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NFL Rumors: Did The Cleveland Browns Choose Pat Shurmur Too Soon?

Jim Berdysz@@JBirdman27Correspondent IJanuary 29, 2011

A little over two weeks ago, the Cleveland Browns and President Mike Holmgren chose former St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur as their new head coach. So why is this news today?

Well, that's because longtime Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher was recently let go by the Titans, which will undoubtedly make him a hot commodity in the NFL in the upcoming weeks.

Now let's say the Browns in fact had a head coaching vacancy. Surely they would be interested in the former Tennessee coach, wouldn't they?

This is exactly my point, as I believe the Browns in fact moved too soon in hiring Shurmur.

Sure, Pat Shurmur has known or has worked under some big names during his time in the NFL and as a Quarterbacks Coach with the Philadelphia Eagles: Andy Reid, current Browns General Manager Tom Heckert, and even his uncle Fred Shurmur, who was the former Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator in the mid-1990s, but what exactly does he hold over a longtime head coach like Fisher? Nothing.

Fisher was 142-120 in his 17-year career with the Titans and Houston Oilers as a head coach. He led Tennessee to six playoff appearances, the most notable dating back in 1999, when the Titans fell in a heartbreaking loss to the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV.

The Browns reportedly only interviewed three coaches when they had a head coaching vacancy two weeks ago: Shurmur, current Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, and current New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell.

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Both Shurmur and Mornhinweg share the same agent as Holmgren and Heckert in Bob LaMonte. Many fans speculate if the Browns simply wanted a coach from the LaMonte tree of clients.

Whatever may have been the case, Jeff Fisher is still currently without a job in the NFL.

Sure it would have been nice if he could have been the 13th head coach in Cleveland Browns history, bringing a true veteran presence much to the same extent as Mike Holmgren has brought as President.

Without a true tested head coach, the Browns have no other choice but to trust Holmgren on his decision to choose Shurmur as quickly as he did.

The hiring of Shurmur will be Holmgren's first tested decision in Cleveland—let's just hope it's one decision he won't have to worry about for a long time.

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