OBR Daily Blog 1/13

Nothing official yet, but Pat Shurmur appears to be the leading candidate as the next coach of your Cleveland Browns.

Rams Press Release on Shurmur
Barry McBride on January 13th, 2011 AT 8:03 PM


St. Louis, Mo. – Pat Shurmur, who served as the Rams’ offensive coordinator the past two seasons, became head coach of the Cleveland Browns Thursday.

“I am very happy for Pat and his family,” Rams Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “I very much appreciate Pat and what he has done to help us grow as a team these last two years. I wish him and his family the very best in Cleveland.”

In 2010, the Rams scored 114 more points than they did in 2009, the second best improvement in the NFL last season. In addition, the Rams committed just 21 turnovers in 2010, tied for the ninth-lowest total in the NFL.

“Pat is a very good football coach and has done an excellent job for us,” Rams General Manager Billy Devaney said. “He is deserving of this opportunity and I wish him and his family the best in Cleveland.”

RB Steven Jackson enjoyed 1,000-year seasons in each of Shurmur’s years as the team’s offensive play caller, and Jackson was recently named to his third Pro Bowl. Wide receivers Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson along with tight ends Daniel Fells and Billy Bajema each posted new career highs in receptions in 2010.

“I knew it would not be long before Coach Shurmur got a head coaching job in this league,” Jackson said.  “He was a good coordinator for the Rams and on Sundays, he got the most out of his players and always had us in a position to win the game.  Congratulations to Coach Shurmur and his family.”

Shurmur also played a key role in the development of QB Sam Bradford, who set new NFL rookie records for completions and attempts and finished second all-time among NFL rookies with 3,512 passing yards.

“This is a great opportunity for Coach Shurmur,” Bradford said. “I really enjoyed working with him last season and he truly helped my transition from college to the NFL game. I think he will be a really good head coach.”

What They’re Saying About Pat Shurmur
Dave Kolonich on January 13th, 2011 AT 6:38 PM

Below Is a Press Release From the Cleveland Browns:

Browns Cornerback Sheldon Brown

"As a rookie coming into the National Football League (in 2002), he was our quarterbacks coach in Philadelphia. I knew he demanded a lot of respect, for one, Donovan McNabb was the guy that was already established there and Donovan had the utmost respect for Coach Shurmur. He is a sharp guy. He always took notes in meetings and he was one of those guys that (Eagles head coach) Andy (Reid) could depend on to get the guys ready to play, motivate and do well on gamedays. That’s what you are looking for when you are looking for a coach. He kind of reminds me of a guy like (Baltimore Ravens head coach) John Harbaugh, who took a lot of notes, never had enough knowledge and always wanted to learn more. I had a lot of respect for him. He is a hard working guy and I think he will do well." 

Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid

"I’m extremely proud of and happy for Pat Shurmur and his family. He is a proven commodity in the NFL and has paid his dues as a successful assistant coach. Pat is smart, very well organized and has a great command and great feel for the ins and outs of the business of pro football. I believe, to a man, all of the players and coaches that have worked with and for Pat Shurmur have the utmost respect for him as a person and as a coach. And I’m right at the top of that list. He’ll do a great job for the city of Cleveland as their head football coach."

Redskins Quarterback Donovan McNabb

"I think it is a great choice for the Cleveland Browns. Pat Shurmur is a hard-working, dedicated and determined individual who demands perfection from all his players. The team will love playing for him."

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on January 13th, 2011 AT 6:00 PM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for January 13th from 08:08 to 17:12:

Revisionist History
Dave Kolonich on January 13th, 2011 AT 5:02 PM

Not very long after the Browns' announced the hiring of Pat Shurmur as Head Coach, some other pieces of the NFL coaching puzzle fell into place.

AP – Broncos Hire Former Panthers' Coach Fox

What a difference a year makes.

This time last year, such a headline would have seemed improbable, at least based on Josh McDaniels' successful first season in Denver.  More precisely, this is the sort of headline that could have happened in Cleveland at the end of 2009 – or even now – at least if the circumstances would have been different.

Entering the 2010 season, Fox was rumored to be a candidate for the Browns' head job – based on Fox's literal lame duck status and the figurative classification given to Eric Mangini.  Of course, much of this speculation rested on Fox sharing the same agent as Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert – in Bob LaMonte.

In hiring Shurmur, Holmgren acquires a young coach who he can seemingly mold in his own image – much in same way that a quarterback like Colt McCoy is being groomed.  In the process, the entire identity of the Browns has been dramatically changed.

While the results of each of these projects will not be revealed for a long time, another thought worth considering is just who the Browns would have pursued if Holmgren had never come to town.  Of course, in this scenario – one would have to assume that Mangini would have been fired by owner Randy Lerner.

In such a case, just who would Lerner have turned to in order to again revamp his struggling franchise?

Perhaps an experienced coach – one born from the lower rungs of the Bill Parcells tree? 

Somebody like John Fox?

1:17 PM

Welcome to Cleveland, Pat Shurmur: Shurmur will be the 13th head coach in team history and will be formally intr… http://bit.ly/eaTjjQ

12:37 PM

The Browns have named Pat Shurmur as their new head coach! Holmgren brings in a compatible head coach.

Browns make Shurmur hire official
Don Delco on January 13th, 2011 AT 12:36 PM

Below is a press release from the Cleveland Browns:

The Cleveland Browns today named Pat Shurmur as the 13th full-time head coach in franchise history.

Shurmur's résumé includes 23 years of coaching experience, including 12 in the NFL. In those 12 seasons, he has been a part of teams that have qualified for the playoffs seven times, won five division crowns and posted one Super Bowl appearance.

"It's an honor and a privilege to join an organization with such a rich history and tradition as the Cleveland Browns," Shurmur said. "I have the utmost respect for Coach Holmgren and Tom Heckert, and I am impressed with the direction in which they have this franchise going. I have known Tom for most of my pro coaching career, and while we were in Philadelphia, he and I developed an outstanding relationship. I want to thank Mike and Tom, as well as Randy Lerner, for this tremendous opportunity. I also want to thank the St. Louis Rams and Steve Spagnuolo for two terrific seasons and for giving me a chance to be a coordinator at this level. I am looking forward to this challenge and can't wait to get started in helping to build the Browns back to one of the elite teams in the NFL."

"I am extremely excited about having Pat Shurmur as the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns," said Browns 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."

Shurmur spent the past two seasons (2009-10) as the offensive coordinator with the St. Louis Rams. He helped the Rams improve to a 7-9 record following a 1-15 season in 2009, the second-biggest turnaround in the league this past season. In 2010, he guided St. Louis' offense to improvements in nearly every category including total yards, time of possession and third-down percentage, while they also scored 114 more points than the previous year. In addition, the Rams committed just 21 turnovers in 2010, tied for the ninth-lowest total in the NFL.

He helped shape quarterback Sam Bradford, the top pick in the 2010 draft, as Bradford set NFL rookie records for completions (354) and attempts (590), while his 3,512 passing yards were the second-most by a rookie in league history, trailing only Peyton Manning’s 3,739 in 1998. Bradford’s 18 touchdown passes tied for fifth-most among rookies in NFL history. During a midseason stretch, he set an NFL rookie record with 174 consecutive attempts without an interception.

Along with starting a rookie quarterback, the team's second-round pick, Rodger Saffold, was the only NFL rookie to start all 16 games at left tackle in 2010. The Rams allowed just 34 sacks despite attempting the fifth-most passing plays in the NFL this past season, which placed the team 12th in the league in sacks per pass play.

Also under Shurmur, Rams running back Steven Jackson was selected to the NFC Pro Bowl squad both years. Jackson claimed the NFC rushing title in 2009 with 1,416 yards. Jackson's rushing totals each of the past two seasons (1,241 in 2010) represent two of the three highest rushing figures of his seven-year NFL career.

Prior to joining the Rams, Shurmur spent 10 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles (1999-2008). He served as the team's quarterbacks coach from 2002-08 and helped Donovan McNabb to three Pro Bowl selections during his tenure. In 2008, McNabb set Eagles single-season records with 345 completions and 3,916 passing yards.

In 2004, Shurmur guided McNabb to the most productive season of his career, as he set franchise records in passer rating (104.7) and completion percentage (64.0). McNabb also became the first quarterback in NFL history with 30-plus touchdown passes (31) and fewer than 10 interceptions (8) in a single season.

During his first season as quarterbacks coach, Shurmur turned to third-string quarterback A.J. Feeley after injuries to McNabb and Koy Detmer. Despite not having started a game in three years, since his junior season at Oregon, Feeley helped the Eagles post a 4-1 record, as they won the NFC East and advanced to the NFC title game. Shurmur faced another quarterback injury in 2006 and turned to backup Jeff Garcia, who helped the club to a 5-1 record and led Philadelphia into the Divisional round of the playoffs.

Shurmur's first three seasons in Philadelphia (1999-2001) were spent as tight ends coach, where he developed three-time Pro Bowler Chad Lewis. From 2000-01, Lewis combined for 110 receptions, 1,157 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. His reception total ranked fourth among all NFL tight ends during that two-year span, while he was tied for fourth in touchdowns and fifth in receiving yards.

Before joining the Eagles, Shurmur spent the 1998 season at Stanford University as offensive line coach. That year, the Cardinal offensive line allowed the fewest sacks per pass attempt in the Pac-10 and helped first-year quarterback Todd Husak become only the third quarterback in school history to throw for more 3,000 yards.

Prior to Stanford, Shurmur instructed the tight ends, special teams and offensive line at Michigan State University from 1990-97. The Spartans sent three tight ends (Ty Hallock, Duane Young and Mitch Lyons) to the NFL under Shurmur's guidance, and kick returner Derrick Mason set a school career record with 2,575 return yards.

A four-year letterman at Michigan State, Shurmur earned All-Big Ten conference honors and All-America honorable mention accolades in 1987. He played guard and linebacker as a freshman and started at center the next three seasons. He served as co-captain as a senior when the Spartans defeated USC in the Rose Bowl. He earned a master's degree in financial administration and was the first graduate student football player at the University.

A native of Dearborn, Mich., who attended Divine Child High School, Shurmur comes from a football background. His uncle, the late Fritz Shurmur, coached in the NFL for 24 years and served as the Green Bay Packers' defensive coordinator from 1994-98 and helped that club win two NFC Championships and Super Bowl XXXI.

Born April 14, 1965, Pat and his wife, Jennifer, have four children, daughters Allyson, Erica and Claire, and a son, Kyle.

Pat Shurmur Coaching Background:

1988-89 Michigan State University, graduate assistant coach

1990-97 Michigan State University, tight ends/special teams/offensive line coach

1998 Stanford University, offensive line coach

1999-2001 Philadelphia Eagles, tight ends/offensive line coach

2002-08 Philadelphia Eagles, quarterbacks coach

2009-10 St. Louis Rams, offensive coordinator

2011 Cleveland Browns, head coach

8:10 AM

Are the Browns Rebuilding Again?: A new coach brings new ideas and a need for new personnel. Does that mean anot… http://bit.ly/dI5NgU

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on January 12th, 2011 AT 10:00 PM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for January 12th from 21:17 to 21:31:

Where Are They Now? Two Weeks Later Edition
Dave Kolonich on January 12th, 2011 AT 7:43 PM

Although most Browns fans have already completely forgotten about Eric Mangini and Brian Daboll, a news junkie like myself just can't get let go.  Chalk it up to some obsessive behavioral tendencies, but not forcing myself to Google their names hourly has proven quite difficult. 

After all, I'm pretty sure that exhaustively following Mangini for two years means that I'm practically related to him. 

Or, it's quite possible that the leading candidate to become the Browns' next head coach doesn't actually exist.  After all, how many of us were discussing the merits of Pat Shurmur even a month ago?  Suddenly, an office is being painted for him.

Anyway, so it goes with the Browns – where the only constant is change….along with the occasional blinding headache.

But at the least, it appears that after a decade of expansion futility, the Browns have finally figured out that a top-down approach is the only rational way to conduct business.  In this sense, Team President Mike Holmgren seems to be fully in charge of the current search for a new head coach. 

Which means that the usual bitterness following a Browns' coaching firing is not as prevalent compared to years' past.

As for these most recently dearly departed members of the Browns, it looks like they may have an existence – post Cleveland.

Fox Sports Southwest – Search Is On For Defensive Coordinator in Dallas

Although it's nothing but speculation at this point, Mangini makes a lot of sense in Dallas.  The Cowboys run a version of the 3-4 defense familiar to the heart of the Belichick defenses Mangini grew up with – complete with some truly talented players.  Also, Mangini wouldn't present much of an ego or job security challenge to new Dallas head coach Jason Garrett, which cannot be overstated at least based on the past couple years of the Wade Phillips era.

Or, at the least – maybe Mangini can get into….broadcasting?

Mangini Will Talk Jets-Patriots

Mangini, who left Bill Belichick’s Patriots staff to take over the Jets in 2006, will appear on the network’s "NFL Live" at 4 p.m. and "SportsCenter" Thursday and Friday.

Stranger things have happened, I suppose.  While Mangini never displayed the type of gregarious personality normally associated with TV analysts, he instantly becomes the most credible football source at ESPN.

But then again, I wonder how much ESPN Mangini actually watches.

WEWS.com – ESPN Celebrates Eric Mangini's Firing?

Still, there is something to be said about publicity.  Appearing on ESPN to discuss what should be the most high-profile playoff matchup of the weekend can't hurt.  At least Mangini is getting his name out.  Much like his one-time protégé…

ESPN – Source: Dolphins Talk To Daboll

Granted, Daboll's offenses were among the worst in franchise history.  Of course, the level of offensive talent that Daboll had to work with wasn't exactly stellar.  Somehow, Daboll in Miami suddenly makes a lot of sense.

The Browns were the only AFC team to score less than the Dolphins last season.

Nowhere to go but up, right?

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