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“Big Show” Of Support: Shurmur Will “Absolutely” Return As Browns Coach Next Season

By DARYL RUITER, 92.3 The Fan Browns Beat Reporter
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Head coach Pat Shurmur of the Cleveland Browns / (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

Head coach Pat Shurmur of the Cleveland Browns / (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

DarylRuiter_300 Daryl Ruiter
Cleveland Browns beat writer and member of the Pro Football Writers of...
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BEREA (92.3 The Fan) — When the offseason hits on January 2nd, 2012 the Browns will begin the process of assessing and then filling needs.

Though that list appears to be long, head football coach won’t be on it.

Pat Shurmur isn’t going anywhere.

That was among a few other messages not related to Colt McCoy that were delivered by team president Mike Holmgren Wednesday afternoon.

“We have a very, very competent young head coach who will be here for a long time,” Holmgren said. “He’s going to be the head coach. I’ll elaborate on it, he’ll be the head coach.”

The ringing endorsement gave Shurmur a laugh when told of Holmgren’s comments during his post practice meeting with the media.

“Well, that’s good news,” Shurmur joked. “I obviously didn’t hear the whole press conference. When you talk to Mike, tell him I was out here working.”

All kidding aside, one thing Shurmur did make clear – that he and Holmgren are on the same page.

“Mike and I communicate behind the scenes often about a lot of different issues,” Shurmur said. “When he communicates with you publicly it’s big news, which it should be because he doesn’t do it all that often, by design. He and I have conversations that are good and I understand the direction I want to take this team. He’s the President. He has strong ideas and feelings about things and fortunately, our ideas match on a lot of topics.

“I think that’s why we have a chance to move forward.”

Aside from the endorsement of Shurmur, Holmgren took exception with the local media saying that “it’s business as usual” with the Browns with it’s coverage of the team.

From the outside looking in it’s pretty hard to dispute but Holmgren did his best while admonishing the assembled press.

“The problem is and the tough thing for you guys and our fans is it seems it’s business as usual, which is very easy to write and say, but I’m telling you that it’s not,” Holmgren said. “You can choose to believe me or you can say, ‘I’ve heard it before.’ That’s your choice, but when it does happen, don’t come to me for extra tickets to a playoff game or something. Don’t do that.

“You’re either with us or you’re not. I’m telling you it’s different now.”

The problem for Holmgren is that the Browns are well on their way to a sixth 10-loss season in seven years. The offense is unwatchable averaging 13.9 points per game which is on par for the average points scored in each of the previous nine seasons that the Browns lost 10 or more games.

Sure, it very well might be better behind the scenes in Berea with Holmgren running the show but the product on the field remains a complete disaster.

But it’s the media’s fault that fan’s don’t see the “progress” and impressive turnaround that the franchise is in the midst of.

Holmgren also disagreed with those who say that he’s not as involved publicly as he should be.

“I do a fair amount behind the scenes,” Holmgren said. “My role is here, was to hire good people, let them work and support them the best way I can. That’s why I’m not having a press conference, that’s why I don’t have a radio show, some people do I suppose. I’ve done that, I did it for 25 years, I don’t want to do that anymore. I just assume support, help build up and get it where it’s supposed to be behind the scenes a little bit. If something requires me to be here, like I think today did, I will be here.”

As for keeping Eric Mangini last season, Holmgren said he had no regrets even though in hindsight it did not work out.

“This is like the second first year and you can say, ‘you wasted a year,’” Holmgren said. “We know that now, I suppose you could say that now, but at the time? No. “

“I don’t regret the decision I made.”

Holmgren closed the 57 minute press conference with one last endorsement of Shurmur.

“You know what, he’s a good man and he’s going to be the coach around here for a long time.”

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