Pat Shumur’s Tough Media Day

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)

  • christopher


    Saying the Browns were good in the 60’s and 70’s therefore everyone should want to be there is like saying the Patriots were horrible in the 60’s and 70’s so nobody wants to go there now.

    Things change. Good night.

  • I don’t appreciate being referenced as some absentee landlord that doesn’t scold someone who is arguing with you. When people step over the line I / we say something or do something and moderate.

    What Christopher said borders on the confrontational side, but I don’t think telling you to stop watching the Browns constitutes a personal attack. Calling you tiresome is closer to a personal attack, I guess but you did post three comments in a row. There’s no rule against that, but calling a conversation with someone as prolific and adamant as you “tiresome” doesn’t seem to be that offensive or untrue. He seems to be attacking your opinion more than anything, which is fair. Sorry to say.

    If someone calls someone names or something similarly immature and unnecessary, we’ve always been willing to step in whenever and wherever we see it. I stand by the fact that we do a whole lot more than most to make this a decent place to visit and share ideas on a daily basis. Sorry if it isn’t good enough, but we do the best we can.

  • oribiasi

    @ Craig: Haha, alright. You dance around the idea here that is just inching closer and closer to being “wrong” but of course, he isn’t doing enough to constitute an “offense” so we can let it slide.

    I wonder if I sided with your way of patient, level-headed (read: better than all of you mouth-breathing neanderthals) and someone did the same to me if you’d be so diplomatic.

    Una pregunta: Telling me to stop watching the games…telling me that someone will call me when they are good…are all of these things related to an attack on my opinion as well? How does that work, precisely?

    98% of anything I write here is about the team itself and their failings. Why they are failing, what I see as coming down the road, so to speak, and why I think it. The rest of this is silliness and people who are too drunk on KoolAid to know that what they are presumably watching every Sunday/occasional Thursday is a well orchestrated fiasco to make money.

    You want an off-topic idea for me to write an article on? How about the psychology of Browns fans and their inability to see this for what it is.

  • Telling someone they are drunk on kool-aid is probably equal and opposite telling someone to stop watching and wait for the phone to ring.

  • jimkanicki

    hi chris, it’s just a tweet from grossi (i actually think it was in reply to a question i asked from my non-blocked account). it’s a quick read. agreed on grossi’s work ethic but any beat writer on the job 25 years must have some connections. he doesn’t qualify his assertion that holmgren didnt want fox even though they’re friends. just a head scratcher to me.

    for more context, my girlfriend for five years was a panthers fan and so i watched a lot of fox. always liked how he coached (eg, he’s a 7 out of 10 in the ‘go for it on 4th down’ scale); he players seemed to respond to him; mystery why carolina chased him, it was unpopular among fans. so i really really really wanted him for cleveland.

    now who knows if his denver deal was in the bag and who knows if cleveland would have won in a recruiting batter vs denver. but id have liked us to try. and obviously, his coaching capability is being borne out in denver sooner than expected… but it was expected.

  • oribiasi

    @ Craig: Happy holidays to you and your family. That is all. (Don’t have anything nice to say).

  • B-bo


  • Dee P

    @ B-bo #57

    Dee P likes this.

  • pepe

    One of the reasons I was so opposed to firing Mangini was because I thought we’d get saddled with John Fox. HA! We should be so lucky to someone as good as him now.

  • pepe

    You want to talk about an offense without any talent? John Fox’s Broncos make the Browns look like Montana’s 49ers.

  • Shamrock

    John Fox is doing what he has to do to win now not in a year or two or ten. Groundbreaking.

  • Tbone

    Agree Shamrock. a good OC will design an offense around the talent he has presently, then work the draft and free agency market to sprinkle in what he ultimately wants, thereby making it an even better offense. You cannot ramrod a “system” onto a team and resign it to failure.

  • bridgecrosser

    Uncle Pat is a jerk. I doubt success will change that. He might be a good NFL coach one day. Right now, he has not done much to show he should coach an NFL team.

    Get lost jerk.

  • Porkchop xpress

    @ oribasi Don’t take this personally but your arguments (remember your arguments, not you, not a personal attack) have the solidity of quicksand. You tend to make extremist talk radio bombast worthy statements about things and then rather than defend the initial position you simply attempt to shift the argument.

    Your inital beef was Holmgren is bad because he only interviewed 3 people. When asked what number would be good, you switch the argument to “3 credible Winning Coaches” would be good enough. So now I ask
    What 3 credible winning coaches were out there when the Browns hired Shurmur?
    Please don’t say Gruden and Cowher, they have both made it clear that a. they’re happy in the booth (they turned down much better jobs than the Browns) b. they have both made it clear they want more personel control than they would get in Cleveland
    So who are these Winners that you imagine are lining up to take the Browns Job? Can you give some names? Or are you going to either ignore this or just change your argument once again (if its the latter, please do the former)

    As I recall the only names out there at the time were Munchack, Morningwheg, Fewell, Shurmur, and Fox. I’m sure there were a few others but they all came from this stock.

    So choose your own adventure
    1. How many people should Holmgren have interviewed?
    2. What are the names of the 3 Winners that Holmgren should have interviewed

  • Porkchop xpress

    As for all of the John Fox is Knute Rockne because he adapted his system to fit Tebow talk. Does anyone remember when Josh McDaniels started out 5-0 and Mangini started out 0-30,0284? I remember there being a hand wringing out cry at the time from Browns fans how we passed on the “Good” Belicheck disciple. Just saying maybe we give it more than 5 games to pass judgement. I know 1/3 of a football season (Yes I know the season is 2/3’s over but when Denver was 1-4 nobody was beating the John Fox is a genius drum) is longer than the average Browns fan can wait before burrying a guy but lets try
    No question John Fox is a good coach, I just think that hiring a defense minded disciplinarian, wouldn’t have made alot of sense given the circumstances.

  • oribiasi

    @ Porkchop xpress: Hmm…how do you know what happens behind the scenes in the NFL world? I don’t and you don’t, so without solid evidence, my claim that he didn’t speak to enough people and your claim that he did are both unable to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

    I have an OPINION that he didn’t do enough; the only EVIDENCE I can hang on to is that he admitted he only interviewed three people. Why mention that number to all of us if it wasn’t real? Why even say it? He knows that’s a small number, so it must be true and therefore he is mentioning it because he thinks its fine.

    Another argument I have made previously on here (because now, according to you, I am only permitted to cite previous discussions because it never dawned on you that more than one thing could be wrong with this picture) is that Shurmur was NEVER on ANYONE’S radar to be the next head coach ANYWHERE. Let me state that again: NO ONE WANTED HIM AS HEAD COACH EXCEPT MIKE HOLMGREN.

    Truly, he should have interviewed nobody; I get the feeling that Pat put in a call to his uncle, who then called Mike, and the rest is history. Mike had to make a few (3, ahem) cursory checks into other people to put up a veneer of actually doing his job, but truly, he didn’t seem to care much.

    If Mike Holmgren, one of the most respected NFL personalities in the last 20 years comes a’callin, I highly doubt that Cowher, Fox, Gruden, whoever, wouldn’t answer the phone.

    So, to answer your question:

    1. More than 3. For a team like the Browns with all the problems we have had with keeping a head coach, you do more leg work to check out everyone you can. Head coach has been a problem for a while now and its central to how a team performs. People like Harv 21 tend not to think so, so to answer that ridiculous idea, I’d love to ask him to explain this year’s lack of special teams prowess/performance/competency.

    2. Anyone other than Shurmur. You, for example.

  • christopher

    i apologize for recent posts if they were construed as “confrontational”….tone of text does not come across in comment sections.

    when i said “stop watching, someone will call you when they are good”, i literally meant it. if you put your hand on a hot stove and it hurts once, you learn not to do it again. if you continue to put your hand on the hot stove after you have already learned it will hurt, well then it’s your own fault.

    no amount of complaining, bickering, “this is what they must do”, “this is what they did wrong” statements on this or any other website will change anything.

    if you want to send a message that you are not pleased, don’t watch and generate add revenues, don’t buy tickets, don’t go to the stadium.

    in other words simply stop putting your hand on the hot stove if it hurts.

    if you can bare the pain, the continue to watch as many fans (like myself) have continued to do.

    now if you’ll excuse me, i have a gallon of kool-aid to drink. i’m very thirsty after typing the longest comment i have ever left on this blog. <—– meant to have a little snark in this one. 😉

  • mgbode

    @oribiasi – Holmgren did talk to Cowher and Gruden. I can’t believe this is all getting lost again. I have brought it up before and I will do so again here.

    Jon would come back for Holmgren but his heart wasn’t in it. Cowher wasn’t interested.

    Here’s an article:

    Holmgren said he could have hired Jon Gruden and that he also spoke with former Steelers Head Coach Bill Cowher:

    “Bill (Cowher) wasn’t ready to come back. He was very honest about it. Jon said he’d come back for me. I said, ‘I need more than that. You shouldn’t just come back for me. You should want to do this.’ He really enjoys TV, and he’s good at it.”

  • ben

    FWIW, I disliked Mangini because he was a giant jerkbag in addition to being a crappy HC. Shurmur may also be a crappy HC, but he isn’t fining people a few grand over bottles of water.

  • Porkchop xpress

    @ oribasi

    Vizzini: Only a great fool would reach for what is given, I am not a great fool so clearly I cannot choose the wine in front of you. You must have known I was not a great fool, so clearly I cannot choose the wine in front of me.
    Wesley: Truly you have a dizzying intellect

    Please re-read, I never said 3 is a good number I’ve only asked how many people you think would be a sufficient number. I’m not trying to attack you, just find out what you consider a thorough interview process. I actually enumerated the questions and you still can’t answer.

  • Harv 21

    @Oribiasi: “Head coach has been a problem for a while now and its central to how a team performs. People like Harv 21 tend not to think so, so to answer that ridiculous idea, I’d love to ask him to explain this year’s lack of special teams prowess/performance/competency.” I never wrote anything like that, and it’s not what I believe.

    After trying to engage you in some limited dialogues on certain points I won’t anymore because, as I said last week, you don’t seem to want to pay the price of dialogue: reading/listening to the other person, not just insults to people who don’t accept the one point you repeat ad nauseum, multiple times per thread, or retaliating with a non-sequitur. Your Transmit button is working fine, but your Message Receive button is way on the fritz.

    Last thing: not sure why you’re crying martyrdom about other commenters and Craig ganging up on you because of your position. Nobody is. But when you call out people in an unprovoked, in-your-face-manner (“idiotic,” “kool-aid drinker,” “visit your world of magic”) you can’t realistically expect respectful responses. Try addressing others respectfully and on-topic and they’ll do the same. Well, eventually, when you’re constant barbs at them start to fade from their memory.

  • oribiasi

    @ Porkchop xpress: You cite a quote from the Princess Bride and I’m supposed to take you seriously?

    Thorough interview == more than three people on the face of the earth. And, try not to make it someone from the NFL’s 26th ranked offense in 2010 who has never been head coach for a team (Browns) with prior head coaching problems.

  • oribiasi

    @ Harv 21: I don’t have the time right now but by the fates there is a comment here that you made suggesting that the head coach isn’t really that much of an end of the world deal and so we should rather look at the on-field talent, or something of that nature. I’ll look later.

    So, your idea of a two way street is to close off the street entirely? Interesting.

    Please, truly, I would love to hear why you think Shurmur is a good coach. Cite some examples, too, while you’re at it. Gloss over the ugly parts, though. Like 9 players on the field for a play, etc etc etc…

    All kidding aside, I’d truly like to see what you consider improvement for him from game one. And, don’t save it for a later conversation like he said he will. Yikes.

  • Porkchop xpress

    ori, The Princess Bride is one of the greatest movies ever made, you should taken deadly serious the opinions of any man who can quote it from memory.

    So we agree to disagree that 3 = not thorough. So who is The Guy from the crop of possibles that you would have taken over Shurmur. If you don’t have a reasonable answer (which excludes Cowher/Gruden) than you can’t complain about Shurmur.

    Fox, Rivera, Munchack? Morningwheg, Shottenheimer (Brian), Fewell? Maybe dust off Brian Billick? Who’s the guy you wanted?

  • oribiasi

    @ Porkchop xpress: We should have a drinking contest with quotes from that movie. “I am not left handed, either.”

    Back to your response — if I don’t have a reasonable answer I’m not allowed to complain about Shurmur…wow, such a statement. If I’m not happy with the current economic problems in America but I don’t have a single, all-encompassing answer on how to replace the system with one that works better…then I’m not allowed to be unhappy or complain about it either?

    I am allowed to name whomever I want because you’re not my Mom and can’t tell me I’m not permitted to do so. I will pick Gruden and then Fox as a close second. I would have called them 100 times before I ever considered Mr. 26th Ranked Offense from St. Louis.

    I’m being real genuine here.

  • mgbode

    @oribiasi – as already shown above and linked Holmgren did consider and call Gruden. he could not get the true commitment that HC of a NFL team requires from Gruden, so he moved on.

  • oribiasi

    @ mgbode: I read that as “Holmgren could not dominate Gruden as a pawn in a larger system.” Which should worry you.

  • jimkanicki

    i dont get the john fox skepticism.

    has everyone forgotten that jake delhomme was in the superbowl and losing to the pats on a final play 41 yd FG (and easily covering the +7 point spread)? i’m not as down on delhomme as most are, but i think all of us can agree that that accomplishment accrues favorably to john fox.

  • christopher


    I honestly would put John Fox as a Grade B candidate, with obvious already Super Bowl winning coaches as Grade A candidates.

    And that being said, I would have been fine with him as the coach of the Cleveland Browns.

  • mgbode

    @jimkanicki – i was also on the John Fox bandwagon. Many were not and one of the main reasons given at the time was that we had just hired a HC quickly after he was fired from his last team.

    that said, Fox is in Denver. i like that he has done what needs to be done to get that team winning in the short term. not sure denigrating your QB to the media is the best thing to do, but whatever. anyways, ship has sailed.

    @ori/77 – now that’s funny. Gruden saying he would come back for Holmgren but his heart was in TV means Holmgren couldn’t ‘dominate’ him? Gotta love your conspiracy theories.

  • jimkanicki

    chris, not to flog this any harder, but im guessing you didnt watch as many panthers games as i did (for the peculiar reason above). if you had, i wouldnt be surprised if you’d revise your grade upward.

    and as bode said, that ship has sailed.

    /steps off soapbox

  • oribiasi

    @ mgbode: If you don’t think ego-mania and hubris hasn’t been the downfall of almost every major persona in history then you need to read more history.

  • pepe

    to be fair egomania and hubris are also part of what allows a person to become a major persona to begin with. there’s not a lot of humble and timid people in history books.