Reporting Daryl Ruiter
BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Cleveland Browns coach Pat Shurmur is under the microscope and he knows it.
Incoming owner Jimmy Haslam III has been everywhere – practice, personnel meetings, on the field before games and in press conferences following games.
It’s clear that the entire organization – including Shurmur – is on notice.
So what does the second year head coach have to to do impress his new boss to keep his job?
“Anybody that hires me or anybody that’s watching what we do I want to impress them because we all work for someone,” Shurmur said. “I understand what’s important in this league and by impressing him it would be by winning games.”
The Browns enter Sunday’s game at home against Buffalo 0-2 for the seventh time since 1999 and the best that any Browns team since then has finished in Cleveland was 5-11.
Shurmur is now 4-14 as head coach of the Browns.
Having someone hanging over your shoulder is naturally unnerving for anyone, but Shurmur respects and understands why Haslam is so visible.
“He just spent a lot of money for a football team and he wants to get to know us,” Shurmur said. “I admire that and I think that’s good. I encourage him [to ask questions] because I’m very proud of our operation and I want him to be able to see it.”
Shortly after meeting with Cleveland City Council Wednesday morning, Haslam was back on the practice field chatting with Shurmur, general manager Tom Heckert and current president Mike Holmgren.
Haslam said from day 1 that he didn’t want to be a distraction to Shurmur or the team and the Browns’ coach doesn’t feel that he is.
“I don’t feel like I deal with him,” Shurmur said. “I feel like we’ve established a relationship where we can communicate freely which I think is good. That’s got to be natural for the head coach and the prospective owner or owner to be able to do that. I have a good relationship with Randy Lerner as well.”
Unfortunately for Shurmur, Lerner will be gone next month and the only owner he will have to impress will be Haslam who will be counting wins.