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Pat Shurmur isn’t worried about wearing two hats

Pat Shurmur AP

Is Pat Shurmur biting off more than he can chew by going without an offensive coordinator during his first season as an NFL head coach?

The new man in charge of the Browns doesn’t think so. In an interview with Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal, Shurmur said that he always planned to call the offensive plays this season but did intend to hire someone to help him run the offense. Flirtations with candidates came to nothing, though, and the Browns offense will be entirely in Shurmur’s hands. He says he’s “very comfortable” with the arrangement.

“I don’t think it’s gonna be a problem,” said Shurmur. ”I think I have a staff of coaches that are extremely talented, and as you prepare for a game, it’s the staff that does the preparation. You decide what plays you’re gonna call, and then you spend the time to decide how you’re gonna call them. But the preparation of what plays we’re gonna run is done on a staff basis.”

Shurmur called plays for the Rams during the last two seasons, so it isn’t like he’s going too far outside of his comfort zone. He did spend games in the booth during the 2010 season, but Shurmur told Ulrich that the first-year head coach thinks he sees the game just as well from the sideline as he does from up above the field.

There’s nothing too unusual about Shurmur’s decision to go it alone. He’s one of 10 current head coaches who will call their own offensive plays during the 2011 season, including the last two Super Bowl winners.  Shurmur has something important in common with Sean Payton and Mike McCarthy.  In Gregg Williams and Dom Capers, both of them had defensive coordinators capable of running things on that side of the ball without much need for the head coach to worry about their ability to keep everything under control.  Dick Jauron shares a past as a head coach with Williams and Capers, which should make it easier for Shurmur to avoid being overwhelmed during his first season.

That’s not to say that there aren’t big differences, however. Payton and McCarthy have Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers executing their calls. Shurmur isn’t quite so blessed.

Then again, neither Payton nor McCarthy have a team president who won a Super Bowl as a head coach.

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17 Responses to “Pat Shurmur isn’t worried about wearing two hats”
  1. ramcountry says: Mar 20, 2011 10:53 AM

    Shurmur’s offenses averaged 14.5 points per game in his two seasons, and it’s not like he was scheming against the likes of Pittsburgh and Baltimore. That was the NFC West. You’re out of your league, Pat.

  2. thetooloftools says: Mar 20, 2011 10:57 AM

    I honestly think this man will be successful here in Cleveland.
    I mean, come on… the bar is set so low right now.

  3. dixon29 says: Mar 20, 2011 10:58 AM

    As a Browns fan I will say this worries me. This isn’t a surprise though, the Browns worry me about everything.

  4. iknowfootballandyoudont says: Mar 20, 2011 12:07 PM

    LMAO!

    Come on PFT, it’s Cleveland, they don’t even matter! Brett Favre, Jenn Sterger, Maurice Clarett, cheeerleaders, mascots, and Jamarcus Russell are more relevent than the Cleveland Browns!

  5. hoochbcs says: Mar 20, 2011 12:18 PM

    As a Packer it’s hard not to root for Holmgren and I guess anyone related to the late-great Fritz Shurmur.

    That being said, why the hell is this guy an offensive coach? His dad wrote 4 books on defensive strategies.

  6. thefiesty1 says: Mar 20, 2011 12:22 PM

    That’s ok. Holmgren can double as OC too. Just get McCoy some HELP in the draft and free agency If that’s possible anymore. You know, some receivers and offensive tackle. Then let Shurmur call the plays.

  7. Kave Krew says: Mar 20, 2011 1:05 PM

    Like him or not, Eric Mangini may have left the Browns in good shape….definitely in better shape than when he got them…..

    If history repeats itself, like the Jets post- Mangini, the Browns have a chance to be competitive with new blood at head coach.

  8. CKL says: Mar 20, 2011 2:13 PM

    I HATE Mangini for what he did to the Pats (I’m a Pats fan obviously) but I don’t think should have gotten fired either from NY or Cle. He definitely got both those teams on track. I think he may be a good HC someday but they have to give the man more than 2-3 years to get a team to where they are winning playoff games.

    Shurmur’s general point is good but he’s not in the same position as other guys who have been playcallers ans new head coaches, Payton and McCarthy and Wisenhunt (to name a few who fit that category) all had run pretty productive offenses elsewhere and had longer tenures as OCs before they got the HC title. Tying back to Mangini, this is one issue he had I believe. Only 1 year as DC and it was pretty rocky. He should have stayed around and gotten more experience running a defense first.

  9. ArtModellsPimp says: Mar 20, 2011 2:41 PM

    iknowfootballandyoudont says: PM

    LMAO!

    Come on PFT, it’s Cleveland… blah, blah blah.
    ——————–

    I guess you can’t help but be a punk-ass troll on every Browns-related story, huh? Panty-waist light-weight.

  10. skins359 says: Mar 20, 2011 4:51 PM

    Two hats…because it worked so well for Zorn.

  11. theuncletodd says: Mar 20, 2011 5:41 PM

    CLE hasn’t had a decent OC, really, since Lindy Infante and Bernie. Then again, we had talent.

  12. doe22us says: Mar 20, 2011 8:09 PM

    And the best professional team in Ohio, is Ohio State ohh never mind

  13. dukeofthedawgpound says: Mar 21, 2011 1:39 PM

    Welcome to rebuilding version 11.0 (special Heckert and Holmgren edition). Its hard to envision a team with a defensive line (with one legitimate starter) and a linebacking corps that may lose even more players when free agency comes around making much of an improvement. Add to the mix, a rookie head coach with a very suspect resume and an offense more divots in Augusta after Masters’ week and things are going to be really interesting on the lake front.

  14. mrfrostyj says: Mar 21, 2011 4:58 PM

    I am looking forward to seeing the Browns come to Indy and play the Colts.

    I’m not sure if Eric Mangini is sleeping with peoples mothers or what but the guy is a great coach and put together possibly a better team in Cleveland then he did in New York but can’t keep a job to save his life.

    Just like Rex Ryan, Shurmur is just going to pick up where the guy left off and run with it. If Colt McCoy isn’t the next Payton Manning they still possibly have the best running back tandom in the NFL and the rookies on their defense are only going to get better.

    The only problem the Browns have is they are stuck in the toughest division in the NFL. You drop them in a different division and they’d probably have more then 1 playoff appearance in 10 years.

  15. ProFootballHasBecomeAJoke says: Mar 21, 2011 6:38 PM

    “Great” coaches are determined by superbowl rings not how many times they been fired. Being fired twice in five seasons hardly makes for greatness.

  16. mrfrostyj says: Mar 22, 2011 2:03 PM

    @ ProFootballHasBecomeAJoke

    How many superbowls has Paul Brown, Marv Leevy, Jim Mora Sr, Dan Reeves and Marty Schottenheimer won as head coaches? I guess Brian Billick was a better coach than any of them because he won a superbowl. Lets forget how short and non productive his career was outside of that one year plus the fact that he was the coach of the worst ranked offense to ever win anything let alone a superbowl. Becase he won one, it makes him better then the Hall of Famers and legends who didn’t win any as head coach but turned countless numbers of bad teams around I guess.

  17. ProFootballHasBecomeAJoke says: Mar 22, 2011 4:12 PM

    @mrfrostyj
    1) Paul Brown won AAFC and NFL Championships before there was a SuperBowl.
    2) Billick WON the Super Bowl and he probably would have been a lot better choice than Mangini. Mangini made the playoffs once with the Jets. He is 33-47 as a head coach. Wow ! There is greatness for you! Are you going to insist Mangini is a better coach than Holmgren? The man who fired him ? He has one super bowl ring. Are you going to insist EM is greater than Holmgren?
    3) Schottenheimer, Mora Sr., Reeves and Levy at least had their teams in the playoffs consistently over the years. Reeves and Levy at least got their teams to the Super Bowls. Comparing any of these coaches to Mangini to make him look better is laughable and asinine.
    If you are talking “Great” Coaches, it better be names like Bellicheck,Walsh, Noll, or Shula. The joke is on you.

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