Am I the only one who thought the rumors that the Cleveland Browns were interviewing Pat Shurmur for their head coaching vacancy were, well, a joke?
Or if not a joke, at the very most a courtesy on behalf of Mike Holmgren. Perhaps he owed someone a favor or something. But I promise you that when I first caught wind of this 'interview', my first thought was that the Rams weren't that lucky. I mean how many times have you been in a bad relationship when some other guy sweeps your girl off her feet?
It never happens, so you have to bide your time and do the dirty work yourself. Two weeks later, Shurmur - at least I think that's what a Shurmur looks like - was sitting at a Dias in Cleveland, thanking Coach Spags (or flipping him off) and accepting the job as the leader of the Browns.
And you thought 'The Decision' was painful, Cleveland! I kid, I kid.
While the Rams' offense was vastly improved from 2009, most people attributed this to super-rookie Sam Bradford. Most people were right. But you pair him with an all-pro running back like Steven Jackson, two premium o-line draft picks, a high-priced free-agent center, and what do you get with a Pat Shurmur offense?
26th in total offense. 26th in total scoring. 25th in rushing... you starting to see a trend here? Yes, the Rams' receivers were a detriment to the team—but those three categories are near the bottom of the NFL. Indicating, to at least me, that not only was the Rams offense not very creative—as was accused numerous times in 2010—but downright ineffective.
So what the hell did Shurmur say in that interview? It's not like he had a history anywhere else to go on. It's not like he was a lightning bolt of talent flashing across the sky, like Mike Martz or Josh McDaniels. He was kind of a young-ish o-coordinator that took a OK-talented unit and molded them into an offense that ranked near or below the lower quadrant of teams in the NFL.
So what's the next move? Head coach? Of course!
Maybe the guy will get the Browns to play like gangbusters. Maybe he'll make me eat my words this time next year when the Orange and Brown are in the playoffs. But I'm not betting on it.
In fact, I'm more curious than anything.
I'd assume the Browns have at least the amount of access that I have to pull stats. I'd also assume that they saw just how poor the Rams offense was in 2009-10, and how uncreatively the unit preformed. So if he's in that hole before he even gets to the interview... WHAT exactly did he say in there?
No really, what?
We probably will never know. But somehow the Rams, who I thought severely underperformed on offense several games in 2010, got free of Shurmur and managed to hire McDaniels, who was a terrible head coach but a stud coordinator in New England.
We'll check in with you guys in Ohio come October. You might not feel the same way.