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Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Schefter: Shurmur, Browns talking contract

By James Walker
ESPN.com

Earlier Wednesday, the AFC North blog opened the forum to Cleveland Browns fans to get their take on St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, who is the front-runner to replace former head coach Eric Mangini. The response was mixed.

But we should know a lot more about Shurmur potentially leading the Browns in 2011 by the end of the week. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, both sides are working out a contract and Shurmur could be named Cleveland's next head coach on Friday.

This would be an interesting hire for Browns president Mike Holmgren, who is a former Super Bowl winning head coach and knows what it takes to be successful. This is the biggest decision of his tenure with Cleveland and one that he recently said he must get right. It appears Holmgren is willing to stake his reputation on Shurmur, who will be another in a long string of first-time head coaches in Cleveland.

Shurmur is an offensive mind who has a good track record of working with young quarterbacks, as he did with rookie Sam Bradford this season. Those are appealing characteristics that fit what Holmgren was looking for in a coach. But Shurmur's name and inexperience likely won't generate a huge buzz or sell a lot of tickets in Cleveland.

In the end, winning is all that matters. And Shurmur, like any Cleveland head coach, potentially has a tough task ahead to lead Cleveland past the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North division.