Browns name Shurmur head coach

Posted Jan. 13, 2011 @ 12:47 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

The Browns named Pat Shurmur head coach on Thursday, the club announced.

Shurmur, 45, was the Rams' offensive coordinator the past two seasons. He was one of three candidates to interview for the job.

“I am extremely excited about having Pat Shurmur as the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns,” team president Mike Holmgren said Thursday in a statement released by the Browns. “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 is the nephew of the late Fritz Shurmur, who was the Packers' defensive coordinator from 1994-98 when Holmgren was Green Bay's head coach. Before joining the Rams, Pat was an Eagles offensive assistant for 10 years, serving as QB coach from 2002-08 and TE-OL coach from 1999-2001. His tenure in Philadelphia coincided with Browns GM Tom Heckert holding the same position with the Eagles.

"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 (owner) Randy Lerner, for this tremendous opportunity. I also want to thank the St. Louis Rams and (head coach) 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."

The way we see it

Speculation that Shurmur was the favorite for the job has intensified in recent days. His background in the West Coast offense that Holmgren prefers likely did not hurt his candidacy. The Browns' offense has lacked punch the past three seasons, and improvement on that side of the ball is a major priority.

The development of rookie QB Colt McCoy, who flashed potential in his first NFL season, also figures to be one of Shurmur's most important tasks. He worked closely with Rams QB Sam Bradford — whom Holmgren coveted in the 2010 draft — in St. Louis, and he coached then-Eagles QB Donovan McNabb during three of McNabb's Pro Bowl seasons.