Pat Shurmur fired: Browns will hire new head coach before personnel chief

Eric P. Mull-US PRESSWIRE

The Browns have already started their search for a new coach -- a hire that owner Jimmy Haslam has said will be made before a new GM or personnel man is selected to replace Tom Heckert.

As expected, new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner did not wait long to begin their overhaul of the franchise at the management level. The Browns promptly fired both head coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert on Monday morning, joining several teams with new vacancies at those positions.

Haslam and Banner met with the media on Monday morning shortly after the firing announcements were made. With two prime spots open, Haslam made it clear that the team would look for a new coach before hiring a personnel candidate to replace Heckert. Haslam told the assembled press in Cleveland that they would "begin very quickly to look for a new head coach first" and focus on the pool of GM candidates second.

Heckert has had success finding key contributors through the Draft over the past two seasons but it was expected that he and the Browns would part ways, as Banner likely claims final full 53-man roster decision-making control. Today's announcement that a coach will be the first person hired seems to add to the likelihood that the position once held by Heckert will be reduced in the team's new org chart under Banner.

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