Browns’ Pat Shurmur Discusses Importance of Team History

I’m very well aware of [the team’s history]. In ‘95, I worked for Nick Saban, who was here. I know a lot of the guys that were on that staff. I’m very well aware of what it means to lose your team. Actually, I came from an organization, the St. Louis Rams, whose team went to Arizona. When the Cardinals came to play the Rams, it was just like the Ravens playing the Browns. I’m not insensitive to it. I believe that history is important. I believe in all that, I really do. I think as a coach what’s important is, although I’m sensitive to all that, I get it — I grew up in a town that their team hasn’t won a Super Bowl yet. I get it, really I do. I understand it. I think as the coach your focus has to be keeping your players in the moment, and the moments that we’re dealing with right now is our preparation to play the Giants. I think that’s important. I live here. I was told about all that before I got here. I’ve lived it. I eat in Cleveland restaurants. I don’t know what to tell you other than the fact that I get it. I think it’s important that as the head coach of this team, you keep the team focused, and keep their eye on the ball moving forward.

— Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur in response to criticism regarding his not viewing the NFL Network’s “Clevleland ’95” documentary on Wednesday night.

[Related: Cleveland ’95: Time Doesn’t Heal All Wounds]

  • Garry_Owen

    People are seriously criticizing him for not watching a TV show? Unbelievable. He’s worthy of plenty of criticism, but this is just stupid.
    Why would anyone want his job?

  • jamindunn

    this is a non issue. I mean… we all get it. I watched it. it still hurts almost 20 years later. But are we really going to criticize Shurmer for breaking down film of the Giants last night instead of watching NFL network?
    I can’t wait for Shurmer to be gone, but this is a little heavy handed in my opinion. (even for Cleveland)

  • mgbode

    hey, if noone else wants the job, then i’ll take it. if i can get 1st graders to play flag football, then how tough could it be to do the same for grown men, right?

    and let me tell you, i’d have one heck of a weekly radio show too.


  • Garry_Owen

    I’d listen. And boo. I would boo ’til I was too hoarse to boo. ‘Cuz that’s what we do.

  • mgbode

    and i’d eat it up like a WWE heel. i might even cackle.

  • Garry_Owen

    That’s it. We HAVE to get you this job. I’m now officially in the “Fire Schermirs” posse.

  • Damage

    It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. It’s not the biggest deal, but his initial comments showed little awareness.

  • Chuck

    Why do I get the feeling that he really doesn’t get it?

  • mgbode

    probably because he said “When the Cardinals came to play the Rams, it was just like the Ravens playing the Browns.”

  • mgbode

    and I would get to move back to the Northcoast. double bonus.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I’m applying for the GM position then because it’s only right I’m your boss! But seriously I’d take the GM position. I’ll get you the horses you need.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Bless you Pat for trying but man I think you should just try and stick to opponents and your team right now, while it’s still your team.

  • mgbode

    i’m working on my coaching list now. you know, just in case.
    ok, so far I’ve got:

    Senior Advisor Marty Schottenheimer
    OC Bernie Kosar (no security needed on the playbook as he’ll draw all plays in the dirt)
    QB Ken Dorsey (like he supposedly was as our QB3!)
    RB Earnest Byner
    WR Kevin Johnson (if anyone can teach how to catch the dang ball, it’s him)
    OL Steve Everitt

    DC Pepper Johnson
    DB Hanford Dixon (though I’m not sure how to convince him to leave his current HC gig w/ the Crush)
    LB Clay Matthews Jr (would be nice if he can convince his kid to come along for the ride too) – currently DC of an elite HS team in CA
    DL Bob Golic (just raiding the staff of the Crush!) – plus, think of the positive national feel from M&M

  • Garry_Owen

    I confess, the thought of Bernie as OC makes me giddy. On numerous levels.

  • Dee P

    I think it’s important that as the head coach of this team you keep…their eye on the ball moving forward.
    Subconscious shot at Little?

  • BuckeyeDawg

    This is the first thing I thought when I read that rambling, unnecessarily long paragraph…LOL

  • porckchopexpress

    Oooh, I’m calling the role of fan friendly offensive cooardinator, who starts showboating a little too much due to the wildly successful triple option offense I install. Eventually a rift develops between us because of my success and popularity with the fans. Then one game you change a play running a sweep towards our sidelines. Joe Thomas “misses” his block and crushes me on the sideline. The bad blood begins boiling until the last game of the season when I unexpectedly crack you from behind with a back board. I rip off my shirt revealing a Steelers jersey and then I hold you up while James Harrison gives you several Flair chops. At this point Jim Brown runs out wearing his Fireball costume from The Running Man and then things are just weird, so we turn the team back over to Shurmur. 20 years later NFL Network runs a special on the whole thing called; “2012; A Sports Oddity” which is directed by a reanimated Stanley Kubrick who was brought back to life using a serum based on sweat extract from Julio Franco.

  • porckchopexpress

    I agree that it is stupid to bang on Shurmur for this, but when your job title of Head Coach has been expanded to include the word Embattled, its time to do something to take the heat off. My idea; Lie. Get up this morning, read some recaps of it, pull a few anectdotes from the recaps change them up a little, go to a press conference and say something like; “Not that you should need any extra motivation, but seeing those fans embrace the players after the last game, boy, that makes me want to bring a winner to this town in the worst way. I wanna be that guy they are hugging in the pound.”
    Again, I think it is stupid to criticize these guys for doing their jobs and not watching TV, but it just seems that Holmgren and Shurmur simply don’t have a feel for the absolute desperation this fanbase feels to return to what we were.

  • porckexpress

    Heck you don’t even have to lie. Just be less then totally truthfull.

    Reporter; Coach did you watch the NFL special last night?
    Shurmur: No I was breaking down Giants film until 2:00 am, todays the day we intall the game plan so Wed night is pretty busy. I did DVR it, and I probably watch it on the plane ride to NYC. I tell you what though I don’t need to see that story told to know how much football means to this town, and how badly they deserve a winner.

  • Harv 21

    what an important bit of history that a Browns head coach needs to become intimate with immediately. Because it’s really important that he understand us, as people, who we are and what’s made us laugh, made us cry. Ya know, maybe it’s easier to just make Bernie the coach, or Bubba Baker.

    [Did the genius reporter who castigated Shurmur sniff the irony that the main point of that documentary was not Clevelanders’ pain but the relentless, single-minded focus of a coach and his assistants on building a team and ignoring all sentiment, even when it meant enraging the whole region by unceremoniously cutting Kosar in mid-season? Nah, Shurmur just doesn’t get us, 1-2-3 thumbs back in mouths].

  • there’s no context in this article.

    i read in the comments that shurmur is being criticized for something but i dont find any reference or link to criticism.


    —edit to add—
    here’s grossi’s article for the rest of us wondering the hell the fuss is about.

  • Garry_Owen

    Maybe check out the “hyperlink” “embedded” in the article?

  • that’s a link to another wfny column from two days ago. provides no background. just more clicks for the proprietors. (did you check the link?)

  • Garry_Owen

    Okay, seriously, I know you’re like a “bartender” or something, but you really to be a writer . . . or something.

  • mgbode

    how about you start off as a slappie 🙂

  • mgbode

    all I got out of that was Joe Thomas (and his hunting arsenal) is on my side. battle lines are drawn sir and I like my side already

  • Garry_Owen

    Hey, sorry about that. For some reason, I recall being directed earlier today to a FoxSports Ohio article. I think your perpetual negativity is bringing out the worst in my snark.

  • yeah, i know. it’s no fun for me either.

  • Garry_Owen

    I’m looking for the article . . .

  • i think i’m good, i get it now from the grossi article. shurmur said something and radio got excited and world keeps spinning.

  • Garry_Owen

    No, no. Here you go. Dumbest thing I’ve read in a long time:
    Again, sorry for the lazy snark. It could also be the Jameson. I think I’ll quit now.

  • thanks and holy crap.

    “We’re going to have to catch up on that after the season. I think this time of year, you don’t have much time to read books and watch movies.”

    that’s such a d-bag thing to say. we’re going to catch up on that after the season. lololol…

    we all want the browns to win and so for shurmur to succeed. but man… he’s such a tool. he’s doing the crucifixion thing now? im so busy that i never watch tv?

    sorry if this is more negativity but our head football coach displays the emotional development of a 17 year old.

  • porckchopexpress

    Or something eh?…. I kinda like the sound of that. If it means not having to treat another case of White Girl Wasted again, I might be in.

  • porckchopexpress

    Sorry my footnote got cutoff. After the Hit Thomas was so disturbed by his complicity he grew out a pony tail and was last seen at Hopkins with a group of Hare Krishnas.
    Ironically the last time Thomas was at Hopkins he was seen asking an unsuspecting Shaun Rogers to “hold his bag” through screening.

  • Garry_Owen

    Wow. Can’t believe you came away from that on the side of the writer!
    I mean, haven’t you ever had a job that didn’t afford TV time? Football coaches are notorious over-workers.
    Oh well.

  • well the writer is pat mcmanamon and he’s the most solid ‘big media’ writer in NEO (my opinion).

    over working does not = productive. oftentimes its used as a crutch to portray hard work but actually disguises incompetence or a reluctance to stretch oneself into new fields. we see it all the time in IT. a guy proficient in solaris 15 years ago needs to adapt and stretch his skills to growth. “that’s a fine backup script youre maintaining but we really need someone who can integrate rubyonrails to aws.”
    im not in any way impressed by the hours he may spend in berea. it has resulted in unprecedented failure. again the stat: 2 1st qtr TDs in 20 games. i do not know of a better metric to measure game planning and preparation. i dont know if it’s possible to do worse.
    perhaps coach shurmur should spend less time in berea.

  • mgbode

    so now Joe Thomas has become the new-age Steve Everitt? I am so totally in now.

  • Garry_Owen

    Of course the question was a trap. Your response (and that of McManamon) are proof of it – the veritable rusty jaws of the trap. The question wasn’t “Hey, Pat, you watching the show?” The question was “Are you going to encourage the team to watch it.” That question has one purpose: to open an arbitrary door of criticism to how he manages the team. Maybe his answer was petulant, but the best answer he could have given would have simply been, “No.” But you’d smash his marbles with a hammer for that, too. Hades, you’d find a reason to crush his grapes if he said “yes.” Frankly, I find a petulant answer to a petulant question to be appropriate.

    Look, I’m perfectly fine with Shurmur being fired, whenever and however Haslem chooses to do it. It’s his call (or will be soon); but there’s nothing “unprecedented” about the Browns’ failure under Shurmur. Indeed, there was a solid 11 years of precedent before he came. I was a big Mangini fan, but I seem to recall an even worse TD drought during his tenure.
    I get that folks have a personal disdain for Shurmur. I don’t get why, and I think it’s childish and petulant in itself, but I do understand that it exists. I’m no fan, necessarily, but I do think that there has been growth. I’m good if Haslem keeps him; I’m fine if Haslem fires him.
    In the midst of the disdain and personal hatred, though, I have yet to see one person offer a better, tangible solution and/or option.
    (And for the record, I’m not picking a fight. I am a fan of jimkanicki on WFNY.)

  • mgbode

    “I have yet to see one person offer a better, tangible solution and/or option.”

    that hurt Garry. that really hurt.

  • couldnt disagree more. mcmanamon is not a predator like grossi or a gossip columnist like MKC. he doesnt have a track record of gotcha. it really doesnt seem like an outlandish trick question and even it it were, i bet you’d be able to parry it a lot more effectively than ‘we’ll watch that after the season.’

    i absolutely would not smash his marbles for a simple ‘no’ answer. i dont have a personal disdain for shurmur. i dont think he’s a good coach. but my gripe is with holmgren for hiring him.

    my point with the 2 1st qtr TD in 20 games is that that is a metric of game planning. of coaching acumen. mangini had 7 1st TDs in 2010 alone. mangini in 2010 had a lead going into the 2nd qtr ELEVEN times in 2010. shurmur has taken a lead into the 2nd qtr three times over 20. i mean.. imagine that. it speaks directly to his failure to prepare his team.

    shurmur sucks. it’s not personal. the data is empirical.

    it bothers me to no end that carefully researched data points and logical conclusions disregarded as a personal disdain. i have no reason to hate shurmur. i want the browns to win.

    i admit that i do feel strongly that the media in town is lazy and/or incompetent. afterall they were all saying what a good hire shurmur was and were very antagonistic toward mangini. (dont you find it remarkable that tony ‘THINK TDs’ grossi killed mangini for not having enough TDs and has been silent wrt to shurmur?)

    better option is willie taggart of wku. charter member of the jack harbaugh tree. but that’s a blog post unto itself. i just dont want it said that a better tangible solution has not been been proposed.

    fan of yours too, good talking.

  • Garry_Owen

    Fair enough. A few counterpoints, however:
    I don’t think that McManamon asked the question. He only reacted to it (pretty knee-jerkily, I might add).
    I took your prior comment about Shumur “displaying the emotional development of a 17 year old” as personal disdain. Apologies if I misconstrued it, but it’s stuff like this that I get so tired of hearing (that bother me to no end). Taking your “empirical” evidence of Shurmur’s sucktitude for what it is, comments like these just seem unnecessarily insulting and inflammatory. Anyway, they’re not “empirical.” I don’t know the guy; I assume you don’t either. Can’t we just keep to his play-calling and decision-making? But, I’m not his personal defender. I guess I can stifle the “justice” gene. He’s a man. He can take it.
    Mangini also led the team when they didn’t score a single TD in 9 games. Not one. Not in any quarter. This could just as easily be attributed to his inability to prepare the team, but I think it’s more a reflection of the lack of talent on the roster – or at least a combination of both factors. I think the same can fairly be said of Shurmur.
    The media in town is indeed terrible. Part of my stance on this issue is in reaction to it. I refuse to be a part of, or to purchase, the pitiful petulence that they pander. (I will alliterate, though.) I’d rather be wrong on the high road all day long than be right in their filth.
    You are on record as proposing an alternative. Thanks. He would come with credentials as facially weak as – if not weaker than – Shurmur, though. I hope he would do better, and I’d support him, too. I’d love to read your blog on it.
    Good chatting, too. You can have the last word if you want it. I don’t need it (contrary to impressions).

  • Garry_Owen

    Forgive me. “Plan mgbode” was an obvious given.
    Can I be Special Teams coach?

  • mgbode

    well, you’ll have to break the news to Pontbriand yourself then.

  • yeah, i think i’ll take it thanks just to clarify a couple points:

    emotional development of a seventeen year old is a metaphorical way of saying petulant. no i dont know him but we should be able to agree on a judgement that ‘poise under fire’ is not a strength. i didnt view it as personal disdain. i have plenty of emotionally stunted friends. i wouldnt hire them to coach my football team is all.

    there was a lot not to like with mangini, but gameplanning/prep was not one of them. that’s my point there.

    >>>He (taggart) would come with credentials as facially weak as – if not weaker than – Shurmur, though.>>>
    disagree. taggart is a successful head coach. that means a lot more to me than a long time as an assistant. he played for jack was recruited by john and was an assistant for john harbaugh at stanford. if you like harbaugh football — and why wouldnt you — no one knows it better than taggart. i love that he went from stanford back to wku (his alma mater), shows loyalty. wku itself has been remarkable to watch. started 0-4 last year and won out (excepting at baton rouge where they were tied at halftime). i watch his team’s bench and there is genuine esprit-de-corps. also note the attached which is what halftime adjustment looks like. i’m 100% sure you wont find any records of accomplishment comparable in shurmur’s resume.

  • Garry_Owen

    He’ll understand. I’m bring Scott Player’s facemask as my Assistant Special Teams Coach/Talisman.