Once again I find myself with blind optimism after the Browns introduced their new head coach today, Pat Shurmur. Like many fans, I was hoping Jon Gruden would take the plunge back into coaching and help save my beloved Browns. Gruden though realized dealing with rowdy, impatient fans didn’t seem as pleasant as sitting in a broadcast booth while still getting paid handsomely from his old team, the Tampa Bay Bucs.
Shurmur comes to Cleveland from St. Louis where he served as offensive coordinator and helped to develop rookie QB Sam Bradford. Now I’ll admit, I had NO IDEA who the hell Pat Shurmur was. However, I see myself growing to like this move the more I think about it. No doubt Mike Holmgren and GM Tom Heckert were planning this move since about week 2 of the regular season. Eric Mangini just didn’t fit their idea of what a head coach should be. Both guys had to be ripping out what little hair they have left while watching the conservative Browns of last season try and score double digit points. It just wasn’t their brand of football. Shurmur though brings with him knowledge of the west coast system and the understanding that you win football games by not solely relying on a strong defense, but by scoring points in bunches.
The Browns of course need a ton of talent to get to that point but I think part of the foundation is in place with Joe Thomas, Peyton Hillis and now Colt McCoy. Hopefully Pat Shurmur will be that missing building block this team has been searching for since it’s return over 10 years ago. I sure the hell hope so.-DM