Thursday, February 10, 2011
Pat Shurmur will also run offense
ESPN.com news services
CLEVELAND -- Pat Shurmur will handle two jobs in his first season coaching the Cleveland Browns.
Shurmur, making his first public appearance since being hired last month, said Thursday night that he'll also serve as the Browns' offensive coordinator next season.
"That's the way it shaped up this year," Shurmur said.
Shurmur was a presenter at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards, an annual event honoring the area's top athletes.
St. Louis' offensive coordinator the past two seasons, Shurmur also said "it would be a logical assumption" that quarterback Colt McCoy will be the Browns' starter in 2011.
It's been a whirlwind few weeks for Shurmur.
He's been hiring assistants, evaluating Cleveland's roster and preparing for the NFL draft while not knowing if there will be a 2011 season because of the league's uncertain labor situation.
Last season, only two teams -- the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots -- didn't have a coach with the "offensive coordinator" title.
Shurmur isn't concerned about trying to handle too much. He has surrounded himself with experienced assistants, including defensive coordinator Dick Jauron, a former head coach in Chicago and Buffalo.
"I feel like we've hired a terrific staff and everybody on this staff has roles and issues of the day," Shurmur said. "I feel really good about how we've structured things and I think it's going to work well."
Shurmur replaced Eric Mangini, who was fired following his second straight 5-11 seasons. Shurmur has already avoided one of the early mistakes made by Mangini. In his first appearance at the sports awards, Mangini ignored Browns Pro Bowl nose tackle Shaun Rogers despite being within a few feet of him in the backstage area.
Their non-meeting caused a player-coach rift that was never mended, and it painted Mangini as standoffish and aloof, a reputation he never quite overcame.
Shurmur made sure he introduced himself to return specialist Josh Cribbs, who was named the professional athlete of the year.
"I just saw Josh for the first time and we shook hands," Shurmur said. "I said what I wanted for him was to get in the end zone, so it's the start. He seemed to give me a big smile, so I think we're on the same page."