The St. Louis Rams have lost their offensive mastermind, as expected, to the Cleveland Browns. Former Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren made the hire on Thursday, choosing St. Louis offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur to lead the Browns. Rookie quarterback Sam Bradford flourished under Shurmur, throwing for 3,512 yards and 18 touchdowns.
The move comes just a little over a month after Holmgren fired head coach Eric Mangini. The Browns were 5-11 under Mangini in 2010, the second straight season they finished with just five wins. There was some thought after Mangini was let go that Holmgren would, again, step in and return to coaching. Instead, he chose Shurmur, a coach whose offensive scheme falls squarely in line with his own.
The Rams, with the talent to compete in the NFC West again next year and for the foreseeable future, face questions without Shurmur running the offense. With Sam Bradford at the helm, the St. Louis job is attractive, but losing Shurmur is a blow for the Rams. Known for his West Coast offense, and the ability to develop young quarterbacks, it seemed Shurmur and Bradford were a perfect match.