The Most Important Hire is Yet to Be Made

By Chris Fedor

Now that the Browns have their newest head coach and the 13th in the history of the franchise, it’s time to fill a position that will be just as critical to the team’s success under his watch. That’s the defensive coordinator.

Pat Shurmur is well known around the NFL as a bright offensive mind and will give a much needed boost to a sometimes unwatchable offense. This past year he helped Sam Bradford make a smooth transition from college and oversaw his development as the best offensive rookie in the NFL. Before that he helped with the development of Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia. With his background in helping develop young quarterbacks, Shurmur will be instrumental in the development of young Colt McCoy or whoever the quarterback is here in Cleveland. Not to mention he’s got a tremendous knowledge of the West Coast Offense based on his years working under Andy Reid and is a better fit philosophically with Tom Heckert and Mike Holmgren. The offense shouldn’t be an issue here in Cleveland, but the defense could be a completely different story, unless Shurmur makes the right hire.

Given the fact that he will be stepping into this specific role for the first time, it will be vital that he surrounds himself with coordinators that have strong resumes and the experience needed to help him succeed, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

Mike McCarthy has Dom Capers, Andy Reid had Jim Johnson, Josh McDaniels started 6-0 with Mike Nolan as the defensive coordinator before they had a falling out, and Todd Haley wasn’t successful until he brought in Romeo Crennel this past offseason.  The weaknesses of those guys were covered up by the strength of the coordinators that they brought in.

I’m not sure who the next defensive coordinator will be here in Cleveland. Maybe it’s Dick Jauron, Jim Mora Jr, Dave Wannstedt, or even Bill Sheridan (let’s hope not). No matter who it is, Pat Shurmur’s success hinges on who he brings in to run his defense.



  1. Rob Ryan isn’t even fired yet, despite what your sources might say. Lets not count him out nor how much the Defense loves playing for him. You might end up being right, but there’s no reason to speculate while we still have a DC under contract.

  2. I see 3-13 in our future, and 0-6 in the division. I didn’t think it was possible, but somehow, we took a step backwards from Mangini.

  3. Just b/c someone on twitter said that Jauron would come w/ Shurmer doesn’t make a new DC a reality. Ryan is still here w/ the organization. I guess it’s the same as saying that Mangini was gone half way through the season. If it comes to fruition, Fedor can always say, “see, I told you so”. It’s not about being accurate, it’s only about, eventually, being right.

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