Given that the Cleveland Browns were set to roll out new systems on both offense and defense in 2011 and had a roster that was exceptionally short on experience, it's no surprise that when the Browns sought to hire a new coach to replaced the fired Eric Mangini, candidates weren't exactly lining up at the door.
We may never know who the Browns had in mind as their ideal coaching choice during their search; all we know is that the guy we ended up with was rookie head coach Pat Shurmur, whose work on the job so far hasn't exactly made him most Browns fans favorite guy.
Then there are the assistants—most of whom were also new to the team this year—who have produced mixed results. Some have been outstanding thus far. Others have looked borderline incompetent.
We can't completely rate Shurmur or the other coaches' performances until the end of the season, but after 12 weeks, we can begin giving out some preliminary grades.
Following are grades for Shurmur, defensive coordinator Dick Jauron, and a few notable assistants. Because this team is in transition, I've graded them based on how they've done given the situation they're in rather than on the success of the team, as it wouldn't be fair to punish the staff for things their inexperienced roster simply isn't capable of just yet.
It is, however, perfectly fair to grade them on strategy, play-calling, in-game and week-to-week adjustments, rate of improvement for their players, and whether they're making the most of what they've been given.
For some, this allows them to take home a good grade for their work despite the team's unspectacular record. For others, well, even with the "learning curve" handicaps they've been given, their efforts have failed to impress.