In news that shouldn’t surprise anyone, Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert are expected to be gone by Monday, no matter what happens against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
Sources say that both Shurmur and Heckert are expecting to be fired sometime after Sunday’s game.
This has been coming for a while now. When new owner Jimmy Haslam III took over and hired new CEO Joe Banner, it was clear that changes would be made, and that they would be bringing in their own personnel.
But as the Browns went on a three-game winning streak late this season, faint glimmers of hope remained that maybe, just maybe, the front office would be wise to keep the same coaching staff and general manager.
However, the Browns’ typical late-season self-destruction has made it all too apparent that Shurmur and Heckert will be gone.
The case for keeping Heckert has been made many times, but his solid track record in Cleveland doesn’t appear to make a difference. It may just come down to a matter of philosophy more than anything else, as Heckert has always had final say over the team’s roster.
The Browns have one more game this season. After that, big changes will be coming, and the Browns will be battling with a number of other teams for prized coaching and general manager candidates.
At this point, the only name that seems to draw the ire of Browns fans is Michael Lombardi. Whether or not he comes to Cleveland remains to be seen, but a lot of people will be sweating it out in the meantime.
One wishes this regime – which faced a lot of adversity, from a lockout in Shurmur’s first year to easily having the most starts by rookies this season – would go out on a better note than having to start Thaddeus Lewis and Montario Hardesty, but a second win against the Steelers is about as good as it can get.