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Highlights from Pat Shurmur's first press conference as Browns coach

By Nate Ulrich Published: January 14, 2011

The Browns formally introduced Pat Shurmur as their new head coach this Friday morning. Here are some of the highlights from the press conference:


  • Browns President Mike Holmgren said the team narrowed the coaching search down to three candidates: Shurmur, Mike Mularkey and Perry Fewell. Holmgren said he believes Mularkey and Fewell will get head coaching jobs, but he also said Shurmur emerged as the best man to coach the Browns.

  • Shurmur said, "I understand the thirst for winning. I think we have a collective view of how to get it done. ... I'm proud to be the new head coach of the Cleveland Browns. ... Our goal is to win in the AFC North, compete in the playoffs and win Super Bowls."

  • When asked about Colt McCoy, Shurmur said, "The quarterback in this league is so, so important." The vision of this football team will be seen through the eyes of the quarterback, Shurmur said.

  • Shurmur said he will start out by calling the plays. That really is the fun part for an offensive coach, he said.

  • Shurmur said hiring the coordinators will be an ongoing process. The staff as a whole will deal with the process.

  • Shurmur: "We're gonna do the things necessary to build a very fine defense."

  • Shurmur about his uncle Fritz, who served as a defensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers while Holmgren was the head coach: "My uncle Fritz was a great inspiration to me, especially in the profession." Holmgren said pedigree factored into his decision to hire Shurmur.

  • Shurmur on his offensive philosophy: "I think the running game is very important. When you talk about offense, it starts up front. You have to have  a gritty, well-coordinated group of offensive linemen. ... The next most important guy is the quarterback. I think it's very important that we run the football, but in the NFL you have to be able to efficiently and explosively throw the football."

  • Shurmur said he's been impressed with McCoy, and he believes McCoy has the ability to be a fine player in the NFL.

  • Holmgren on how he hopes to interact with Shurmur: "He is the head coach of this football team. I am the president of the organization. I've coached a long time, my door is always open. If he wants to come in and bounce things off me, I hope he does that. But it's his football team. ... I'm not gonna interfere. I hope to help."

  • Shurmur: "My introduction to pro football on a day-to-day basis was (Philadelphia Eagles coach) Andy Reid. ... I think when you look back on it, I think there's a lot of people in the NFL that would like to hire a part of Andy Reid."

  • General Manager Tom Heckert on McCoy: "I think he's on the right check. He had some good games for us this year. He showed poise and all the things you look for in a quarterback."

  • Shurmur: "I would say my relationship with players is very professional. ... We have to do the very best we can to get the very best out of the players we have."

  • Heckert on tailoring the roster to fit Shurmur's style: "It's gonna be a challenge. There's no question. There's gonna be some turnover."

  • Holmgren said he talked to Jon Gruden and Bill Cowher about their interest in coaching. The coaching search was not as narrow as it appears. Holmgren said John Fox was also involved in the search. One of the big considerations was offense vs. defense, Holmgren said.

  • Holmgren said at first, he didn't realize he shared the same agent, Bob LaMonte, with Shurmur.

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