Browns Coach Pat Shurmur: Is He a Younger Version of Mike Holmgren?

Joe HunleyContributor IJanuary 14, 2011

PHILADELPHIA - 2006:  Pat Shurmur of the Philadelphia Eagles poses for his 2006 NFL headshot at photo day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Getty Images)
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The wait is over, the Cleveland Browns have hired Pat Shurmur as head coach.

After reading numerous Browns blogs, news articles and visiting Browns forums, one can easily determine that Browns fans are either not impressed or mildly content with the hiring of Shurmur.

The hopes of Mike Holmgren taking over coaching duties, or the hiring of a high-profile head coach, such as Jon Gruden, have been put to rest.

During this search for a Browns head coach, Holmgren, with his coaching history, was considered by many to be the Browns' best option. Holmgren knows what it takes to win football games, and he also knows how to develop a young talented quarterback, so this decision to hire Shurmur comes as no surprise.

The hiring of Shurmur, who has a strong offensive background, will mix well with Holmgren's offensive philosophies.

Spending seven years at Michigan State, he assisted with the offensive line, while coaching special teams and tight ends. Moving on to Stanford University, Shurmur was the offensive line coach, an offensive line that allowed the fewest sacks in the Pac-10.

The Philadelphia Eagles hired Shurmur as tight end coach in 1999 and moved him to quarterback coach in 2002. During his stint with the Eagles, Shurmur would coach quarterbacks A.J. Feeley, Koy Detmer and Donovan McNabb. McNabb, in 2004, had a passer rating of (104.7) and became the first NFL quarterback to throw over 30 touchdowns with less than 10 interceptions, McNabb had 31 touchdowns with only eight interceptions.

Before being hired by the Browns, Shurmur was offensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams, where he coached quarterback Sam Bradford, the No. 1 overall draft pick last year. Bradford would throw for 3,512 yards, placing second to Peyton Manning (1998) for yards thrown by a rookie quarterback.

Although the hiring of Shurmur has not sent Browns fans parading through the streets of Cleveland singing and popping corks from bottles of champagne, this hiring is a move in the right direction.

The Browns need a coach who is capable of developing quarterback Colt McCoy and can see problems associated with the receivers and the offensive line. The need for improvement in the Browns offense is paramount; they need a coach with a productive offensive background to oversee its development.

Holmgren, with his history of quarterback development, along with Shurmurs' experience coaching the offensive side of the ball, can form a productive offense.

Given Shurmurs past, his coaching of tight ends, quarterbacks and his general offensive coaching experience, it is possible that Holmgren might have felt he was looking at a younger version of himself.

Holmgren, before going to the Green Bay Packers in 1992, was a quarterback coach and an offensive coordinator.

(Posted at Cleveland Browns Report, A Browns News Source)