NFL News: Pat Shurmur Calling and Emailing Critical Reporters

In a column which preceded the unprofessional post-game antics from Sunday afternoon, Plain Dealer columnist Bud Shaw had a line item wherein Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur was called out for phoning and emailing reporters and columnists off of the record with the goal being to chastise said criticism.

“Short of winning, though, [Shurmur would] do himself a favor if he stops worrying about his critics,” writes Shaw. “Stops being so thin-skinned. Stops calling and emailing reporters or commentators who criticize him. Criticism is part of the job for any NFL head football coach, especially one who last won a game the week before Thanksgiving 2011.”

ESPNCleveland’s Tony Grossi adds that Shurmur left an angry voice mail early in the morning for a columnist who chastised him for perceived insensitive comments made about the Cleveland ’95 NFL Film documentary and “tossed a few F-bombs” after a reporter pressed him to go on the record about Trent Richardson’s excused absence at a Browns practice.

As a follow up to his column, Shaw, in an interview with 92.3 The Fan’s “Kiley & Booms,” Shaw specifically referred to former Cleveland Browns head coach Sam Rutigliano receiving a phone call after the legend said that Shurmur appeared overwhelmed and was “in over his head.” In addition, one specific, unnamed reporter was pulled aside following a press conference where Shurmur piled on the snark, belittling lines of question.

“If you’re 0-11,” said Shaw on air,” you have to expect this stuff.”

[Related: Insult to Injury: Shurmur, Browns Losing Battle off of the Field as Well]

  • yngfinest

    Wow!! This might be an all time low

  • yngfinest

    Wow!! This is sad

  • Sam Rutigliano is a legend? He was 47-50 as Browns coach. Truly the bar is set very low in this town.

  • MrCleaveland

    Ahh, but the strawberries. That’s . . . that’s where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes, but I proved beyond a shadow of a doubt and with . . . geometric logic . . . that a duplicate key to the wardroom icebox DID exist . . .

  • Natedawg86

    First Meyer, then Francona, and now paging Cower/Gruden…

  • mgbode

    Go root for Buffalo!

  • mgbode

    best way add criticism is to over-react to the criticisms you are already getting. poor form Shurmur.

  • yngfinest

    You dont think this is shurmur at an all time low?

  • Chuck Norris

    If Patricia Shurmur gets butt hurt every time a reporter asks him about a questionable call, I don’t think he should be coaching at all. Coaches should be able to handle criticism.

  • Garry_Owen

    Please, no more talk of Gruden or Cowher. I beg of you. Please.

  • mgbode

    Shurmur? yes. Alltime Browns GM/HC low? no. sadly, we have seen lower as I referenced.

  • mgbode

    He’s talking Jay not Jon, right? right!

  • Garry_Owen

    Is Bill Cowher’s daughter a football coach?

  • Bihuniak

    Legend? No. But you cannot dismiss his legacy has being “below the bar”, as he coached one of the most ridiculous teams in Browns history.

  • yngfinest

    That was my fault for not being specific(shurmur).sorry for leaving an important part of my statement out…but plz dont ask me 2 root for buffalo!

  • Natedawg86

    Who would you like to see.

  • Garry_Owen

    I don’t know. I just don’t know enough about who’s in the premier coaching ranks. I readily admit that I have no answers (thus, my lack of screaming.)
    I am convinced, however, that neither Gruden nor Cowher are anything at this point but “names.” I do not believe for a minute that either of them have been masterminding a successful program, are interested in stepping away from a 10-20 hour work week to take on a 60-80 hour work week, or would be particularly successful if they were to do so. Gruden, in particular, has always struck me as far more “form” than “substance.”
    Frankly, and I’m going to get blown up here, I would much rather keep Shurmur (or someone else that’s currently on staff) than to go with the “sexy” big name, just to go with the big name.

  • Garry_Owen

    I’m also not (yet, anyway) a fan of the Francona hire.
    Meyer was a great hire, but I believe that it was always the “post-Tressel” plan for both the university and Meyer. It just happened sooner than either party anticipated.

  • steve-o

    I’ve been as critical of Shurmur as anyone but it’s time to give it a rest. Anyway, the point is moot since it’s all but certain he will be gone by season’s end (barring some unforseen miracle). I see no point in blasting the poor guy further.

  • BigDigg

    Hats off to Shurmer…he’s really battling out there…

  • BuckeyeDawg

    Given our new owner’s Pittsburgh connection and Cowher’s history in Cleveland, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t intrigued by this possibility. I know he supposedly promised the Rooneys when he left that he wouldn’t take a job within the division….but it wouldn’t be the first time somebody changed their mind.

    Shurmur is way in over his head, and doesn’t have the mental toughness to be a head coach. That much is becoming crystal clear. The way things are going, I’ll be shocked if he’s still here after the bye.

  • Garry_Owen

    I won’t argue with any of this, except to say that I don’t like to go down the road of assessing the “mental toughness” of people I don’t know. It certainly appears that you may be right, but I don’t think any of us is actually qualified to make that assessment. Mental toughness doesn’t always have the same appearance in all people. Besides, I wonder what impact a few wins on the field might have on Shurmur’s “mental toughness,” or appearance thereof. I still believe that we’re moving in the right direction, and a few wins will come this year.
    As for Cowher, I admit that the thought of “Head Coach Bill Cowher of the Pittsburgh Steelers” is an intriguing and tempting thought. I’m just not sure that guy exists anymore. It would be a huge gamble for us to take – and a gamble that I don’t think we can afford.

  • BuckeyeDawg

    Is either one the answer we a looking for long term? Hard to say for sure. Are both of them clear upgrades from an experience and credibility standpoint over what we have now? Clearly.

  • humboldt

    But the point of the Shaw and Grossi article is that Shurmur is going out of his way to ‘blast’ reporters. While I sympathize with the awful feelings that must be associated w/ failing at one’s job, this is, objectively, highly unprofessional behavior.

  • humboldt

    This is fair. I think it is probably most appropriate to deem Shurmur’s behavior as mildly unprofessional rather than critiquing his mental health.

  • mgbode

    “I just don’t know enough about who’s in the premier coaching ranks. I readily admit that I have no answers”

    that’s it. i’m calling back Pontbriand!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    You can afford it but more importantly Haslam can afford it! I’m on the Cowher bus but as I said yesterday as long as he’s not the GM too. I don’t see his hiring as being a gamble certainly not after the last 14 years.

  • MrCleaveland

    REPORTER: Pat, what was your thinking on the third-down play when . . .

    SHURMUR: Whatta you care? You writin’ a book or something? I called the play and if you don’t like it, your can kiss my *^%#$*&^& ^4$%&^%$*%^(^&&), you (*^* +_O%)**(&^&^.

    ANOTHER REPORTER: Uh, Pat, just before the half, the Giants scored 17 points to put . . .

    SHURMUR: You wanna make somethin’ of it? You tryin’ to start somethin’? Care to step outside? Let’s go, you pencil-necked #X ^4$%&^%$*%^(^&&)(*^*

    ANOTHER REPORTER: Pat, wh . . .

    SHURMUR: You $%&^%$*%^(^&s don’t like anything, do you? Think this is easy? Think you could do any better? HA! I’d like to see you try. . .

  • porckchopexpress


  • porckchopexpress

    I think this meltdown destroys Holngrem’s credibility more then anything. You have a young coach, and you have put in place a rebuilding process that was/is taking a long time, meaning the coach is going to get beat up by fans/media. Where the hell is Hooligren during this whole thing? Not just because it is the job you were hired to do, but as a friend and mentor I have no idea how you can just become invisible and let the coach take this kind of beating. Just mindblowing how inadequate he has shown himself to be.

  • I love it

  • Pat Shurmur

    One of my finer moments

  • Hopwin

    He is busy swimming around in his Scrooge McDuck money vault full of Lerner Money.

  • Ron

    If they would all resign(coach & management), you might be able to say ther’s hope for the team. However, the possibility of that is negligable….. so eventually the players that are starting to develop will lose interest in staying with the Browns. New owner must act relatively quickly to prevent this from happening.

  • BuckeyeDawg

    Fair enough, Questioning another person’s mental toughness was a bit strong. How about “does not appear to be dealing well with the pressures of being a head coach” instead?

  • PatIsTrash

    Dude I’ll take either of our coordinators.. Anyone with head coaching experience would be better than Fragile Shurmur!

  • nxmehta

    Pat Shurmur on Pat Shurmur right here!

  • flea

    He doesn’t have time to watch Cleveland 95 but has time to email and call people in the press? That’s a good one. Advice for Pat…quit letting “the press” get under your skin. Most times they ask inexplicably dumb questions , but you exacerbate it with dumb answers. I feel bad for this guy…he has been thrown under the bus with a young team with dubious talent and not much in the way of veteran players. Hard enough taking an established team on as an experienced head coach, it’s got to be frustrating as all get out starting from scratch with very little talent and no head coaching experience. Rather than take the beating each week, he should just say they are young and it may take a few years to get the right mix of veterans and youth. Enjoy watching the team grow, cheer us on and one day we will turn the corner.

  • Pat Shurmur

    Glad to know someone appreciates my work!

  • Pat Shurmur

    You should see my win percentage.

  • Garry_Owen

    I meant “mgbode!” He’s the answer! Yes, him!

  • mgbode

    welcome back coach of Quality Control

  • ricktenny

    I think you are pretty close with this assesment of the mans personality.

  • Bomber77

    Shurmur is the leagues worst coach….period. He literally does nothing well. He, Holmgren, and Heckert all need to go. We need a fresh face and a new attitude with this team. Go Browns.