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In Cleveland, hope dies last

Archive for the category “Pat Shurmur”

What’s the next move Jimmy?

12057000-mmmainThe Cleveland Browns made it official on Monday, firing coach Pat Shurmur after two seasons and general manager Tom Heckert after just three years.

Cue up the calliope music, the carousel is spinning once again in Berea.

As we learned with Mike Brown, Eric Mangini and Manny Acta, firing the coach is the easy part. Finding a replacement that is actually an improvement has proven to be far more difficult.

Do Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner have want it takes to finally get it right with a new coach?

We start looking for answers at The Cleveland Fan.

(Photo by The Plain Dealer)

Browns vs. Steelers – Week 17

4X9E1696--nfl_large_580_1000The Cleveland Browns head to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers in the final game of the 2012 NFL season.

Thaddeus Lewis, who has never taken a snap at the NFL level, will start at quarterback for the Browns, with Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy both out with shoulder injuries.

And Lewis won’t have Trent Richardson to hand the ball to, as the rookie running back will miss the game with an ankle injury.

Yeah, this is going to be some kind of party.

And it is one of those weeks where we are thankful for NFL Sunday Ticket.

Full preview starts now at The Cleveland Fan.

(Photo by

Is the Browns winning streak one that fans can believe in?

Trent RichardsonWhen is a winning streak something that fans can believe in, rather than just a mirage that helps to mask a team’s ongoing problems?

Just as importantly, how can you tell the difference?

That’s the question facing everyone surrounding the Cleveland Browns, from the front office to the locker room all the way down to the fans.

This is the fourth time that the Browns have won at least three consecutive games since returning to the NFL in 1999. And, so far, each streak has two things in common.

We start looking for answers at The Cleveland Fan.

(Photo by The Associated Press)

The curtain drops on the Big Show in Cleveland

The Mike Holmgren era has officially come to a close, with Holmgren announcing that Friday will be his last day on the job as “official” president of the Cleveland Browns.

Holmgren has been unofficially off the job ever since Joe Banner took over as CEO (some would say he’s been off since being hired by former owner Randy Lerner almost three years ago).

“This is a great football city,” Holmgren said. “All of the things I said in my opening press conference came true in that way and I fully expect the team to do great things in the future. Those who have been covering the team for a long time can really enjoy it.

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Are we all watching the same Browns game as everyone else?

Another week and another loss for the “battling” Cleveland Browns.

For the fifth time this season, the Browns lost by seven points or less. That’s certainly better than 2009 and 2010, when Cleveland was losing games by 31 points, 28 points, 24 points and 32 points.

But does close really matter when you are 2-8? Are these close games a sign of a team that is (slowly) maturing? Or are they a team that can make just enough plays to stay close but can never make the play to win?

Some say it’s the coaching; others claim the coaching is fine.

Some say quarterback Brandon Weeden is the problem; others say he’s going to be fine.

The whole thing has us terribly vexed.

The truth is out there somewhere, Browns fans, let’s see if we can start finding some answers at The Cleveland Fan.

(Photo by

Third-down backs, challenges, reverses and other Browns stuff

A few lingering thoughts as the Cleveland Browns get ready for Sunday’s game with Baltimore.

Just what did running back Brandon Jackson do to land in coach Pat Shurmur’s dog house?

Since the Week 1 game against Philadelphia, where Jackson caught two passes for 20 yards, no one has seen or heard from him. Not to make Jackson out to be a superstar or anything, but he did rush for 703 yards and three touchdowns for Green Bay in 2010, and caught an average of 30 passes a year as a third-down back for the Packers from 2008 to 2010.

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You sure about that fourth-down call, coach?

More than 24 hours later and many in Brownstown are still scratching their heads over the decision by Cleveland Browns coach Pat Shumur to punt on fourth-and-one with a little more than six minutes remaining in the Browns loss to Indianapolis.

It’s not so much what the Browns did – punt when they were on the Colts’ 41-yard line and only needing one yard – but why they did it.

On game days Shurmur dresses like a coach, wears a headset like a coach and does coach-like things. But, and we’ve touched on this before, more and more it seems as if Shurmur makes key decisions based on what he thinks an NFL coach is supposed to do in a given situation (almost as if he was playing a head coach in a poorly written sports film) rather than read the mood of the team and the game situation.

For the rest of the story, head over to The Cleveland Fan.

For one day, (almost) everyone in Brownstown is happy

For the first time in almost a year, Cleveland work up Monday morning to a victory by the Cleveland Browns.

Like most things in life, there was good and bad on display Sunday at Cleveland Browns Stadium, but for one day, at least, the Browns were able to overcome the bad and walk out with a win. In beating the Cincinnati Bengals, the Browns snapped franchise-record-tying 11-game losing streak, as well as a 12-game losing streak in the AFC North, and gaves Brown coach Pat Shurmur his first division win.

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Browns send Randy Lerner out on a winning note

The Cleveland Browns gave outgoing owner Randy Lerner the perfect parting gift on Sunday, beating the Cincinnati Bengals for Cleveland’s first win of the season.

The victory also snaps a franchise-record-tying 11 game losing streak, as well as a 12-game losing streak in the AFC North, and gives Browns coach Pat Shurmur his first division win.

“I’ve seen this team improve,” Shurmur said. “We all know this is a winning business so now we can quantify how this improvement points to winning.”

Much as the Buffalo and New York games were team losses, this was a team win.

Head over to The Cleveland Fan for all the details.

(Photo by The Plain Dealer)

Likes, Dislikes, Hopes & Fears: Browns at the quarter mark

After playing four games in the span of 18 days, the Cleveland Browns find themselves at the quarter-mark of the 2012 NFL season.

The Browns are 0-4 for the second time in the last four years;  the last time the Browns started the season this poorly, in 2009, they were outscored by 69 points in the first four games (an average of 17.25 points a game); while this year the four losses have come by a total of just 25 points.

While 0-4 is not what you want to see from the guys in Orange and Brown, things are certainly better than they were in 2009 – maybe not playoff-caliber better, but better nonetheless.

How much better? Find out at The Cleveland Fan.

(Photo courtesy of

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