Saturday, December 29, 2012
Browns reportedly cleaning house Monday
By Jamison Hensley
The Browns are expected to fire coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert on Monday, league sources told The Plain Dealer.
Anyone surprised by this news? I didn't think so.
The only reason to keep both of them around is to maintain continuity, which has been a recurring problem for the Browns since they returned to the league in 1999. But no one really expected the new regime of owner Jimmy Haslam and chief executive officer Joe Banner to keep decision-makers that they didn't hire.
Shurmur never made a strong case to keep his job. Even with a more talented roster, he was only able to increase the win total by one from a season ago. It was a tough situation for Shurmur considering he was dealing with one of the youngest teams in the league. Still, he also made consistent blunders when it came to third-and-1 situations and fourth-down decisions late in games, both of which made Haslam visibly cringe this season.
Heckert, on the other hand, has done an admirable job building the Browns over the past three years, but he doesn't fit in the team's new model. Banner is now making the football decisions and he will hire a personnel director, not a general manager. It would be difficult to ask Heckert to stick around in a reduced role.
The early speculation has former NFL executive Mike Lombardi taking over for Heckert and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels replacing Shurmur as head coach. Whoever becomes the next Browns' personnel man and head coach, the question that could determine this regime's success is this: Is Brandon Weeden the Browns' franchise quarterback?