Pat Shurmur didn’t have a good day with the press yesterday. His press conference went one question longer than his accusation that a media member rolled their eyes at one of his answers. The Browns aren’t the funniest punchline in the NFL right this second, but they’ve been selling tickets in this comedy club for pretty much longer than anyone else in the league. In the meantime, nobody seems to be happy with what Pat Shurmur is saying. Some have written off the first-year hand-picked Holmgren candidate already and others are critical of the media for not asking tougher questions. What I think everyone needs to realize is that there is no question or answer that would salve the wounds created on the field so far this season.
Granted, Pat Shurmur has tripped pretty badly with the media this season during the Peyton Hillis debacle. When he said indecisively, “that’s what I’ve been told” with regard to Peyton Hillis’ strep throat infection, it opened up the fire storm that encapsulated the team for more than a week thanks to an inopportunely placed bye week. I think if you had a chance to talk to Shurmur off the record he would probably express some regret with how that whole situation unfolded.
An interesting point by Pete from Cleveland Frowns during our discussions about “outrage” yesterday was that for some people no coach would be good enough. His point being that the same people who are frothing at the mouth today over Shurmur were probably foaming over Mangini as well. It is an instructive point. When the subject of your weekly press conference deals with losses more frequently than wins, there is only so much you can say. To expect Shurmur to somehow find a way to satisfy expectations or desires on Monday when he’s already missed his goal of winning the day prior is an impossibility. Yet, we listen and read these quotes from his after-action-reviews and scoff at him when he says he saw a few positives in a blasting at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens.
What would you have him say, though? Should he tell you that his QB isn’t getting the job done? Should he throw his defensive coordinator under the bus? Should he complain about the injuries to T.J. Ward and Scott Fujita? Should he complain that Tom Heckert gave him Usama Young who hasn’t been able to beat out Mike Adams after basically being handed the job? There is no perfect question or answer in this scenario.
The only relief will come when the team wins consistently on Sundays. If only Pat Shurmur invent a way to create progress by way of press conference.
(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)