Tag Archives: Butch Davis

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, Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Browns, Cleveland, NFL

And the Search Goes On…

And so continues the search for the new head coach of the Cleveland Browns… Mystery Date style.  Who’s going to be behind the door at the end?

Over the past few days info has started coming out regarding the newest candidates for the Browns head coaching vacancy.  The two newest dream boats in the running are St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey.  Judging by the resume’s of these two coaches and the other candidates who have been named, it is fairly obvious that the next coach of the Cleveland Browns will have an offensive pedigree.  This is a welcome change.  The Browns offense has been abysmal for what seems like forever now.  This may be due in part to hiring 3 head coaches in a row who’s previous job experience all focused on the defensive side of the ball, Butch Davis, Romeo Crennel, and Eric Mangini.  Bringing in an offensive mind could be just what the doctor ordered for this team.

Pat Shurmur arrived in Cleveland last night and briefly met with the team.  He is slated to meet with the Browns today about the position.  I fully expect the center of these conversations with Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert to focus on Shurmur’s offensive philosophy and how exactly he would plan on molding Colt McCoy into a high caliber NFL quarterback.  He should be aided by the fact that he spent this past season helping develop rookie QB Sam Bradford.  Bradford’s rookie season is widely considered to have been a success.  He avoided injury, put up solid rookie numbers, and helped guide the Rams to a 7-9 record and within 1 win of a playoff appearance a year after going 1-15.  Granted this was accomplished in the putrid NFC West, but the future looks bright for Bradford.  The downside for Shurmur, however, is the Rams offense wasn’t exactly a juggernaut and he only has two years of experience as an offensive coordinator.  Does that really qualify him as a legit coaching candidate?  I’m not sure.  Apparently Mike Holmgren thinks so and in Holmgren we trust, right?

Mike Mularkey is another interesting candidate for the position.  Currently Mularkey serves as the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons, a position he has held since 2008.  Like Shurmur, Mularkey has spent the past few seasons helping shape and mold Falcons QB Matt Ryan.  To say that this molding has been a success is an understatement.  Ryan has emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL and this past season guided the Falcons to a 13-3 record and the #1 seed in the NFC.  In his time with the Falcons, Mularkey has consistently had one of the top offenses in football thanks to a plethora of weapons including the aforementioned Ryan, Michael Turner, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez.  Mularkey also served as the offensive coordinator of the Steelers from 2001 to 2003 and regularly burned the Browns through his utilization of Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward, and Antwan Randle El.

There are red flags surrounding Mularkey as well.  When he has weapons at his disposal his offenses are often ranked near the top of the NFL in terms of total offensive production.  The problem is that when he doesn’t have weapons, his offenses are atrocious.  In one unsuccessful season as offensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins in 2006, Miami ranked 29th in the NFL and only averaged 16 points per game… ugh.  Another read flag is his only previous head coaching experience was with the Buffalo Bills in 2004 and 2005.  In those two seasons the Bills had records of 9-7 and 5-11.  He was also stuck with quarterbacks Kelly Holcomb and J.P. Lossman so the fact that he won that many games is rather remarkable.  It’s also important to note that Mularkey wasn’t fired as Bills coach, but instead resigned citing a disagreement in the direction of the organization which had recently hired a new management team.  Mulareky is expected to meet with the Browns on Saturday so stay tuned.

One name that can officially be removed from the Browns wish list is Jim Harbaugh.  The Browns placed a request to speak to the Stanford head coach, but he declined the request.  This isn’t exactly surprising.  Harbaugh is in such high demand at the moment that he could literally pick the job he wants.  Odds are he’ll choose to either stay at Stanford along with QB Andrew Luck and go for a title, take the 49ers job where he has a relatively loaded team competing in an awful division, or he could still take his talents to Michigan and restore glory to the Wolverine football program.  He could also end up in some mystery job that comes out of nowhere.  It’ll be interesting to see which direction he decides to go.

So stay tuned folks, the Browns head coaching search is in full swing.  Let’s just hope they make the right decision this time.  Who will be behind that door at the end?  Your guess is as good as mine.

Leave a comment

Filed under Browns, Cleveland, NFL

Should Mangini Return?

Much talk has been made about the future of the Browns given what we have seen on the field so far this season.  Despite the Browns record of 5-8 there is no doubt that the product on the field has been much more entertaining than what we have witnessed in recent years.  A lot of this is due in part to the emergence of certain players in different positions, Colt McCoy, Peyton Hillis, Joe Haden etc.  The overwhelming question remaining despite all of this improvement is, “Will Eric Mangini be the head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 2011?”

It’s definitely an interesting topic for debate.  One could argue that the Browns have not made the type of significant strides that warrant a third year for the Eric Mangini era.  On the flip side, you can also argue that given the massive overhaul being carried out by Mangini, there is a huge skill and talent disparity between the Browns and their opponents each week.  Both statements hold merit.  I could make a strong case for either side of the coin and quite frankly I have formulated my own opinion on the subject after listening to all of the back and forth on the local talk shows and in the papers.  But before I get into what I think here are both of the arguments, at least how I see them. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Browns, Cleveland, NFL