Two major spots on Pat Shurmur's coaching staff were filled in a span of five days when Dick Jauron was hired as defensive coordinator and Chris Tabor as special teams coordinator.
Jauron, 60, has been coaching for 25 years. He was formerly the full-time head coach of the Bears and more recently head coach of the Bills from 2006 until midway through the 2009 season. He also served as interim head coach of the Lions in 2005.
"Dick is someone I have known for many years, who is an outstanding football coach and very well-respected around the league," Shurmur said. "He has a tremendous knowledge of the game and is an excellent teacher. His experience in the NFL as a player, position coach, coordinator and head coach will be a huge asset to our staff and I am looking forward to having him as a member of the Cleveland Browns."
The Browns selected Jauron over Dave Wannstedt and former Cardinals defensive coordinator Billy Davis. Wannstedt was hired by the Bills as their linebackers coach/assistant head coach.
Jauron, a running back at Yale, played eight years in the NFL as a free safety with the Lions (five years) and the Bengals (three seasons). He intercepted 25 passes.
Jauron began his coaching career as the Bills' secondary coach in 1985. A year later he was coaching the Packers' secondary. He held the job for nine years, the last three under Mike Holmgren, now the Browns president.
"There were many elements of this job that were attractive for me," Jauron said. I have known Pat and his family for a long time, and in fact, I played for and coached with his uncle, Fritz."
Fritz Shurmur was the Packers' defensive coordinator when Jauron coached the Packers defensive backs.
Tabor has coached for 18 years, but only three years in the NFL as the assistant special teams coach in Chicago. Bears special teams coach Dave Toub predicted in a December interview in the Chicago Tribune that Tabor would get his chance.
"He is so ready," Toub told Brad Briggs of the Chicago Tribune late in 2010. "I've been in that role, same as him three years as an assistant when I was in Philly. This is his third year and I know how he feels. He's needs to get his own spot. He has the system. He can motivate. He's a great teacher. The guys respect him. It's time."
Tabor is replacing Brad Seeley. The Browns could have kept Seely for 2011 because he was under contract, but he got an offer from the 49ers and the Browns decided to let him go now, rather than possibly have to find a special teams coach next year.
"I believe that Chris is one of the up and coming special teams coaches in this league," Shurmur said. "He is smart, enthusiastic and has a true passion for this area of the game. In Chris' three years with the Bears, they consistently boasted one of the best special teams groups in the league in just about every facet. Having faced them in 2008 and 2009, I know what a challenge it was to go up against their unit. He will be a valuable addition to our coaching staff."
The Bears ranked first in the league in punt return average (17.1), second in kickoff return average (25.4), second in average drive start after kickoffs (31.5) and ninth in punt return defense (7.8) in 2010.