Despite statements to the contrary, the Cleveland Browns intend to hire an offensive coordinator to allow Pat Shurmur to put more focus on his head coaching duties in 2012, according to team sources.
Previously, Browns president Mike Holmgren stated he preferred Shurmur serve as head coach and offensive coordinator -- as he has done in his first season -- but Shurmur himself would like to add a coordinator, sources said.
Former Vikings coach Brad Childress, who sat out this season after being fired by Minnesota during the 2010 season, is among the candidates that have been discussed by the Browns. However, the team is also seriously evaluating other candidates with roots in the West Coast offense.
While sources originally identified Childress as a leading candidate because he was the Philadelphia Eagles' offensive coordinator for seven years when Shurmur was Philadelphia's quarterbacks coach, other sources said the organization likely will select from a different pool of candidates.
Shurmur struggled through his first season as a head coach after spending the past two seasons as St. Louis' offensive coordinator. Entering play Sunday, the Browns had the 29th ranked offense and are averaging just 13.9 points per game, which is 30th overall.
Chris Mortensen is a senior NFL analyst for ESPN.