The Browns hope to finalize a contract with St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur in the next 48 hours and introduce him as their new head coach at a news conference Friday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Wednesday evening.
Shurmur, 45, interviewed with the Browns this past Friday and he emerged as the front-runner to succeed coach Eric Mangini, who was fired Jan. 3, several national analysts have said. The Browns have also interviewed Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, 49, and New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, 48.
Browns President Mike Holmgren and General Manager Tom Heckert have the same agent, Bob LaMonte, as Shurmur, so getting a deal done should be a smooth process. Shurmur's ties to the Browns' brass don't end with shared representation, though.
As an assistant coach for the Philadelphia Eagles (1999-2008), Shurmur developed roots in Holmgren's coaching tree by learning the West Coast offense from coach Andy Reid. He also became familiar with Heckert, who worked in the Eagles' front office (2001-09). His late uncle was Fritz Shurmur, who was defensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers while Holmgren was the coach.
In addition to his connections with the Browns' front office, Shurmur is an offensive-minded coach who has experience molding young quarterbacks -- most recently Sam Bradford. Those factors appeal to Holmgren, too.
Shurmur would become a head coach for the first time if the Browns hire him. He has been the Rams' offensive coordinator for just the past two seasons. He was a tight ends/offensive line coach with the Eagles from 1999-2001, then a quarterbacks coach for the Eagles from 2002-08.
Before launching his NFL coaching career, he was an assistant coach at Michigan State University and Stanford University. As a player, he was an offensive lineman and linebacker at Michigan State.