The Browns have pulled the trigger, naming Rams OC Pat Shurmur as their 13th full-time head coach in franchise history. Shurmur’s résumé includes 23 years of coaching experience, including 12 in the NFL. In those 12 seasons, he has been a part of teams that have qualified for the playoffs seven times, won five division crowns and posted one Super Bowl appearance.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to join an organization with such a rich history and tradition as the Cleveland Browns,” Shurmur said. “I have the utmost respect for Coach Holmgren and Tom Heckert, and I am impressed with the direction in which they have this franchise going. I have known Tom for most of my pro coaching career, and while we were in Philadelphia, he and I developed an outstanding relationship. I want to thank Mike and Tom, as well as Randy Lerner, for this tremendous opportunity. I also want to thank the St. Louis Rams and Steve Spagnuolo for two terrific seasons and for giving me a chance to be a coordinator at this level. I am looking forward to this challenge and can’t wait to get started in helping to build the Browns back to one of the elite teams in the NFL.”
“I am extremely excited about having Pat Shurmur as the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns,” said Browns President Mike Holmgren. “Pat is a bright, young man who grew up in football and around the coaching profession. I came away from our interview very impressed with him as a person, his extensive knowledge of the game and his track record of success as an assistant coach in this league. Most importantly, I feel as though he possesses the necessary qualities which make him the right man to lead our football team.”
Shurmur spent the past two seasons as the offensive coordinator with the Rams, helping them move to a 7-9 record following a 1-15 season in 2009, the second-biggest turnaround in the league this past season. In 2010, he guided St. Louis’ offense to improvements in nearly every category including total yards, time of possession and third-down percentage, while they also scored 114 more points than the previous year. In addition, the Rams committed just 21 turnovers in 2010, tied for the ninth-lowest total in the NFL.
He helped shape quarterback Sam Bradford, the top pick in the 2010 draft, as Bradford set NFL rookie records for completions (354) and attempts (590), while his 3,512 passing yards were the second-most by a rookie in league history, trailing only Peyton Manning’s 3,739 in 1998. Bradford’s 18 touchdown passes tied for fifth-most among rookies in NFL history. During a midseason stretch, he set an NFL rookie record with 174 consecutive attempts without an interception.
President Mike Holmgren is only known to have met with Shurmur, Atlanta offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey and New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. Interviews with potential candidates Jon Gruden and John Fox never got past an exploratory phone call.
“Pat is a bright, young man who grew up in football and around the coaching profession,” Holmgren said. “I came away from our interview very impressed with him as a person, his extensive knowledge of the game and his track record of success as an assistant coach in this league.
“Most importantly, I feel as though he possesses the necessary qualities which make him the right man to lead our football team.”