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Tracking the Browns' search for their next head coach

By Nate Ulrich Published: January 9, 2011

The Browns' search for their head coach has ended. On Thursday, former St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur was named the Browns' 13th full-time head coach in franchise history, the team announced. Shurmur was the first of three candidates known to have interviewed with Browns President Mike Holmgren and General Manager Tom Heckert. He replaces coach Eric Mangini, who was fired on Jan. 3 after leading the Browns to records of 5-11 in consecutive seasons.

  • New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell Age: 48. Birthplace: Gastonia, N.C. Professional coaching experience: Jacksonville Jaguars (defensive backs, 1998-2002); St. Louis Rams (defensive backs, 2003-04); Chicago Bears (defensive backs, 2005); Buffalo Bills (defensive coordinator, 2006-part of 2009; interim head coach, part of 2009); New York Giants (defensive coordinator, 2010-present). College coaching experience: North Carolina (graduate assistant, 1985-86); Army (defensive backs, 1987); Kent State (wide receivers, 1988-1991); Army (defensive line, 1992-94); Vanderbilt (defensive backs, 1995-96; defensive backs/assistant head coach 1997). Playing experience: Defensive back for Lenoir-Rhyne (1981-84). Notes: Fewell interviewed with the Browns on Tuesday in Berea, a team spokesman said. ... Interviewing Fewell would comply with the Rooney Rule, which requires NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate. ... Fewell guided the Bills to a record of 3-4 when he served as their interim coach during the final seven games of the 2009 season. How did he do in 2010?: The Giants went 10-6, finished second in the NFC East and missed the playoffs. Fewell's defense ranked seventh in the NFL (eighth against the run, ninth against the pass). Reading material: Fewell brings energy and fire to his job. Guessing the odds he'll land the job (prediction posted before Shurmur was hired): With the exception of his days at Kent State, Fewell has been a defensive coach all the way. For that reason, it's hard to believe Holmgren will be dazzled by him. He's probably a long shot in Cleveland.

  • Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey Age: 49. Birthplace: Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Professional coaching experience: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (quality control, 1994-95); Pittsburgh Steelers (tight ends, 1996-2000; offensive coordinator, 2001-03); Buffalo Bills (head coach, 2004-05); Miami Dolphins (offensive coordinator, 2006; tight ends, 2007) Atlanta Falcons (offensive coordinator, 2008-present). College coaching experience: Concordia (offensive line, 1993). Playing experience: Tight end for Florida (1979-82). Tight end for the Minnesota Vikings (1983-88) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (1989-91). Notes: Mularkey interviewed with the Browns this past Saturday in the Atlanta area, a team spokesman said. ... Mularkey was scheduled to interview with the Denver Broncos on Friday, but he canceled that meeting to focus on the Falcons' divisional playoff game, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported. Mularkey kept his appointment with the Browns because they called first and he felt obligated to meet with them, according to Schefter's report. ... He went 14-18 in two seasons as the head coach of the Buffalo Bills. In his first season at the helm, he led the Bills to a record of 9-7. ... Bryan Wiedmeier, the Browns' executive vice president of business operations, worked for the Miami Dolphins for 29 years, so he's familiar with Mularkey from his time there. How did he do in 2010?: The Falcons went 13-3, won the NFC South title and earned a first-round playoff bye. Mularkey's offense ranked 16th in the NFL (15th passing, 12th rushing). Reading material: Mularkey is meticulous. Guessing the odds he'll land the job (prediction posted before Shurmur was hired): He'll impress Holmgren because he has helped Matt Ryan develop into an elite quarterback. However, he doesn't have roots in a West Coast system, and that's what Holmgren prefers. He probably has a better shot than Fewell, but he's still likely an underdog.

  • St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur Age: 45. Birthplace: Ann Arbor, Mich. Professional coaching experience: Philadelphia Eagles (tight ends/offensive line 1999-2001; quarterbacks, 2002-08); St. Louis Rams (offensive coordinator, 2009-present). College coaching experience: Michigan State (graduate assistant, 1988-89; tight ends/offensive line/special teams, 1990-97); Stanford (offensive line, 1998). Playing experience: Offensive line/linebacker for Michigan State (1983-87). Notes: On Thursday, the Browns named Shurmur their head coach, thus ending their search. The team is scheduled to formally introduce Shurmur at a news conference at 11 a.m. Friday. ... On Wednesday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the Browns were trying to finalize a contract with Shurmur in the next 48 hours and introduce him as their head coach on Friday. ... On Sunday, ESPN's Chris Mortensen said many NFL executives believe Shurmur might be the favorite to fill the Browns' coaching vacancy. ... Shurmur, who has strong ties to Holmgren and Heckert, formally interviewed with the Browns this past Friday in Berea, a team spokesman said. Shurmur was the first candidate known to have interviewed. ... In his 10 seasons with the Eagles, Shurmur learned the West Coast offense from coach Andy Reid, one of Holmgren's disciples. ... Shurmur is also the nephew of the late Fritz Shurmur, who served as a defensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers while Holmgren was the coach. ... During his days in Philadelphia, Shurmur became familiar with Heckert, who spent nine seasons (2001-09) in the Eagles' front office. ... Shurmur, Holmgren and Heckert have the same agent, Bob LaMonte. How did he do in 2010? The Rams went 7-9, finished second in the NFC West and missed the playoffs. Shurmur's offense ranked 26th in the NFL (21st passing, 25th rushing). Reading material: Rams fans have blasted Shurmur, but his scheme would be a good fit for Browns quarterback Colt McCoy. Guessing the odds he'll land the job (prediction posted before Shurmur was hired): He might not beat some more high-profile candidates in the long run, but he's an early favorite. He hasn't been a head coach yet, but his ties to the Browns' front office will probably give him advantage over the likes of Fewell and Mularkey. His pedigree and background with the West Coast offense certainly are attributes Holmgren is looking for.


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