Originally written January 03, 2012 on Waiting For Next Year:
It may have been largely rooted in the starting quarterback debate, but Browns head coach Pat Shurmur listed only two men – left tackle Joe Thomas and cornerback Joe Haden – as having guaranteed starting spots come 2012 training camp.  A bit tongue-in-cheek, but easily setting the tone for what’s to come between now and the kick-off to the 2012 NFL season. Shurmur, obviously of the knowledge that there cannot be a complete turnover and several players have recently signed contract extensions, said that he expects a lot more competition for starting positions in what will be, what he considers, his first preseason entering a regular season.  Following Sunday’s Week 17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Shurmur mentioned that he is a very methodical guy who has a day-by-day idea of what this upcoming offseason will entail.  Many fans expect the quarterback position to be addressed, but the Browns head coach is very understanding of the holes which permeate the Cleveland roster. Shurmur would not be detailed about who, if anyone, the team will bring in and would not address the future of running back Peyton Hillis though he would say that the two men had a “very good conversation.”  The topic of draft picks was approached but the team’s first-year head coach would not address these matters. For those concerned over who will be responsible for players on the offensive side of the ball, Shurmur reiterated that the team will in fact hire a head coach. When asked about play-calling, he said that he “wants to win,” even if it means relinquishing such duties. “I want to get the best guy I can, and if he’s outstanding at calling plays, hey…I want to win games,” said Shurmur. “One thing I’ve learned [this year] is that you have to think on your feet.  You can have a set of principles you believe in, but things can change.” – (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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