Holmgren and Browns' interest in Shurmur

The Cleveland Browns' interest in St. Louis Rams' offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, 45, makes sense on a couple of levels:

  • Mike Holmgren is running the Browns. Any coach he hires will almost certainly run a West Coast-type offense. The offense Holmgren ran in Green Bay and Seattle is very similar to the one Andy Reid has run in Philadelphia. Shurmur worked under Reid before coming to the Rams. Holmgren trusts Reid as much or more than any head coach in the league. What Reid says about Shurmur will carry weight with Holmgren.

  • Shurmur's uncle, Fritz Shurmur, worked on Holmgren's staff as defensive coordinator in Green Bay (and briefly in Seattle, until Fritz Shurmur died). Holmgren and Fritz Shurmur were close.

Would Holmgren hire as Browns head coach an assistant with only two full seasons as an offensive coordinator? I could see him going that route. Reid was never a coordinator. Holmgren could provide support. Both Holmgren and Shurmur have worked closely with quarterbacks in the same basic offense.

I've wondered whether Holmgren would be able to land a high-profile coach to work under him. Holmgren wields all the important power. A high-profile coach would presumably want some of that power. Holmgren, of course, wants to coach. I will not be surprised if he winds up coaching the Browns.

Hiring Shurmur or a similar candidate might allow Holmgren to influence the offense without having to put in the hours associated with coaching. Just a thought.