Busy Shurmur finalizing staff, ready to move forward
By Zac Jackson
FOX Sports Ohio
February 10, 2011
CLEVELAND -- A month or so into his new job, new Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur finally got a few minutes out of the office.
But the low-key Shurmur's public foray Thursday night, when he served as a presenter at the annual Greater Cleveland Sports Awards banquet, fit his style and demeanor. He talked a little business, handled his business at the podium then was on his way back to work.
With the Browns, there's much work to be done.
Shurmur met with the media for about 10 minutes before the presentations began at the Renaissance Hotel Thursday night but didn't reveal a whole lot. He's been settling into his new job, finalizing his new staff and preparing for an uphill battle that includes dealing with the NFL's impending labor issues while trying to close the gap between the Browns and the bullies of the AFC North Division, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens.
Among the issues Shurmur discussed Thursday
**He expects a formal announcement on his coaching hires next Monday but has retained four members of Eric Mangini's coaching staff: Offensive line coach George Warhop, tight ends coach Steve Hagen, running backs coach Gary Brown and secondary coach Jerome Henderson.
**That formal announcement doesn't figure to include an offensive coordinator. Even if it does, Shurmur plans to call the plays.
**He said he's spoken with Colt McCoy and agreed it would be a "logical assumption" to believe the Browns will proceed as if McCoy is the starting quarterback.
**On the other side of the ball, signs point to the Browns running a 4-3 defense under new coordinator Dick Jauron after spending the last six seasons as a base 3-4 team. Shurmur didn't come out and say that, but he said it "would become obvious soon" as the Browns continue to make personnel moves. Their first round of moves came earlier this week when veteran defensive linemen Shaun Rogers and Kenyon Coleman and linebackers Eric Barton and David Bowens -- all but Rogers considered primarily 3-4 players -- were released.
**He met Joshua Cribbs for the first time at Thursday night's banquet and said he's spoken with a handful of other players. He expects that to continue over the next several weeks, though contact with players will be forbidden if a lockout happens March 4.