And So Begins the Pat Shurmur Era


Pat Shurmur is the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns.  On a positive note, we now have a coach who we can call “The Shurminator” so that’s pretty cool.  Other than that all we can really say is…

Now what?

A coaching search that was supposed to be detailed, expansive, and bring in numerous candidates now seems like it was anything but.  Shurmur was the first of three candidates interviewed by Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert.  Apparently first impressions really do mean everything because he got the job.  Mike Mularkey and Perry Fewell now seem like token interviews made to look necessary to appease both the fans and well defined league rules.  Despite what ever you might think about the hire, and believe me there’s a lot here to have an opinion about, we as fans now have to come to terms with it and move forward.

Meanwhile, the national media is having a field day analyzing the hell out of this hire.  It appears now that many national pundits know as much about Pat Shurmur’s past as we do.  That’s right folks, that would be squadoosh, zip,

Was Sam Bradford the key to Shurmur getting the job?

zero, zilch.  No one has ever heard of the guy and no one seems to understand why the Browns were so quick to jump in the sack with someone who wasn’t on any other team’s radar as a head coaching candidate.  It’s a valid question and everyone, including Eric Mangini, keeps providing the same nondescript answer.

The main reason being provided for the hire is some combination of, “He’s from the Holmgren tree, runs the same offense as Holmgren, has a knack for developing young quarterbacks such as Sam Bradford, and his lack of experience will make it easy for Holmgren to offer support.”  In addition, Holmgren himself came out and said some kind words about Shurmur,

“I am extremely excited about having Pat Shurmur as the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns,” said Team President Mike Holmgren. “Pat is a bright, young man who grew up in football and around the coaching profession. I came away from our interview very impressed with him as a person, his extensive knowledge of the game and his track record of success as an assistant coach in this league. Most importantly, I feel as though he possesses the necessary qualities which make him the right man to lead our football team.”

What exactly are these necessary qualities?  How does Holmgren know Shurmur possess them after only a couple hour interview?  Pat Shurmur has no previous head coaching experience on any level of football.  I don’t seem to understand how he can possibly know what positive head coaching qualities Shurmur possesses.  One thing I can promise you is that today during the introductory press conference someone is going to ask.  Holmgren better have a very specific answer prepared, otherwise people are going to begin to question this move even more than they already are.

According to many of the talking heads in the media, this move appears to be a power play by Holmgren in order to allow for his input in all things football.  They believe that Shurmur is a D list hire and will be nothing more than a talking head to Mike Holmgren.  I hope this isn’t the case, because if it is it could end up being a disasterous move.  Nothing about that sounds like a good situation for either Holmgren or Shurmur.  Unfortunately, it’s the only logical explanation for why Shurmur was hired in the first place.

More than likely the first question that will be asked this morning is, “Why Pat Shurmur and how did he even become a candidate?”  It’s the one question everyone is dying to know the answer to.  I know I want to know.  We all want to know, especially since he wasn’t on anyone’s radar to begin with.  Regardless of how the decision was made, it is one that is going to define Mike Holmgren’s legacy as the football czar of the Cleveland Browns.  I just hope he realizes this.

Browns fans are sick and tired of losing.  It’s all we’ve learned to experience over the course of the past 11 years.  Holmgren has to understand that our patience is already as short as it can possibly get.  We don’t want to sit through another agonizing rebuilding project.  The Shurmur experiment has to work and it has to work now.  If it doesn’t Holmgren may have no choice other than to step down to the sidelines and fix things himself and build a winner, just like he’s promised time and time again.  Again, Holmgren has to understand this.

The graveyard of Cleveland coaches past is littered with the tombstones of Chris Palmer, Butch Davis, Romeo Crennel and Eric Mangini.  Knowing Browns fans the way I do, the chisel is already in hand.

Head Coach Pat Shurmur: 2011 – ??????


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