Monday, January 17, 2011
The Coaching Roulette: Cleveland Browns
Oh, the Browns we all know and love... To begin with, welcome to this section of Around the NFL. My name is Jason, and I will be your blogger tonight.
Last Thursday, the Browns hired Pat Shurmur, the former offensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams, as the organization's 13th head coach, and fifth since the Browns returned in 1999. His most recent notable work is his development of #1 overall draft pick and likely Rookie of the Year Sam Bradford. With Shurmur's offense in place, the Rams in 2010 finished 26th in total offense, 21st in passing offense, 25th in rushing, and 26th in scoring (Per ESPN.com). They also finished 7-9 this season, with much help from a revitalized defense under Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo.
While the statistics and win-loss record may not inspire much confidence in Browns fans who have plenty of reasons for pessimism, it is useful to recall that Shurmur worked with a rookie quarterback and a dearth of offensive talent in St. Louis. As of right now, the situation in Cleveland is very similar to St. Louis, at least on that side of the ball. The Browns have a young quarterback that shows promise in Colt McCoy, a bruising running back in Peyton Hillis (with Montario Hardesty waiting in the wings), some bright spots on the offensive line, and a lack of game-changing talent at the skill positions. However, with Shurmur, GM Tom Heckert, and Holmgren himself all on the same page, they can go get the players they want and incorporate everyone into a seamless whole.
The other coaching positions have more in question. As has been reported elsewhere, former Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has been hired by the Cowboys in the same role. Brian Daboll, the former offensive coordinator in Cleveland, has been hired in Miami to run their offense. A few names have been thrown around for the two open jobs in Cleveland, the most notable being Dick Jauron as defensive coordinator, but not much is know for certain yet. As the clock counts down the days until the draft, more will become known and the Browns will surely fill these positions.
Please feel free to use the comments and share your opinions.