Cleveland Browns: Why Pat Shurmur Should Stay the Head Coach

Jonathan MunshawCorrespondent IDecember 5, 2012

Head Coach of the Cleveland Browns Pat Shurmur is the team's sixth since returning to the NFL in 1999.
Head Coach of the Cleveland Browns Pat Shurmur is the team's sixth since returning to the NFL in 1999.Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

As the Cleveland Brown’s season starts to wind down, fans will forget about the back-to-back wins against the Steelers and Raiders, and instead focus on the future.

Earlier in the year, the majority of Browns fans were calling for Coach Shurmur’s job, especially with new owner Jimmy Haslam taking over the team midseason and Team President Mike Holmgren on his way out.

I was part of that group a couple of weeks ago. A lot's changed ever since.   

Yes, they let a game get away from them in Dallas, but the team has won three out of its last five games since then and could have easily beaten the Cowboys.

Cleveland’s defense caused eight turnovers against the Steelers, and the team just seemed hungry for a win. The same goes for the Raiders game, as the Browns jumped out to a 10-0 lead and didn't look back from there.

Rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden had arguably the best game of his career thus far, throwing for 364 yards and a touchdown, and Trent Richardson shined once again, carrying the ball 20 times for 72 yards and a touchdown.

Supplemental pick Josh Gordon has also proved to be a valuable asset to the team, catching six passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. On the year, Gordon has 646 yards and five TDs.

Since the Browns have come back to the league, the team has constantly been hurt by the fact that they have had no continuity in the locker room. Since 1999, the Browns have had 17 different quarterbacks start a game, and six different head coaches in the locker room.

Now is not the time to hire a seventh. Feelings about Weeden at QB aside, the team cannot afford another coaching change, and it finally seems like the team could have something.

Shurmur has had some of the weight taken off his shoulders with Brad Childress calling the shots on offense, a job that Shurmur had last season, and the team is finally stringing some solid games together. They played the Ravens tough earlier in the season, broke their 16-game road losing streak and beat the Steelers for the first time since 2009. 

Granted, the Steelers game was with Charlie Batch in at quarterback, but the defense still forced those eight turnovers and Richardson ran for 85 yards and a touchdown on the vaunted Pittsburgh defense.

If the team struggles for the remainder of the season and is limping through the first few games of next year, then I wouldn’t be against looking for a new coach. But the Browns could use some stability in the front office with the way they're playing. 

The Browns are by no means a top team in the AFC, but if they are ever going to get there, Weeden, Richardson, Gordon and the defense currently gives them the best shot of taking down their division opponents. Bringing in a new head coach could give the team a distraction it does not need right now.