New Browns owner Jimmy Haslam says that in order for coach Pat Shurmur and his staff to keep their jobs, they’ll have to show that they have the team on an upward trajectory.
Asked at his introductory press conference what he wants to see from the coaches over the final 10 games of the season, Haslam said he wouldn’t specify a record that the team needs, but he would say the team needs to be demonstrating improvement.
“I don’t know that — I would never stand up here and say we have to have x amount of wins, or whatever,” Haslam said. “I think you want to see a positive direction.”
Haslam sounded like a man who has a firm grasp on the Browns’ roster and an understanding of the challenges the team has faced. He noted that the defense looked a lot better on Sunday with the return of cornerback Joe Haden, who was suspended for the previous four weeks.
“It’s been a tough year for our coaching staff and our players because, I mean, let’s face it — arguably our best defensive player, one of our best players, missed four games,” Haslam said. “If Joe had played all four of those games, would we have won a couple more? It’s purely speculative, I don’t know, but it’s a young team — I think we’re the youngest or second youngest team. I think you want to see improvement, continued improvement, and you want to see them play hard. And if you’ve seen our team, we’ve played hard every game.”
Haslam said any decision on the coaching staff will come only after the regular season has ended.
“I told Pat that. I said, ‘No decisions have been made.’ I’m very comfortable telling him that,” Haslam said. “Pat and I have a good relationship. He knows what he has to do.”
And what he has to do is show that the Browns are improving.