Sunday is the first regular season game for Pat Shurmur as head coach of the Cleveland Browns as they take on the Cincinnati Bengals at Browns Stadium.
Last season, Shurmur was offensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams. He was hired in January to take over the Browns.
Shurmur says he's looking forward to his first game as a head coach.
“I don’t know about words. I’m excited. I feel like the players have been kind of jumping over the hurdles that they need to jump over, said Shurmur."
"I think organizationally we’re doing the same thing. You go through the process of the offseason, the draft and getting ready for the season. It was a little bit non-traditional. I shouldn’t say a little bit, it was a lot non-traditional. What started to feel normal to me was when training camp started. I think then you get about six weeks of work here where you get yourself refocused on what you think it should look like. I got a good vision of what practice today should look like and I know what tomorrow should look like and how Saturday should feel. I think it’s just general excitement, I’m looking forward to seeing our guys compete.”
Among the steps that have made the transition from offensive coordinator to head coach easier, is Shurmur's relationship with General Manager Tom Heckert and Team President Mike Holmgren.
“In terms of working together, I think it’s been terrific. I think there’s a natural interaction. Tom Heckert’s office is just one door down from mine and I can travel behind the scenes and not out in the hallway. We bounce back and forth all the time. When I’m going from meetings I’ll bounce through the training room and go see Tom. It’s very rare I don’t see Tom about every couple hours. I see coach Holmgren quite frequently during the day as well. If things come up, we talk about them and if I have something that we need to discuss, we bring it up, we discuss, we execute it and move on. Again, maybe it’s a better question for Mike and Tom, I feel as though it’s been natural. In fact, I’ve kind of enjoyed the process so far, ” said Shurmur.