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Sunday, December 30, 2012
Browns looking for fresh start

By Adam Schefter
ESPN

People who know new Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III and CEO Joe Banner insist they are looking to provide their franchise a fresh start and a new culture, which is one reason they will fire coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert, according to sources.

Wanting a fresh approach means not hiring a coach looking for a second chance such as New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who had been linked to Cleveland as a potential head coaching candidate but is not expected to be a candidate.

Cleveland is expected to make a major run at a college coach such as Oregon's Chip Kelly or Penn State's Bill O'Brien or search for a bright young offensive NFL mind.

The Plain Dealer reported Saturday that both Heckert and Shurmur would be relieved of their duties by Monday.

Cleveland already has hired San Diego Padres vice president Brent Stehlik as its executive vice president and chief revenue officer, a move that will be announced soon, according to league sources.

Earlier this month, the Browns hired Alec Scheiner to be their new team president. Scheiner had spent eight years with the Cowboys, including the past five as senior vice president and general counsel.

Heckert, 45, was the first person hired by former team president Mike Holmgren in 2010 and he rebuilt the Browns, infusing them with talent and adding depth to a roster that had none.

But his status became in doubt when Haslam bought the team and hired Banner to replace Holmgren.

He transformed Cleveland's roster through the draft and a few key free-agent signings. In 2012 alone, he selected running back Trent Richardson, quarterback Brandon Weeden and offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz  -- who all started as rookies -- in the first three rounds.

The Browns are 9-23 in two seasons under the 47-year-old Shurmur.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.