Former Browns OL Coach: I Got Fired In The Hospital

Bob Wylie will never forget where he was when he found out he was no longer a member of Cleveland's coaching staff

Zach Gelb
August 05, 2019 - 12:46 pm
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Bob Wylie served as Browns offensive line coach for two seasons – 2017 and 2018. But he was fired this offseason while in the hospital recovering from knee and ankle injuries. 

“My daughter called me and said, ‘Hey, dad, you just got fired today,’” Wylie said on The Zach Gelb Show. “That’s the first time I heard about it. I was laying in a hospital bed, and they said, ‘Hey, dad, you just got fired today.’”

Wylie, 68, was in a rehabilitation center for 122 days. No one in the Browns organization notified him of his dismissal.

“Maybe two weeks (later), I get a missed call from Freddie,” Wylie said, referring to Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens. “There was no voicemail. There was just a missed call. I never called him back. It was in the paper, obviously, that I got fired and that’s how it went. They packed up my office. They put my office in storage because I was still in the hospital. I couldn’t (pick) the stuff up. So that’s how it all kind of went down.”

Wylie wasn’t necessarily surprised.

“That stuff happens in the National Football League,” he said. “‘Thank you, guys. You guys did a great job. Thanks for helping me get the interview, but I’m going to take this job, and you guys are going to become collateral damage.’ That’s what happened.”

What did surprise Wylie? That former Browns defensive coordinator and interim head coach Gregg Williams did not get the head-coaching gig.

“That shocked me,” Wylie said. “Gregg Williams turned the team around. That’s his work. That was his work that got it to where it is. Gregg was too strong a candidate, and I don’t think (general manager John) Dorsey wanted to go head-to-head like he had to do with Andy Reid in Kansas City.”

Either way, there should be less tension in Cleveland this season, as neither Hue Jackson nor Todd Haley is on staff. Wylie said Jackson and Haley often butted heads and that the tension filtered down to the players.

“The atmosphere that’s created, it’s like every day you’re going to hear something. Somebody is getting blasted for some reason,” Wylie said. “When that tension was relieved, the second half of the season was more relaxed. The kids were more relaxed. The coaches were more relaxed. All that tension and pressure had gone away. You could see it on the practice field, and you could feel it in the games. The kids were playing at a much higher level because the tension was released.”

Click below to listen to Wylie’s interview in its entirety.