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Tag:Pat Shurmur
Posted on: February 22, 2012 4:24 pm
 

Shurmur believes Colt McCoy can improve

McCoy

By Josh Katzowitz

Because the Rams hold the No. 2 pick in April’s NFL draft and because they already have a franchise quarterback, it makes sense that the Browns, holding the No. 4 selection, would try to trade up so they can grab Robert Griffin III.

Even though Colt McCoy has had some success as the Browns quarterback the past two years, much of the speculation surrounding the Cleveland quarterback situation center around the Browns trying to find another quarterback to replace him.

Count Cleveland coach Pat Shurmur among those who aren’t sure replacing McCoy is the best solution.

"We're looking forward him to improving through the offseason," Shurmur told reporters, including the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "I think it will make a big difference in year two (of) me being here.  I told him to prepare himself to get as much out of this offseason as possible. I'm expecting him to attack this offseason and get as good as he can get within our system. He really works at things and that's going to help him."

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So, McCoy can actually improve, then? That’s strange for a coach to say.

"I'm expecting that he will and the thing that's encouraging to me is that he's a guy you know [is] going to work at it," said Shurmur, who also reported McCoy is completely healed from the late-season concussion he sustained. "Heck, I think he can be very good. If he plays at a high level like I think he can, when he makes these improvements, that means he can help us win football games and I think that's what you're looking for at the end of the day -- put the ball in the end zone and win games."

Of course, the Browns would be silly if they didn’t study Griffin at this week’s scouting combine, but perhaps whatever they’d have to give up for Griffin might be too much to bear if the team really feels like McCoy can be the guy. Or Shurmur could just ask CBS analyst Rich Gannon.

"I know people are saying, 'Is this guy a player?' but there's a lot of things to like about him," Gannon said last season. "I mean, there's something about him that makes me think he's got a chance. I like him. ...

"People don't understand that you've got develop the quarterback position," Gannon said. "We're making a huge mistake in the NFL with these young guys. These coaches come in and say, 'He's not my guy, I want to get rid of him,' and then they bring another guy in. Then it takes a couple of years to develop that guy. Meanwhile, they fire that head coach, and the next guy comes in. It's a terrible cycle."

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Posted on: January 27, 2012 9:27 am
Edited on: January 27, 2012 8:59 pm
 

Browns hire Brad Childress for OC

Chilly might be about to get back in the playcalling business. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Thursday, the Bucs landed Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, eliminating Brad Childress and Mike Sherman as candidates. And with another domino -- Sherman to Miami -- about to fall, it looks like a good bet that Childress will wind up with the Browns.

That's precisely what the Browns did Friday, announcing that Childress has been hired as their offensive coordinator. 

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Cabot points out that Sherman and Childress were the Browns top two options, and with Sherman signing with the Dolphins, it means Childress' top option is Cleveland, and Childress is Cleveland's top option as well.

The marriage makes sense. As Andy Reid's offensive coordinator with the Eagles, Childress twice architected a top-10 passing offense, and he managed that with the Vikings once as well. (It's really unfair to judge his passing production in Minnesota, what with Adrian Peterson on the roster and all; the Vikings were quite good at rushing the ball.)

And Browns coach Pat Shurmur was the tight ends coach and quarterbacks coach in Philly under Chilly. They know each other. "Very well," according to Shurmur recently.

Shurmur didn't hire an offensive coordinator in his first season and called the plays himself. Cleveland finished 24th in passing yards in the NFL, 27th in passing touchdowns, 30th in net yards per passing attempt, 28th in rushing yards and 32nd in rushing touchdowns and 31st in net yards per rushing attempt. (Football Outsiders is a touch more generous, ranking them 25th overall in offensive efficiency.)

So, um, not good. Shurmur declined to commit to Colt McCoy in his season wrap-up, and that made most of the headlines. But he also wouldn't rule out the possibility of having someone come in and call plays for him.

"It's important that I get the best coordinator I can for us," Shurmur said. "I think that's one of the details that'll get worked out as we go through the process. I want to get the best guy I can. And if he's outstanding at calling plays, listen, I want to win games, and so I'm gonna get the guys in there that are gonna help us do that."

Ultimately, it's a logical conclusion. Childress and Shurmur are former co-workers. Both of them are disciples of Reid, who's a direct coaching-tree descendent of Browns president Mike Holmgren.

The transition to Chilly calling plays would likely be seamless. The Browns just need to figure out those "who's our quarterback" and "where can we get playmakers" problems.

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Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:42 pm
 

Would Browns trade up to get Robert Griffin III?

Would Cleveland give McCoy the Heisman and go with Griffin? (Getty Images/US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

We wondered last week if the Browns, who hold the No. 4 pick in the April draft, might give serious consideration to taking Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. CBSSports.com mock draft experts Rob Rang and Dane Brugler both have Cleveland grabbing RGIII, decisions no doubt made easier by Colt McCoy's struggles in 2011 coupled with head coach Pat Shurmur's indifferent take on McCoy's future as the starter.

“As we go forward here with Colt, he’s done some really good things,” Shurmur said shortly after the Browns' season ended. “Get him back healthy, get him in an offseason where he has a chance to develop. I expect that Colt will improve just like I expect (backup) Seneca (Wallace) will improve and whoever the quarterbacks are here. I think that can be said for all positions, so the best quarterback will play when we start the season.”

In his mock draft posted Tuesday, NFL.com's Sam Wyche has the Browns trading up two spots to No. 2 to take -- you guessed it -- Griffin. He writes that "Several teams are going to try and move up to get Griffin but the Browns have the most ammo -- the fourth overall pick and a late first-rounder or high picks in later rounds. Cleveland needs Griffin -- and wants him, according to league sources -- and the Rams will still get their man."

Seems reasonable, even given what Browns general manager Tom Heckert said recently (via the Canton Repository):

“In a perfect world, we would stay at 4, but it’s not a perfect world," he noted. "If we think we can get the same guy by moving down a few spots getting an extra pick or picks, why not do that?”

And then there's this from last week, by way of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Tony Grossi: "I would not automatically eliminate the Baylor quarterback from consideration with the Browns' top pick simply because he is a product of the one-read, shotgun spread offense."

Of course, Kevin Kolb was also mentioned as a possibility should the Cardinals decide that they'd seen enough after one uninspiring season. As we wrote previously, we're not convinced Kolb is much of an upgrade over McCoy, and certainly not at starting-quarterback money. But whatever happens this much is certain: the Browns absolutely have to nail this draft. It's up to team president Mike Holmgren, Heckert and Shurmur to figure out if Griffin is part of that conversation.

And if he's not, there are sure to be teams interested in trading up to grab him. Earlier this month we mentioned the Redskins as a possibility, something draft expert Chris Steuber echoed again Tuesday.

"We all agree that a team will trade up for RG3. My money is on the Redskins. Daniel Snyder, for better or worse, rolls high stakes dice."

If there's any team that needs a quarterback more than the Browns, it's the Redskins.

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Posted on: January 10, 2012 4:41 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2012 5:00 pm
 

Could Browns be interested in RG3, Kolb?

McCoy's stint as Cleveland's starter may already be over. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

The Browns begin this offseason like most others: with plenty of questions at key positions and plenty of needs at others. Chief among them: quarterback.

Cleveland drafted Colt McCoy in the third round in 2010, team president Mike Holmgren's first year with the organization. Injuries forced McCoy onto the field as a rookie and despite the odds, he fared well. So well, in fact, that he appeared to have the job for 2011 and hopefully longer.

Instead, McCoy's sophomore season was a combination of an unoriginal offensive philosophy, a paucity of playmakers, and in the end, injuries. He didn't play the final three weeks of the season and first-year head coach Pat Shurmur was uninterested in committing to McCoy as the team's starter in 2012.

“As we go forward here with Colt, he’s done some really good things,” Shurmur said according to wire reports. “Get him back healthy, get him in an offseason where he has a chance to develop. I expect that Colt will improve just like I expect (backup) Seneca (Wallace) will improve and whoever the quarterbacks are here. I think that can be said for all positions, so the best quarterback will play when we start the season.”


The Browns have the No. 4 and No. 22 picks in April's draft and it's reasonable to think that they'll seriously consider a quarterback. Andrew Luck is destined for Indianapolis, who'll take him first overall, but the next two teams -- the Rams and the Vikings -- drafted their franchise QBs in 2010 (Sam Bradford) and 2011 (Christian Ponder). Which means that, even with USC's Matt Barkley returning to school, Heisman trophy winner Robert Griffin III of Baylor should be on the board. And Cleveland could be interested.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Tony Grossi writes that "I would not automatically eliminate the Baylor quarterback from consideration with the Browns' top pick simply because he is a product of the one-read, shotgun spread offense."

Not a ringing endorsement, but it's also January. A lot can change between now and late April. A lot can change between now and the start March too, when the Cardinals owe Kevin Kolb a $7 million roster bonus.

So why mention Kolb in the middle of a post about the Browns' quarterback needs? Yep, that's right -- should the Cards decide to cut their losses with Kolb after one season, Cleveland might be a potential landing spot.

And that prospect brings us back to Grossi:

"Baylor coach Art Briles was the coach at University of Houston when Kevin Kolb rolled up similar numbers -- without the rushing yards and touchdowns -- in the very same offense. … Kolb was a much better quarterback in the West Coast offense in which he was schooled in Philadelphia. Arizona doesn't run it. Also, Kolb was drafted by Philadelphia partly based on evaluations made by (Tom) Heckert and coach Pat Shurmur -- the Browns' top two football men. Heckert was the Eagles' general manager, though he didn't have final football authority, and Shurmur was the team's quarterbacks coach."

Kolb is one year into a five-year deal in Arizona that will pay him $63 million, including $20 million in guarantees. But a concussion and a toe injury limited him to just nine games in 2011 where he completed 57.7 of his passes for 1,955 yards, 9 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.

We're not convinced Kolb is much of an upgrade over McCoy, and certainly not at starting-quarterback money. Which is why, at least at this early stage of the process, that RGIII could be the frontrunner. Unless, of course, the Browns draft Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill. The Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot writes that the team "will likely take a hard look" at him, too.

Whatever happens, the organization has to nail this draft. With an extra first and fourth-rounder courtesy of the Falcons, and coming off a four-win season, Holmgren can turns things around quickly with the right players. Otherwise, the team's future will look a lot like its past and present.

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Posted on: January 8, 2012 1:10 pm
 

Sherman close to landing Bucs gig, Chilly as OC?

Could Sherman and Chilly wind up in Tampa together? (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

The Buccaneers are currently searching for a head coach and as CBSSports.com's Clark Judge reported on Friday, they want a disciplinarian first and foremost.

Which is why it makes sense for the NFL Network's Jason LaCanfora to report Sunday that Tampa Bay is closing in on Mike Sherman as their choice to take over for the recently-fired Raheem Morris.

LaCanfora reports that Sherman is "well-positioned" to land the gig and that "a decision could be announced this week."

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Sherman was mentioned as a possible candidate for the Rams gig, but his interview with the Bucs last week apparently went well and he fits the profile for what they want (read: the opposite of Morris.)

And LaCanfora has an interesting possibility for a member of Sherman's staff too: former Vikings head coach Brad Childress, who's been out of coaching since being relieved of his duties in Minnesota in 2010.

Though Sherman and Childress haven't worked together previously, they do come from the same coaching tree. Chilly came up under Andy Reid, who came up under Mike Holmgren, who hired Sherman as an offensive assistant in both Green Bay and Seattle.

Both run the West Coast offense and Childress helping Josh Freeman bounce back from a bad 2011 would help people remember his success as OC with the Eagles again, instead of the failures in Minnesota.

LaCanfora "wouldn't be surprised" if Childress landed in Tampa as an assistant but also notes that the Browns, who are searching for an offensive coordinator with West-Coast history, are a possible landing spot for Childress as well.

Cleveland coach Pat Shurmur left the Eagles (where he succeeded Chilly as quarterbacks coach) to be offensive coordinator with the Rams before taking the head-coaching job in St. Louis, so either landing spot is absolutely a viable possibility.

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Posted on: December 20, 2011 2:02 pm
 

Browns 'more than likely' to start Wallace at QB

It looks like Wallace will get his second start of the season when Cleveland travels to Baltimore Saturday. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Last Friday, Browns head coach Pat Shurmur hinted that if quarterback Seneca Wallace played well in place of concussed Colt McCoy, it could shed light on McCoy's future as Cleveland's starter.

"To see another quarterback operate with other players will help us learn something about everyone involved," Shurmur said at the time, according to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Marty Gitlin. "It'll help us evaluate Seneca. That's why you want to wait until the end of the year to [make a personnel decision]."

Wallace was 18 of 31 for 226 yards (1 TD, 0 INTs) in the Browns 20-17 overtime loss to the Cardinals Sunday, but he committed a critical fourth-quarter fumble deep in Cleveland territory that allowed Arizona to tie the score, 17-17.

On Tuesday, Shurmur all but indicated that Wallace will start Saturday against Ravens. Gitlin reports that McCoy remains out, though Shurmur said he's not certain he is still being held back by concussion symptoms.

"I talked to [McCoy] a long time," Shurmur said Tuesday via the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. "His spirits are good. Like anybody who wants to play, he's anxious to get out there. But he understands there's a process he has to go through before he can play again," he said.

“I don’t know that," Shurmur said, when asked if McCoy was headed for injured reserve. But he's also not willing to rule McCoy out for Browns' Week 17 game against the Steelers. "We’ll have to see.”

A day earlier, Shurmur was noncommittal about McCoy's immediate future.

"I'm going to cross that bridge when they're both healthy," Shurmur said, via the Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot. "Right now, until Colt's healthy, we're going to go with Seneca. … If Colt is OK — when Colt is OK — we'll talk about (where he is on the depth chart). How's that? Good answer?"

Of course, the reason McCoy didn't play last week was because he suffered a concussion against the Steelers in Week 14 and the Browns sent him back into the game a few plays later. That led to more conversations about player safety, including NFL commissioner Roger Goodell telling CBS that "We want to make sure someone -- a medical professional -- has his eyes on that field at all times and can see when an injury occurs to somebody so that the proper medical care is being given."

For now, here's what we know: Wallace "more than likely" will play against the Ravens. Everything after that? To be determined.

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Posted on: December 14, 2011 1:57 pm
 

Holmgren: Colt McCoy never checked for concussion

By Will Brinson


The controversy surrounding the Browns handling of Colt McCoy on Thursday against Pittsburgh -- he re-entered the game after sustaining a concussion -- received a lot of scrutiny, and it will probably get worse, as the Browns said on Wednesday that McCoy was never checked for a concussion during the game.


Team president Mike Holmgren said, via our Browns Rapid Reporter Marty Gitlin, that there was "no indication" that McCoy suffered a concussion and so McCoy was never checked out prior to being sent back into the huddle.

Additionally, Holmgren said the medical staff never saw the hit James Harrison laid on McCoy (one that eventually led to a one-game suspension), which "would have alerted them to a possible concussion."

James Harrison suspended

The fact that the coaching and medical staff missed the hit on Harrison is both disturbing and hard to believe -- Harrison was flagged on the play and McCoy didn't exactly pop right up and walk off on his own power immediately.

If the team has a process for reviewing plays (in replay instances), that same process should have caught the distinct possibility that McCoy suffered a concussion and someone should have alerted the coaching staff.

Holmgren added that it wasn't "business as usual" for the Browns to handle the concussion this way, and reports are that Cleveland was concerned with other players who were also dealing with concussions. He also called the Browns medical staff "the best in the NFL," and said they felt that McCoy was "lucid and talking" when they met with him on the sidelines.

It's fantastic that the Browns are being honest about the process now, but figuring out how they missed a potential diagnosis of a concussed quarterback that was obvious to anyone sitting at home is still hard to grasp.

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Posted on: December 9, 2011 2:18 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2011 8:07 pm
 

McCoy's dad angry at Browns; NFL 'will review'

By Will Brinson

On Friday's podcast, Ryan Wilson and I wondered whether or not Browns quarterback Colt McCoy should have re-entered the game against the Steelers on Thursday night (a contest Cleveland would ultimately lose anyway).

We weren't the only ones curious -- McCoy's father believes his son "never should've gone back in the game" and the Browns never checked the quarterback for a concussion on the sideline.

"He never should've gone back in the game,'' Brad McCoy told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. "He was basically out [cold] after the hit. You could tell by the rigidity of his body as he was laying there. There were a lot of easy symptoms that should've told them he had a concussion. He was nauseated and he didn't know who he was. From what I could see, they didn't test him for a concussion on the sidelines. They looked at his [left hand.''

CBSSports.com reached out to the Browns first thing on Friday morning for a comment on the decision to put McCoy back in the game but as of this writing hadn't heard back.

An NFL spokesman told CBSSports.com that "We will review [the decision] with the team." The league would not speculate on any potential disciplinary outcomes for Cleveland based on the findings of their sideline medical evaluation.


Our initial decision to inquire about the decision to the team stemmed from a report that the Browns public relations team asked reporters to not use flashes on their cameras during McCoy's press conference. McCoy's father pointed to that as a problem as well.

"After the game, the [public relations staff] made sure Colt's interview was brief and he couldn't face the lights in his press conference,'' Brad said. "The TV lights and the stadium lights were killing him. Why would you say he was fine? That makes it even worse.''

The NFL's review of this incident will be interesting. According to Brad McCoy, his son told him that he didn't remember losing the game or playing in

"I wouldn't have put him back in the game," Browns coach Pat Shurmer said when asked about whether or not McCoy exhibited concussion symptoms. "I definitely don't want to put a player out there that's putting himself at risk if we know it.''

According to Shurmur, per Cabot, McCoy didn't begin exhibiting concussion symptoms until he was "leaving the locker room." Shurmur now says the Browns are "proceeding" as if McCoy has a concussion but insists that the Browns didn't know about it when he returned to the game.

"I feel very confident that if he wasn't able to play we would have stopped him," Shurmur said. "I can assure everyone that we followed protocol."

Shurmur also said that McCoy told the Browns coach "I'm ready to go" and added that he understood Brad McCoy's stance since Shurmur is also the father of a young quarterback.

Now seems like a good a time as any to remind folks that the NFL should look into researching and developing a sideline, handheld and objective concussion test.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com