Browns Release Statement on Firing of Heckert, Shurmur

Here is the statement from the Browns regarding the firing of GM Tom Heckert and Head Coach Pat Shurmur-

Tom Heckert and Pat Shurmur were relieved of their duties as general manager and head coach, respectively, of the Cleveland Browns today, the team announced.

“We felt that these moves were in the best interests of the Cleveland Browns and our future,” said Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam. “I enjoyed getting to know Tom and Pat over the past several months, and want to thank them, not just for their contributions to the Browns, but also the insight they were able to provide. They are both fine men and hope they have the best of success as they move forward with their careers.”

“This decision was not an easy one because of my relationship with Tom and Pat and the fact that they are both quality people,” said Browns CEO Joe Banner. “Ultimately our objective is to put together an organization that will be the best at everything we do. On the field, our only goal is trying to win championships. I have a great deal of respect for Tom and Pat, and I want to wish them and their families nothing but the best.”

“I leave the Browns feeling very good about many of the things we accomplished here and the direction in which I believe this team is headed,” Heckert said. “Having been around this franchise growing up, I was really excited for the opportunity to come here three years ago, and I want to thank Randy Lerner and Mike Holmgren for making that possible. I also want to acknowledge many of the hard-working people in the Browns organization, especially our player personnel staff, who are outstanding at what they do and supported me immensely in my role. I wish the team nothing but the best as they move forward.”

“I am extremely proud of the players on this team, who I felt made tremendous strides and helped to make the Cleveland Browns relevant again,” Shurmur said. “I want to thank them, as well as my entire coaching staff for making the past two years enjoyable. My coaches are outstanding teachers and even better men. They helped me lead these players through a unique time of transition. This group of players will achieve success soon, and there will be a part of me that will feel very good when that happens.

“I want to thank Randy Lerner, Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert for bringing me in and having the faith in me to lead this football team. I am disappointed that we did not win more games, but I do know the Browns are on their way to becoming a consistent winner. I appreciated the time spent with Jimmy (Haslam) and Joe (Banner), and wish them all the best as they provide a new vision for the Cleveland Browns.”

[Related: Shurmur and Heckert have been fired]

  • humboldt

    Can’t deny that it feels good to purge the remnants of the Lerner era with these firings…

  • Another perfect P.R. move by Haslam and Banner. They keep piling up the P.R. victories. Let’s see if they can pile up any real ones with their new hires.

  • CtownDAWGpound

    I was hoping that Heckert would be retained. Highly unlikely but any chance Juraon keeps his job? i’m also praying we don’t revert back to the 4-3 defense!

  • BenRM

    *waits for Josh Cribbs to make an ill-advised tweet concerning the firings*


    I’ve always been a believer that you don’t fire people *just* to fire them. I hope they have some idea as to the people they’ll target for these positions. I also hope those people aren’t Mike Lombardi and Chip Kelly.

  • SDA

    Totally agree. It would be nice if we make moves that actually work!!! I think constant change is the worst thing for an organization.

  • CtownDAWGpound

    DAMNIT 3-4!

  • BenRM

    If the Browns end up being the team duped into hiring Chip Kelly, I will be pretty upset.

  • CtownDAWGpound

    I could totally get behind Kelly a whole lot faster than Lombardi! He hasn’t shown anything that proves that he can get any team to the trophy with his name on it!

  • Roosevelt

    Now Shurmur can wander off into a coordinator position, and Heckert can become our next Ozzie Newsome.

    If Haslam is really a stand up guy who will take an active role in the team, Banner himself is not too secure. I can’t speak for everyone, but I think the type of fan revolt that led to the Holmgren hire is a lot closer now than it was yesterday, and if someone as unlikable as Banner makes a couple wrong moves, the Browns’ relationship with their fans will be right back where it was during that whole Dawg Pound Mike debacle.

  • BenRM

    Funny, b/c neither has Kelly.

  • Roosevelt

    What do you guys think about Heckert supposedly saying that he was fired over the final say on the roster? Does that mean that they gave him the option to stay, or is he just trying to keep things smooth? In a strange way, if they wanted to keep him, but couldn’t agree on final say, it reassures me about their competence – although not about the fact that Heckert will go on to be awesome somewhere else.

  • I hope Brad Childress is next. What a bozo.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Thanks for battling Pat but your firing should be an inspiration for Browns fans. Tom well you unfortunately got caught in the ownership change but then again you were probably Holmgren’s puppet anyways. Bit of advice don’t ever say publicily, especially in a town that hasn’t won anything as long as Cleveland, that something might take five years, just to win, the Indians do enough of that here.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Doubt it unless Childress manages to become head coach. I’m all for keeping the 4-3 regardless though first because I prefer the 4-3 and second because changing will mean multiple personnel changes on top of the ones already needed.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I seriously doubt Heckert becomes the next Newsome besides that comparison goes alot deeper which is why people are so passionate about it. Noone should have become attached to Heckert. I mean he did a “pretty” good job in whatever it is he did but if someone can distinguish where he started and Holmgren ended I’d like to know. Over Heckert’s tenure he failed to make one significant impact however he did manage to have more then a few misses.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    He and Banner didn’t work well as soon as Banner was named Heckert was probably done. Time will tell on Banner but guess what just like all of the Lerner hires all we can do is watch.

  • Harv 21

    Didn’t hear him say that was the reason, but final say was apparently a written condition of his contract. And Banner has said he likes the HC having that power.

    All I know is that for an organization looking for a very competent, still-young GM, they could do a whole lot worse than Tom Heckert.

  • Roosevelt

    That’s true – nothing that Heckert can possibly do will result in his being beloved former player. But there is no executive or coach in new Browns history who anyone thought would have a chance anywhere else, and *everyone* seems to agree that Heckert will get to pick his landing spot. What does that say about the decision to fire him (and replace him with someone who doesn’t have a job…), and what does it say about his prospects for the future?