Firings begin around the NFL

(KSDK Sports) -- The annual retribution of firings around the NFL has begun.

Mike Shanahan is out as the Washington Redskins' coach and executive vice president.

The team announced Monday morning it has fired Shanahan, one day after the Redskins finished a 3-13 season with a 20-6 loss to the New York Giants.

Shanahan, 61, was 24-41 in four seasons with Washington. Three of those years ended with double-digit losses and last-place finishes in the NFC East.

"Redskins fans deserve a better result," Owner Daniel M. Snyder said. "We thank Mike for his efforts on behalf of the Redskins. We will focus on what it takes to build a winning team, and my pledge to this organization and to this community is to continue to commit the resources and talent necessary to put this team back in the playoffs."

"We are going to take a smart, step-by-step approach to finding the right coach to return the Redskins to where we believe we should be," Executive Vice President/General Manager Bruce Allen said. "We will analyze accurately and honestly all of the decisions that were made over the past year."

Vikings Fire coach Leslie Frazier
The Minnesota Vikings have fired coach Leslie Frazier after three-plus seasons.

"We have tremendous respect and appreciation for Leslie and what he has done for the Minnesota Vikings," Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said in a statement issued by the team early Monday morning.

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"He stepped in and established a strong positive culture here and he has been the consummate professional as our head coach and in this community. Making this change is difficult, but what we determined is best for the organization."

Frazier, 54, was 21-32-1 and led the Vikings to a playoff berth after the 2012 season. But they lost in the wild-card round against the Green Bay Packers and struggled mightily in Frazier's other two full seasons, finishing 3-13 in 2011 and 5-10-1 this season after Sunday's win over the Detroit Lions.

"Unfortunately, we did not achieve consistent success and did not achieve the progress we expected," Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said in a statement. "We believe a coaching change is needed to help build a successful team moving forward."

Frazier had one year left on his contract – an option year the Vikings exercised in January rather than giving him the multiyear extension he had expected. He was promoted on an interim basis after Brad Childress' firing in November 2010, then given the job after the Vikings finished that season 3-3.

Frazier's push to trade for quarterback Donovan McNabb after the 2011 lockout and other disagreements over personnel matters led to Spielman's promotion to general manager after that season.

It is expected Spielman will have a strong voice in hiring the team's next coach.

Browns fire Chudzinski after one season
The Cleveland Browns didn't wait until Black Monday to make a coaching change.

In a somewhat surprising move, the Browns dismissed rookie coach Rob Chudzinski on Sunday night, about six hours after Cleveland's season ended with a 20-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Browns, who were 4-5 at their bye week and on the fringes of the AFC playoff picture in early November, lost their final seven games and extended their postseason drought to 11 seasons.

"We appreciate Chud's passion for the Browns, and we have great respect for him both personally and professionally," the Browns said in a statement. "We needed to see progress with this football team. We needed to see development and improvement as the season evolved and, unfortunately, we took a concerning step backward in the second half of the year."

Chudzinski, an Ohio native and lifelong fan of the Browns, becomes the second coach dismissed this season. The Houston Texans fired Gary Kubiak on Dec. 6.

Chudzinski, 45, had never been a head coach at any level before landing his dream job Jan. 10. The former University of Miami (Fla.) tight end spent the previous nine seasons as an NFL assistant, including stints as the offensive coordinator for both the Browns and, later, the Carolina Panthers.

Cleveland may not have to look far to find Chudzinski's successor. Defensive coordinator Ray Horton will likely be a hot name once the coaching carousel presumably begins spinning in earnest Monday as several other clubs are expected to make changes.

The Browns, however, who have not won a playoff game since their rebirth in 1999, need to revitalize their offense if they are to compete. Wideout Josh Gordon is a budding star, but a consistent running game never materialized and the quarterback position was plagued by injuries and inconsistency with Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer and Jason Campbell all taking turns under center.


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