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Pat Shurmur is Holmgren's guy

No surprise in Cleveland, where the Browns have officially named Pat Shurmur as head coach. He's the first coach hired since Mike Holmgren took over as team president late in the 2009 season.

Shurmur will be introduced at a news conference tomorrow. He replaces Eric Mangini, who was fired after back-to-back 5-11 seasons. Shurmur's uncle, the late Fritz Shurmur, was Holmgren's defensive coordinator in Green Bay. 

Shurmur has a long-standing connection with Browns general manager Tom Heckert, when the two worked in Philadelphia. Shurmur learned the West Coast offense under Andy Reid, a former Holmgren assistant in Green Bay.

"I have the utmost respect for Coach Holmgren and Tom Heckert, and I am impressed with the direction in which they have this franchise going," Shurmur said. "I have known Tom for most of my pro coaching career, and while we were in Philadelphia, he and I developed an outstanding relationship. I am looking forward to this challenge and can't wait to get started in helping to build the Browns back to one of the elite teams in the NFL."

Said Holmgren: "Pat is a bright, young man who grew up in football and around the coaching profession. I came away from our interview very impressed with him as a person, his extensive knowledge of the game and his track record of success as an assistant coach in this league."

New York Sports