Friday, October 5, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur is right about "Cleveland '95"

Browns coach Pat Shurmur said he didn't instruct players to watch the "Cleveland '95" documentary about the team's move to Baltimore because he wants them focusing on their game against the Giants on Sunday.

"I'm not insensitive to it," Shurmur said. "I live here. I was told (about the move) before I got here. I eat in Cleveland restaurants. I don't know what to tell you, other than the fact I get it. But I think it's important as head coach to keep their eye on the ball going forward."

He's correct.

Sometimes I wonder what players' first impressions of Cleveland are when they get here.

They will hear about the history of the franchise and the great players and coaches. Then they'll hear about the move, and how bad the team has been since 1999.

Then they'll keep hearing about it, because that's all anyone ever talks about with the Browns. Well, except during three-month build-up to the draft. Then you can add getting playmakers on offense. But it never ends. If I were Shurmur, I would want players insulated from all the gloom and doom.

Going back to Shurmur's comment, "I don't know what to tell you, other than the fact I get it." What do you want him to say? Do you want him to stop preparing for the Giants game, require all players and coaches to watch the show, and then write a 400-word essay about their feelings?

Starting running back Trent Richardson turned 4 in 1995. I would be expect him to be aware of what happened that year because it involves the company he works for. But he doesn't need to live and breathe the move in order to do his job to the best of his ability.

Yes, the players should see it when they have some free time. That's what DVRs are for.

But stopping what they're doing to watch that documentary isn't necessary for them to be ready for Sunday.

- Howard Primer


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