Pat Shurmur, Cleveland (1-5)
What has gone wrong? The Browns are not only likely to miss the playoffs for a second straight season under Shurmur — extending the franchise’s overall streak to 10 — but also may finish with five or fewer victories for the fifth consecutive year. Cleveland’s young offense is showing weekly improvement, but a defense sorely missing a quality pass-rusher is ranked 30th in the NFL.
In his defense: Shurmur and first-year offensive coordinator Brad Childress are just getting the chance to work with promising rookies like QB Brandon Weeden, running back Trent Richardson and WR Josh Gordon. The Browns aren’t good, but they’re nowhere near as bad as when Shurmur took over.
Forecast: Shurmur could very well be gone in January regardless of Cleveland’s record. That’s because the Browns have a new owner (Jimmy Haslam) who is expected to place his own footprint on the franchise.
Two big changes already occurred Tuesday after Haslam’s purchase was officially approved by NFL owners. The Browns announced that team president Mike Holmgren, who hired Shurmur along with general manager Tom Heckert Jr., would be retiring at season’s end. Ex-Philadelphia Eagles executive Joe Banner will now reportedly be running the franchise. Banner has a history with Shurmur and Heckert from when all three were with the Eagles, but he and Haslam may have other ideas about who they want as head coach and GM.
Haslam told the media Tuesday that Shurmur’s future could be decided by whether the Browns are headed in a “positive direction.” One way to keep the arrow pointed up after a Week 6 upset of Cleveland — winning Sunday in Indianapolis (2-3). (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.