanon
BEREA, Ohio -- Browns owner Jimmy Haslam understands the situation looks bad, even embarrassing. Joe Staley Super Bowl Jersey . He bungled his first NFL coaching hire and cant afford to make another mistake. Haslam vowed it will be different this time. It has to be. A day after firing Rob Chudzinski for failing to make the Browns better in just one season, Haslam explained his reasons on Monday for the shocking move when he was forced to answer some tough questions, including one from a fan who wondered if the "Three Stooges" were running his team. "We understand the importance of continuity," Haslam said. "But I think its really important to hear this: We also understand the importance of getting it right." The Browns dumped Chudzinski on Sunday night, just hours after a 20-7 loss in Pittsburgh and less than a year after he was brought in to turn around a team that cant seem to get out of its own way. Haslam and CEO Joe Banner cited an overall lack of progress in their decision to dismiss Chudzinski, who had the Browns at 4-5 before they lost their final seven games and finished 4-12 -- the clubs sixth straight season with at least 10 losses. Banner said the decision was finalized Saturday. "As unpopular and undesirable as it is to sit here and acknowledge we didnt get it right, the fact that were making a change makes a statement that were not going to accept not being successful," Banner said. Haslam knows there are skeptics wondering if this Browns regime has what it takes to transform a foundering franchise. Cleveland fans have spent years hearing broken promises and plans that go astray. Haslam, though, is committed to making good on his word to bring sustained success to the Browns. "There will be a lot of people who say we should have given this staff a second year, a second chance," Haslam said. "And in our estimation, it was best to go ahead and make the change and try to get it right so that we can move forward and candidly, and most importantly, give the fans here the kind of winner they deserve." Banner and Haslam have begun their search for Chudzinskis replacement. Banner said the team is still deciding whether to interview Browns defensive co-ordinator Ray Horton for the opening. Horton interviewed with the Browns last season before the job went to Chudzinski, a lifelong Browns fan who was caught off guard by his ouster. Banner said none of the other candidates interviewed last year will be considered again. That would appear to rule out Penn State coach Bill OBrien and San Diego offensive co-ordinator Ken Whisenhunt. New England offensive co-ordinator Josh McDaniels could be the frontrunner to be Clevelands seventh full-time coach since 1999 because of his relationship with Browns general manager Michael Lombardi. The team requested permission to interview McDaniels as well as Seattle defensive co-ordinator Dan Quinn and Denver offensive co-ordinator Adam Gase. The Browns are also expected to interview Arizona defensive co-ordinator Todd Bowles, who previously worked as an assistant on Butch Davis staff in Cleveland. Haslam knows its imperative to stop the constant turnover. The Browns have changed coaches four times in six years. "We have to prove to you all well get the right guy," Haslam said. "Were confident we can do that. But until that individual comes in here and wins football games, talk is cheap. So actions speak loud." The Browns do have a more attractive situation to lure a prospective coach than they did a year ago. Cleveland had five Pro Bowl players this season, the team has two first-round picks in Mays draft and theres plenty of salary cap room to sign free agents. "This is the crucial off-season for the Cleveland Browns," Haslam said. "If we get that right, well have a lot of positive press conferences. We feel a lot of pressure to get this right for our players, our fans and the city of Cleveland." Chudzinski was told of his firing shortly after the team returned by bus from Pittsburgh. "I was shocked and disappointed to hear the news that I was fired," Chudzinski said in a statement released by the Browns. "I am a Cleveland Brown to the core, and always will be. ... 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." Chudzinski has three years left on his contract worth a reported $10 million. He was emotional as he said goodbye to his players. "Its unfortunate," wide receiver Josh Gordon said. "I cant say whats fair, whats not fair. The NFL, its the business of the league. But I thought he would have more time than that. "I figured any coach in the NFL would get at least two years. I didnt even know that was possible." Matt Breida Super Bowl Jersey . The lightning strike was in the parking lot of Crew Stadium on Saturday night, but its not known if the off-duty lieutenant was struck directly, Columbus Fire Department Battalion Chief Tracy Smith said. The firefighter, identified as Lt. Ronnie Lott Super Bowl Jersey .5 million contract with the right-handed reliever. Ziegler revealed the agreement via Twitter, saying hes "really excited to stay in Arizona for a couple more years, at least.ZURICH, Switzerland -- Germany climbed to the top of the FIFA rankings on Thursday after winning the World Cup for the first time in 24 years, while several European rivals paid the price for their dismal performances in Brazil. Germany, which beat Argentina 1-0 on Sunday to win a fourth World Cup, replaced deposed champion Spain in first place. Argentina jumped three places into second in the rankings, while the Netherlands soared 12 spots into third after beating host Brazil to clinch third place. Reaching the quarter-finals took Colombia to fourth and Belgium to fifth in FIFAs monthly rannkings, which take into account all 64 World Cup matches. Patrick Willis Super Bowl Jersey. Spains title defence surprisingly ended in the group stage, and the team has dropped to eighth place. First-round exits also led to Portugal going down seven places to 11th, Italy dropping five to 14th and England plummeting 10 spots to 20th. Canada fell eight spots to No. 118, one spot below the Central African Republic and just above Lebanon. The United States fell two places to 15th despite reaching the round of 16 where they lost to Belgium. The Americans were overtaken by the Dutch, Chile and France. ' ' '