Cleveland Browns Reportedly Fire Head Coach Pat Shurmur

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 31, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 30:  Head coach Pat Shurmur of the Cleveland Browns looks on from the sideline during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 30, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Fresh off a second straight season finishing in the basement of the AFC North, the Cleveland Browns have fired head coach Pat Shurmur, according to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer

Black Monday begins. The Cleveland Browns have just fired HC Pat Shurmur

— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) December 31, 2012

Glazer also reports that the Browns fired general manager Tom Heckert.

In addition to Shurmur the Browns have also fired GM Tom Heckert

— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) December 31, 2012

The move comes as no surprise to most, as Shurmur's squad improved by just one game from 2011's 4-12 record, finishing 2012 with a 5-11 record. Even worse, he struggled to satisfactorily develop first-round picks Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson. 

In addition to not being Browns fans' favorite on-field coach, Shurmur has even become a controversial figure in the media. As early-season criticism of the coaching staff piled up on the team, Shurmur reportedly confronted media members who were down on his performance (via ESPN Cleveland's Tony Grossi).

Though the Browns went on a three-game winning streak in the latter half of the season that seemed to spark hope, they whimpered to the finish line with some deflating losses. Considering Shurmur's antagonistic relationship with the local media and the team's complete lack of on-field performance, the firing ultimately seems justified. 

Before coming to Cleveland, Shurmur was the offensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams and quarterbacks coach with the Philadelphia Eagles. At just 47 years old, it seems likely that his coaching journey will continue somewhere in a similar capacity.

For the Browns, Shurmur's hire goes down as yet another misstep in the team's seemingly never-ending rebuilding process. The club has already made other house-cleaning moves under new owner Jimmy Haslam, most notably ridding itself of team president Mike Holmgren during the season.

It seems like removing Shurmur is just another step in a franchise-wide rebranding for Haslam. Based on what we saw in 2012, whoever the next coach is will have a ton of work to do to make the Browns competitive again.