Although this will come as no surprise to anybody paying attention, especially since CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported the same thing last Monday, another report has surfaced that Browns coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert expect to be fired after Sunday's season finale vs. the Steelers.
That's the word Saturday night from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which writes, “It's become a Browns tradition over the past several years: Close out the season against the Steelers and then watch heads roll within 24 hours after the game.”
This one, though, has been in the works since Jimmy Haslem was approved to buy the team in mid-October. Already, team president Mike Holmgren has retired, and Heckert reportedly was looking for a new job soon after Haslem officially made the purchase.
Plus, with a new ownership group that most likely would want to bring in it own coach, it would have been nearly impossible for Shurmur, only in his second season, to keep his job with his team so far out of playoff contention.
“Listen, I get this, and my concerns are for my team and making sure that we do all the right things during the game to give our guys the best chance to win,” Shurmur said, via the PD. "That's where I'm at. We have not won enough football games, and I know that's the way this things works, but in our situation I see improvement and I'll leave it at that.”
As for what happens on Monday?
“I know what I want to do with the players on Monday from a scheduling standpoint, but nothing has been set as far as any official communication [with the higher-ups] or whatnot,” Shurmur said Thursday. "Again, my thoughts right now are getting our team to Pittsburgh, playing the game and then getting our team back. Those are the thoughts that I have right now.”
One candidate to replace Shurmur, La Canfora reported, would be Alabama coach (and failed former Dolphins coach) Nick Saban. Oregon head coach Chip Kelly and former Broncos head coach and current Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels also could be candidates, La Canfora wrote.
To replace Heckert, La Canfora reported that the Browns would have interest in current NFL Network analyst Michael Lombardi.
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