St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford, right, talks with offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur during NFL football training camp Sunday, Aug. 1, 2010, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) By Jeff Roberson
St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo, left, and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur watch practice during NFL football training camp Sunday, Aug. 1, 2010, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) By Jeff Roberson
St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (8) throws as offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, rear, looks on during NFL football training camp at the team's training facility Saturday, July 31, 2010, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) By Jeff Roberson
Congratulations to Pat Shurmur for landing the job as the new head coach of the Cleveland Browns. He's worked in the NFL for 23 years, so it's been a long time coming for him. It's just hard for me to believe, based on what we saw here in St. Louis, that Shurmur was a head coaching candidate at this point in time. With Shurmur as offensive coordinator the Rams were 27th, 29th and 26th in the league in total offense.
Did you see anything about the Rams offense that was innovative, creative, explosive? I don't think so. The Rams have been predictable, overly conservative, and downright boring to watch on offense. You can't explain it all away by saying that they're lacking in talent. I don't buy that. They drafted and signed a quarterback for $50 million guaranteed. They've got one of the best power running backs in the game. They've spent a fortune drafting and signing free agent offensive linemen. They should be better than 26th in the league in total offense.
The coaching staff has to take responsibility for that. Shurmur got the job in Cleveland largely because of his relationship with Mike Holmgren. They've worked together in the past and have the same agent. Maybe Shurmur will do a great job in Cleveland now that he's out of the shadow of the control freakish Steve Spagnuolo. Maybe Shurmur has dozens of creative plays he'll be free to use now, and make the Browns a contender again. I checked out a couple of Cleveland Browns message boards and they don't seem upset with the hire.
The consensus is "give the guy a chance". I suppose that's a reasonable mentality to have. It just seems to me that you'd want somebody coming off a lot of success as a coordinator, not a guy whose teams have struggled mightily on offense the past three years. Shurmur just orchestrated one of the sorriest game plans in recent history in the Rams loss to Seattle. It didn't hurt him at all. The good old boy network continues to thrive in the NFL.