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Marla Ridenour on Sports

No offensive coordinator for Browns?

By Marla Published: February 1, 2011

It appears the Browns have decided that they have enough offensive minds in the building in Berea and will not hire an offensive coordinator.

The decision by new coach Pat Shurmur to call the plays to start had to make it difficult to find someone willing to take on the role of Shumur's understudy. But even that seems a bit curious, considering how many men would seemingly covet a coordinator-in-waiting position, seeing it as a step towards becoming a coach.

Perhaps that assistant in waiting will be quarterbacks coach Mark Whipple, officially hired by the Browns Monday.

The New England Patriots did not have an offensive coordinator last season, while the Arizona Cardinals had running game and passing game coordinators.

But for Shurmur, going without a coordinator seems a curious move by a first-year coach who must guard against stretching himself too thin.  (Bill Belichick learned that lesson the hard way during his time in Cleveland.)

Unless, of course, president Mike Holmgren and his senior advisor Gil Haskell are going to take more of an active role on the coaching side this season.

It seems hard to believe that Holmgren and Haskell would sit in on the game-planning meetings each week. But who knows what went on behind closed doors in Berea last season? Haskell's presence may have been threatening to former offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, but Shurmur goes in with eyes wide open.

Perhaps that's what Browns owner Randy Lerner told Holmgren when Holmgren was deciding as the season ended whether to return to the sideline. By hiring someone like Shurmur, Holmgren can be a part-time coach without the long hours and stress.

I can't wait to hear Shurmur explain how things will work on the offensive side....

The effect of Tiger Woods playing in his first tournament of 2011 and Phil Mickelson being in contention was seen in the early ratings released by CBS for Sunday's final-round coverage of the Farmers Insurance Open.

The preliminary national household rating/share was up 59 percent from last year. Woods began the day 8 shots off the lead and finished 15 back, while Mickelson took second behind Bubba Watson.

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