Have the Browns Found a Coach that Will Last More than Three Years?
by Chris Fedor
Since the Cleveland Browns came back in 1999, they have had a number of different head coaches and a number of different GM’s. However, the Browns now believe that they have the structure in place to become relevant once again in the NFL. Not only is Mike Holmgren in charge with Tom Heckert making the personnel decisions, but now the Browns have a young, up-and-coming head coach that has a strong offensive background. Shurmur was not on the radar of too many teams, but his offensive background made him appealing to a team that has not been good enough on that side of the ball in recent years. Whether or not he succeeds in the NFL is totally up to him. He has no experience as a head coach and he only has two years experience as an offensive coordinator. However, the Browns organization is finally in good hands with Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert so Shurmur has been placed in a position to succeed, unlike in recent years in Cleveland.
Pat Shurmur joined ESPN 850 WKNR in Cleveland with Michael Reghi and Kenny Roda to talk about whether or not he was surprised that he got hired by the Browns so soon after getting eliminated from the playoffs, if he felt like he was ready to take the next step, how important it will be to build a team that can compete with Pittsburgh and Baltimore, and gives his thoughts on Colt McCoy.
If he was surprised he got a shot so soon:
“That’s the way of the NFL world. It’s like the last game is like a sudden car wreck. The season’s over and you’re always on to evaluating players and the direction you’re going to go. Whether or not you’re going to change jobs, even though the final game has been played you’re on to the business of your sport. To add the other excitement of changing jobs and coming to a great city like Cleveland, it’s been a little bit of a whirlwind.”
On whether or not he felt he was ready to take this step:
“I think we all would like to be head coaches and that’s what we would like to do with our career. You really don’t plan for those though. I think what happens is you have your inspiration, you go to work, you coach, and you’re fortunate enough to be around coaches and people where eventually you move up through the ranks. At some point we all may get that call. I wasn’t planning this. I was planning to move forward with the St. Louis Rams as to what direction we’re going to go for next season. I got the call from Tom Heckert and said let’s see if we can put this thing together.”
How important it is to build a team that can compete with the Steelers and Ravens:
“The important thing is we are well aware of the rivalries and the competition. As we play those teams we will do what we can to attack them. The important thing for the Cleveland Browns is we focus on ourself and becoming the best we can be. If we keep worrying about that, we keep developing our team to be as good as we can be, then as we keep matching up with teams in our division hopefully we will be able to do the things that we’re looking to do.”
On Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy and his background for helping QB’s:
“Those were two very fine quarterbacks in last year’s draft. Sam had the chance to do it over the course of 16 games and play consistently well for us. He’s going to move and he’s going to be one of the best. Colt had an opportunity to play some this year and I think he’s going to value from those experiences as a player. The way you get better at quarterback is to play. That’s going to be good for him. I do think he has the skill and ability to be a very fine quarterback in this league so I’m looking forward to getting that going.”