Anytime there’s a gathering of NFL coaches and scouts, there are inevitably stories. Some of those stories see the light of day, and mercifully for many, most don’t.
But here’s a funny one that surfaced on Wednesday, courtesy of ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler: A small group of former Browns coaches held a “fired Browns coaches” party at a restaurant in Indianapolis during the NFL scouting combine.
Even better? Fowler’s colleague Adam Schefter tweeted that it was held at the Rock Bottom.
Fowler said it was a small group – Schefter later posted that Mike Pettine and some of his former assistants were there – but at this point, the Fraternity of the Fired could hold a meeting in a pretty good-sized banquet room.
Since 2002, the last time the Browns made the playoffs, they’ve had seven head coaches – Butch Davis, Terry Robiskie (interim), Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, Pat Shurmur, Rob Chudzinski, Pettine and Hue Jackson, who is still employed and therefore not yet eligible for the fraternity.
And by our count, there have been 10 offensive coordinators and eight defensive coordinators in that time, plus dozens of position coaches.
One question we have: were they celebrating being let go by a franchise that’s been mismanaged for years, or were they commisserating because none of them could be the ones to lead the Browns to success?
If Chudzinski or Ray Horton was there, hopefully they had all of their drinks paid for out of sympathy: both men have been fired by the Browns multiple times. Chudzinski was interim offensive coordinator in 2004, after Terry Robiskie was named interim head coach when Davis resigned, and then was Crennel’s coordinator in 2007-08, and then was let go after just one season as head coach, in 2013. Horton was Chudzinski’s defensive coordinator in ’13 and then Jackson’s in 2016, only to be fired after one year.