Browns coach Pat Shurmur sidestepped questions about the futures of quarterback Colt McCoy and running back Peyton Hillis.
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All Shurmur would commit to in 2012 was hiring an offensive coordinator.
After going 4-12 in his first season as Cleveland’s coach, Shurmur said McCoy improved in his first full year but would not commit to the 25-year-old as his starter for 2012.
"As we go forward with Colt, I feel like he’s done some really good things," Shurmur said Tuesday at his season-ending news conference. "Get him back healthy, get him in an offseason where he has a chance to develop. … I expect Colt will improve, just as I expect (backup quarterback) Seneca (Wallace) will improve and whoever the quarterbacks are here. That can be said for all positions.
"The best quarterback will play when we start the season."
McCoy went 4-9 as a starter before missing his final three games with a concussion.
Shurmur would not discuss any of the Browns’ offseason plans as it related to the quarterback position or if the club would use the No. 4 overall pick on a QB.
Following up on comments team president Mike Holmgren made in October, Shurmur said he intends to hire an offensive coordinator. Shurmur served both roles of coach and coordinator this season.
Former Minnesota coach Brad Childress could be a candidate for the job. Shurmur said he knows Childress "very well," having worked with him in the past. Shurmur said he’s keeping his list of candidates private.
Shurmur did not rule out the possibility of forfeiting his play-calling duties.
"It’s important that I get the best coordinator I can for us," Shurmur said. "I think that’s one of the details that’ll get worked out as we go through the process. I want to get the best guy I can. And if he’s outstanding at calling plays, listen, I want to win games, and so I’m gonna get the guys in there that are gonna help us do that."
As for Hillis, who had a drama-filled second season with the Browns, Shurmur said he had a "great conversation" with the running back Monday. Shurmur would not speculate if the Browns would re-sign Hillis, who is a free agent.
Hillis rushed for 1,177 yards in 2010 but missed six games this season with injuries