The Browns are taking on a decided Philadelphia flavor with the hiring of coach Pat Shurmur, who spent 1999-2008 with the Eagles, and the January, 2010 addition of general manager Tom Heckert, who worked for the Eagles for nine seasons.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh is another Eagles product, working there from 1998-2007, primarily as special teams coordinator. In answering a question at the NFL Scouting Combine about Eagles coach Andy Reid, he took a playful swipe at Browns president Mike Holmgren.
"Andy's an amazing guy,'' Harbaugh said. "It's incredible to me to see what he's done. People talk about the Mike Holmgren tree and that's an incredible thing when you look at it. Now Andy Reid, who's from that group, has kind of got his own tree going. Maybe someday all of us will have our own little trees growing, we've got little baby branches growing off right now. I'll claim Rex Ryan, though, so that's a big branch, a big sturdy branch. Sorry, Rex.
"One of the biggest things I learned from Andy, he's got a sign up on the back of his desk, up on his bulletin board. He had it there from day one and it said 'Don't Judge.' It took me about four years to get the courage to ask him what that meant. He's not a big explanation guy as you know. I think it meant, 'Think the best of people. Look for the best in people. That's the best way to get the best out of people.'
"I think that's something he's been really successful doing. He does that with his coaches and with his players and that's probably why his guys are doing so well.''