New Browns CEO Joe Banner promised a quick decision on G.M. Tom Heckert and coach Pat Shurmur, and a quick decision has indeed been made.
The Browns officially have announced that Heckert and Shurmur have been fired.
“We felt that these moves were in the best interests of the Cleveland Browns and our future,” owner Jimmy Haslam said. “I enjoyed getting to know Tom and Pat over the past several months, and want to thank them, not just for their contributions to the Browns, but also the insight they were able to provide. They are both fine men and hope they have the best of success as they move forward with their careers.”
“This decision was not an easy one because of my relationship with Tom and Pat and the fact that they are both quality people,” Banner said. “Ultimately our objective is to put together an organization that will be the best at everything we do. On the field, our only goal is trying to win championships. I have a great deal of respect Tom and Pat, and I want to wish them and their families nothing but the best.”
As we said from the moment Haslam bought the team, he didn’t do it because he wanted to employ Heckert and Shurmur. Haslam made the purchase because he wants to own his own team — and now he’ll hire his own guys.
For Banner, who told PFT Live in June upon leaving the Eagles that his next NFL job would involve a team in need of a turnaround, it’s impossible to turn a team around by keeping the guys who were already there.
We reported on Sunday that Haslam and Banner already have narrowed their focus to a tight handful of G.M. and coaching candidates. Mike Lombardi of NFL Network is widely believed to be on the list, a possibility that has sparked a strong outcry among Cleveland media.It’s possible that decisions will be made quickly as to the next coach and G.M., which would mean that the homework behind the decisions has long been completed.