When Mike Holmgren hired Pat Shurmur a little less than a year ago, Browns’ fans had some thoughts as to what they were getting.
An offensive coordinator for two years with the St. Louis Rams, it was hoped that the new head coach would bring the Cleveland attack into the 21st century, an upgrade over what Eric Mangini and Brian Daboll ran the past two seasons.
That clearly hasn’t been the case.
Another school of thought had Shurmur being like coaches like Mike Tomlin, the Harbaugh brothers, and Mike Smith, those guys being leaders. Coaches who can inspire and motivate.
That doesn’t seem to be Shurmur either.
That’s what confuses and irritates fans about the head coach of this football team. They do not see anything which resembles hope when it comes to Pat Shurmur.
That said, it is clear to everyone that the coach of the Browns in 2012 is going to be Pat Shurmur. He has the trust of the man in charge.
That doesn’t mean that Holmgren shouldn’t be guiding and molding Shurmur as a head coach. Certainly, he needs to grow in the role, and the sooner, the better.
For a man whose background is on the offensive side of the football, Shurmur’s teams don’t score a lot of points. That’s curious to say the least.
In fact, in his two years in St. Louis and this year with the Browns, Shurmur’s teams have scored over 20 points just five times. That doesn’t win you a lot of games in today’s NFL.
In terms of gaining yardage, his offenses have ranked 29th (2011), 26th (’10), and 29th (’09) in his three years of guiding NFL attacks. Those numbers were compiled as follows:
2011 Cleveland: 22nd in passing, 30th in rushing
2010 St. Louis: 21st in passing, 25th in rushing
2009 St. Louis: 28th in passing, 20th in rushing
So, what kind of credentials are those as an offensive coordinator? His teams don’t score points, and they really don’t move the football effectively.
As for the leadership issue, perhaps Shurmur is dynamic in the locker room, but his sideline demeanor doesn’t come across on camera as that of a guy whose troops would follow him into battle.
And although he’s appeared agitated with some questions he’s received in press conferences, he’s more of a Bill Belichick monotone than a Jim Mora rant at this point.
Is he more of the chief executive type, a guy who delegates responsibility to his assistants and then makes it all come together on game day. If he is, he’s not succeeding there either. Just look at the mistakes made in clock management and substitutions on a weekly basis. Sunday, CBS showed the Browns had just 10 men on the field when Buster Skrine intercepted a pass.
That’s why people wonder what exactly makes Pat Shurmur a head coach in the National Football League. Many people say he’s a young coach and we should give him a chance, but where exactly does that trust come from?
Is he being mentored by Holmgren, who has coached two different teams to Super Bowls? If so, it doesn’t appear that anything has rubbed off.
It’s not wrong for Browns fans to expect something from Shurmur that would show us he’s the guy who can turn this thing around. Right now, he’s in the same boat as his quarterback, Colt McCoy. The best thing we can say is we don’t know yet.
If GM Tom Heckert can draft Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III with their first pick in the draft next spring, is Pat Shurmur really the man to mentor the young passer?
There’s something to ponder.