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Thursday, February 23, 2012
Shurmur will still call plays for Browns

By Jamison Hensley

Browns coach Pat Shurmur confirmed that he will remain the Browns' playcaller on offense, which is the right decision. Actually, there wasn't really a decision to be made.

New offensive coordinator Brad Childress has only called plays for one season in the NFL. And there was a reason it was for one season. The Minnesota Vikings finished 23rd in yards and 26th in points (17.6 per game) in 2006, which led Childress to pass the play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell the next season.

When the subject of play calling was first asked, Shurmur said, "Here we go," because he doesn't understand the fuss over the duties. It shouldn't be a surprise that there's heightened interest in how the Browns will try to turn around an offense that scored the third-fewest points in the NFL last season. Until the Browns come up with some answers, there are going to be constant questions about the starting quarterback and the plays that are called.

So, on game days, Shurmur will call the plays on the field and Childress will sit up in the coaches' box.

"There's constant interaction between the playcaller and the other people on offense," Shurmur told Cleveland reporters Wednesday before heading to the NFL combine. "Every place I've been, that's always been the case. So, yeah, I'll be on the field right now and call [plays], but it's constant communication. People talk about halftime adjustments. Well, there's adjustments going on all the time, and that's why we wear the headsets so that we can communicate."

Shurmur was overwhelmed in his first year as an NFL head coach last season when he ran the offense without a coordinator. The perfect scenario would have been to hand off those duties to an experienced playcaller.

Childress addressed the challenge of having the dual role of head coach and playcaller.

"In my case, I didn't think I could do justice to all the preparation that I spent as an assistant coach doing what I needed to do," Childress said. "Did I have a fundamental knowledge of everything that was going on? Absolutely, but I felt like I wasn't that pinpoint laser. That's just me, and that's why I gave it to Darrell Bevell, who knew exactly how I wanted it and did a great job."

Childress said he has no problems in going from a head coach to coordinator.

"To be a good leader, you've got to have good followers. I do know that," he said. "I know what I'm charged with here and how I'm going to go about doing it. Pat's been real clear about that, and we're not going to have any trouble at all."