There’s a new sheriff in Cleveland. And his top deputy is getting ready to make some changes, possibly.
The good news (if there is any) for coach Pat Shurmur and G.M. Tom Heckert is that the suspense won’t last very long beyond the completion of the 2012 season. CEO Joe Banner tells Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com that a decision as to the retention of the head coach and G.M. could be announced quickly.
“I think we would hope to make that decision right around the end of the season,” Banner said. “Maybe we’ll make it in the days leading up to the last game and then deal with it after that. We’d like to get to the point where everybody here knows how we’re going forward as quickly as we can.”
That doesn’t sound good for Shurmur and Heckert. Especially since Banner makes it clear that he’ll engage in a thorough process as he decides on the future course of the franchise. Also, Banner told PFT Live last month that whoever ends up coaching the team will be around for a while.
“Listen, I don’t fly by the seat of my pants,” Banner told Grossi. “So if there’s research to be done — for example, how many head coaches have come back and done well a second time vs. not? — I promise you I either have or will do that research before I make a decision. How many guys were offensive or defensive coaches that ended up doing well? How many weren’t coordinators like an Andy Reid? We’ll know all the odds. College coaches who’ve never been in the NFL. College coaches who have an NFL background that went to college. We’ll have the stats.”
But they won’t have all necessary information regarding other possible coaches and General Managers unless interviews are done. And interviews surely won’t be done until the current jobs are vacated. Which suggests that Shurmur and Heckert will get the heave-ho in order to allow Banner to make a thorough and thoughtful decision as to the next coach and G.M. of the team.
We’ve believed all along that Shurmur and Heckert would stay only if the mob wants them so badly that firing them would be bad for business. With a 2-7 record that likely will sink to 2-8 on Sunday in Dallas, the mob won’t be troubled by yet another wave of changes.