Shurmur finished 9-23 as the Browns’ head coach, which makes the decision to move in a different direction a relatively easy one. For Heckert, who oversaw the reinvention of this team, parting ways was likely a little more difficult.
A lot of it comes down to philosophy. In CEO Joe Banner and owner Jimmy Haslam’s press conference Monday, they stressed how important it was to have flexibility in the hiring process. As they look to hire a new coach first, they will then hire a general manager/player personnel type to match his philosophy and personality.
The Browns won’t be without options in their search. As they comb through both the college and professional ranks, there are a number of attractive candidates who should be interested in the job.
But the fact remains that both Shurmur and Heckert were given nearly impossible circumstances in Cleveland and nearly rose above them. They will latch onto other teams quickly, and quite possibly find plenty of success. Should that happen, Joe Banner and Jimmy Haslam better hope they made the right decision on the Browns’ next organizational regime.