Ace Journalist Vic Carucci Reports on Pat Shurmur’s “Remarkable Knack”

by Cleveland Frowns on October 14, 2011

It’s always nice to wrap up the workweek on a high note, which is especially easy this week now that we know there’s no reason to worry about the Raiders on Sunday, or really anything else that happens with the Browns this season thanks to Vic Carucci at ClevelandBrowns.com:

From the time he first assembled his team at training camp in July, [new Browns head coach Pat] Shurmur has presented himself as a steady, even-tempered leader. He has displayed a remarkable knack for not letting his emotions run too high or too low, and for simply keeping his focus on doing everything possible to help a young team to get better.

And the Browns are young. And their youth does make the process for improvement difficult because of the many mistakes that inevitably happen along the way.

But Shurmur, who is also going through a learning process of his own, must make the most of the extra time that he and his assistant coaches have through the bye to find ways to get the team on the right track.

Knowing how he has handled things thus far, it’s fair to say that he is unlikely to panic and make radical changes. Still, some adjustments are warranted.

Adjustments? Knowing Shurmur’s remarkable knack for not letting his emotions run too high or too low, and for simply keeping his focus on doing everything possible to help a young team to get better, could there be any question that he’ll make exactly the right ones? In due time, of course, allowing plenty for the process for improvement to unfold given the many mistakes that inevitably happen with a young team. But still. How many times did you ask yourself over the last two years about why Eric Mangini was always letting his emotions get the better of him, and also about what was wrong with Mangini’s focus, why he couldn’t keep it on doing everything possible to help the Browns get better, and why he just didn’t seem to have a remarkable knack or any knack at all for avoiding focusing on all of those other things that didn’t relate to the Browns getting better? Thirty billion times if once, of course.

And you know Carucci’s got to be right, because he was handpicked by the Holmgren regime to give Browns fans “insights on a regular basis.”

  • Anonymous

    Dude, he works for the Browns, of course there will be some fluff pieces, just as there was for Mangini when he was the Browns coach.  What sort of content are you expecting on the Browns official site?   You think they are going to give the cogent analysis that people get when coming to Frowns?   Besides, where did Carucci compare Shurmur to Mangini in the article?  And what exactly did Carucci say that makes it seem that he’s gotta be right?  

    I think it’s fair for the Browns to give the fans a little background on the coach’s personality  which typically trickles down to the players.  As you agreed, there will be plenty of growing pains with as many young guys we have on the team, compounded with a rookie HC.. but it seems to me that they have given the players and Shurmur a solid support system with a few proven vets in Dqwell, Fujita, and Thomas in the locker room and then coaching-wise Jauron, Rhodes, and obviously Holmgren and Gil Brandt to help with the offense.  

    But I guess you’re right, the Browns should do zero PR on their part to promote their brand, their team, their players, including some background on their new coach to the loyal fans who come to the official Browns website for content.  

    I’ve been reading Carucci for nearly 12 years since as he was a senior columnust for nfl.com, the guy is a pretty good writer, but now as his employer is the Browns, of course there will be fluff pieces.  I assumed most people who come to clevelandbrowns.com  for additional content realize that, but apparantly you disagree.   

    Again, I think most people know to get the best analysis in town, they gotta come to clevelandfrowns.com 

    • Anonymous

      “What sort of content are you expecting on the Browns official site?”

      Content that isn’t complete garbage.

      “You think they are going to give the cogent analysis that people get
      when coming to Frowns?”

      No, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t.  

      Of course I’m not surprised that you’ll make every apology for this stuff, but isn’t there a “keep Browns fans sitting down” rally somewhere that you should be at instead of wasting time here?

      • Anonymous

        i believe if you read his posts you would have a better opinion of him.. in fact his posts about Hillis and Hardesty this week, as well as the Raiders being the most penalized teams both are critical of the Browns play, coaching, etc up-t0-date..   but how dare they write a complimentary piece about the Coach..  how dare they!?!?!

        Brownies +7 ALL DAY..  90% of the public is currently on OAK..  looks like a win for the good guys this Sunday..  

        • Anonymous

          Going back to this guy for insight on the Browns after reading what he wrote here would be a lot like going back to a doctor after he tried to treat your broken wrist by injecting laundry detergent into your asscheek. But anyway, Biki, did I ever tell you what a remarkable knack you have?

          • Anonymous

            what exactly did he write that is so terrible??  because he gave a little background on Shurmur’s personality??  OMG!?!?  i have watched every presser that Shurmur has had since he’s with the Browns, and have read and heard pretty much what everyone in the League has said about Shurmur, including Mangini who was also very high on him, interviewed him for the OC spot back when he got to the J-E-T-S..  it’s been pretty consistently said that he has a very even keel, etc.  so i really don’t get what the big fuss is about Carruci saying “remarkable knack for not letting his emotions run too high or too low, and for simply keeping his focus on doing everything possible to help a young team to get better.”   

            yes there are coaches in the NFL who don’t seem to be very even keeled, particularly your favorite coach Sexy Rexy Ryan..  

          • Anonymous

            OK!

          • St. Chem

            I apologize in advance for pointing out the obvious but the “remarkable knack” discussed here and attributed to the Head Coach is at least partially  the “remarkable knack for not letting his emotions run too high or too low” which is something seemingly not in evidence in this thread.  My point being that maybe Frowns didn’t pick his spot quite as well as usual this time around.  Schurmur has not shown himself to be a hothead (so far).  Big deal, I say.  Demonstrating the ability to control one’s emotions is not exactly a hallmark of NFL coaching greatness historically. See, Lombardi, Vince.   As I recall, Mangini held it together pretty well on the Browns sideline too.

          • Anonymous

            I dunno. Sometimes high emotion is precisely what’s called for, but even if not, what you dont mention is that Carucci also writes that Shurmur has an “unfathomable knack for keeping his focus on doing everything possible to help a young team get better.”

            I suppose I could have taken more time to break down just what a ridiculous thing that is for this “journalist” to write about this guy without any further elucidation (and especially ridiculous after what we’ve seen from this football team through four games). But, you know, it’s Friday, I was in a rush to get some work out, and I figured most people would just get it. Maybe i’ll get to breaking it down further next week.

          • Anonymous

            so when you get paid what i would have to assume is a 6 figure plus salary to write at least 3-5 articles on the Browns on a weekly basis, paid for by the Browns, what exactly are you going to write about??  usually there is always the token 3-6 articles a year on the coach, individual players, game previews, etc..   how dare this guy write an article about his character assessment of Shurmur, how dare he!?!?!   

          • Anonymous

            so when you get paid what i would have to assume is a 6 figure plus salary to write at least 3-5 articles on the Browns on a weekly basis, paid for by the Browns, what exactly are you going to write about??  usually there is always the token 3-6 articles a year on the coach, individual players, game previews, etc..   how dare this guy write an article about his character assessment of Shurmur, how dare he!?!?!   

          • Victorbarnes

            Awesome.  I agree with you on this one Frownie.  Absolutely.  Underwhelming at best is this quasi-coach.  Screw the Eagles bringing Mangini on as a Defensive Consultant, the Browns ought to bring him back as a HC consultant!!!

            This “Ace Reporter” is a hack-job.

          • http://brian23.com Brian

            lol i just had a vision of a doctor being all casual like “okay, this might pinch a little – i’m just injecting a little laundry detergent”

      • Anonymous

        i believe if you read his posts you would have a better opinion of him.. in fact his posts about Hillis and Hardesty this week, as well as the Raiders being the most penalized teams both are critical of the Browns play, coaching, etc up-t0-date..   but how dare they write a complimentary piece about the Coach..  how dare they!?!?!

        Brownies +7 ALL DAY..  90% of the public is currently on OAK..  looks like a win for the good guys this Sunday..  

  • http://twitter.com/musicman06 Chris Music

    First it was “Poise” with Colt McCoy. Now it’s “Knack” with Shurmur. Has anyone made “Browns Bullshit Bingo” cards yet? I think we could really have some fun with this!

    • Anonymous

      “West Coast Offense”

      “Philosophical unity”

      “No excuses”

      “holographic chips”

      • Anonymous

        “build for the future”

        “relax”

        “YAC”

        • Anonymous

          so we’re not building for the future???  having NINE starters who are in their 1st or 2nd years has got to be pretty close to a record in the NFL..  and they seem to be holding their own fairly well so far and seem to have the talent and work ethic to continue to progress..  this is how good teams are built by the way, not by going and trading for an overpriced, washed up Lance Briggs..  

          • Anonymous

            “overpriced lance briggs”

            “underpriced chris gocong”

            “salary cap flexibility”

  • eldaveablo

    Well, here’s something to be proud of, CHEAPEST BEER IN THE NFL!

    http://www.businessinsider.com/nfl-stadium-beer-prices-2011-10

    • Anonymous

      how on earth does STL, one of the beer capitals of the country get away with charging $9 for a beer??

      • eldaveablo

        Was thinking the same thing. Maybe Bud is upset because they didn’t get naming rights to the dome? 

  • Anonymous

    Personally, I did like Vic on NFL Radio.  That said, I have to look at anything written by an “in-house” reporter with a great degree of skepticism.  If they hire you as an in-house reporter then you are essentially their spin doctor or propagandist.  It’s filling the bandwith with positive to suppress the negative.  This isn’t about reporting Browns news.  It’s about reporting noise that the Browns want you to hear.  You won’t find any articles about them stringing along Peyton Hillis or how Evan Moore is disgruntled. 

    That’s not a news source.

    • Anonymous

      i’m sure any reader older than the 8th grade can presume to take anything put out by a team’s “in-house reporter” with a grain of salt.  but i have read pretty much everything Vic has written for us and he tries to be as objective as possible.  he’s a good writer and knows the game and gives some very good analysis on what the Browns need to do to win, etc.  and if you read what he’s written this week, aside from his “knack” comment, he hasn’t really sugarcoated as much as you would think a guy in his position would…  including saying that Hillis needs to carry the ball more this game (even though Hillis averaged more touches in the 1st 2 games than he did under Mangini)

      every team in the NFL has a website that has posts written by in-house people, i think it’s nice that we don’t have some recent college grad writing up stuff for them and rather have a guy with Vic’s experience giving his take on things.  and of course there will be some pro-Browns stuff, sometimes it’s good to read positive spins isn’t it??

      • Anonymous

        There you go again ;-)  What do the carries under Mangini have to do with anything?

        Vic doesn’t mention Hillis’ carries in relation to Mangini.  Actually, he doesn’t mention Hillis’ number of carries at all.  Vic says that since the Raiders have a weak run defense that Hillis and Hardesty should help shoulder the load and offensive balance should be expected.  I don’t think most fans need Vic Carucci to inform them of that.

        Hillis has touched the ball 21.9 times per game played this year (avg 16.9 rush, 5 receptions).  Darren McFadden by comparison is handling the ball an average of 21.6 times per game (18.2 rush, 3.4 receptions).  McFadden has the most rushing attempts per game in the NFL.

        I think the Browns need balance in their attack but I don’t think that Hillis needs to be asked to carry the football 25 times.  20 at most.  The truth of the matter is that:

        a) No back in the NFL will routinely carry the ball 25-30 times a game any more.  The best ones look to be around 15-20 per game.  Backup RBs seeing touches is now the expectation.

        b) the number of “touches” is more important as they add to that number with receptions.  Receptions for a running back don’t typically result in as much physical punishment as you’re usually up against one or two tacklers tops.  Much less wear and tear.  We need Peyton Hillis to last 16 games.

        • Anonymous

          mangini comparison had nothing to do with Vic..  i’m just sayin, if it was all fluff then he wouldn’t give his experienced opinion of how he thinks the Browns have the best shot to win…   if he was this “PR Flack” then he wouldn’t state his opinion that i think that he has…  with his experience and being a beat writer in the locker rooms for over 30 years, which is 30 years more than i’ve ever been in an NFL locker room, i respect his opinion and thus far he has done as good of a job as he probably can to give us a fair assessment of what he feels the Browns need to do to win..  

          that being said, i think we’re underestimating the the intellectual capacity of the average Browns fan..  for the most part i would have to assume just like i do, i read all the beat writers articles from canton, abj, pd, lorain, frowns, wfny, etc..  but most of all we see what we see on the field and everyone is entitled to their opinion..  i see nothing wrong with the Browns hiring a guy with Vic’s pedigree to help them distribute another option of content to the consumer..   in fact i think it’s great, because i’m sure they invested a pretty penny to bring a guy of his calibur on board..    

          • Anonymous

            I never said there was anything wrong with hiring someone of Vic Carucci’s standing.  I’m not sure what you mean by “PR Flack” but by the context, I am assuming you’re saying that he’s not a puppet of some sort and that answer is “we don’t know”.  He certainly is at a point in his career where he wouldn’t need to sign on to be Mike Holmgren’s spin doctor but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t take on the job if they were like-minded.

            Don’t think that puppets don’t state their opinions.  They do; they’re just in line with the word from on high and when they aren’t, they’re subdued.  A good example is the play-by-play and color analyst.  Yes, they will question things during the game but you will rarely hear them take a hard line negative view because that’s biting the hand that feeds.   The in-house media, be they analysts, play-by-play people or PR representatives all get paid by the Browns.  That’s a conflict of interest if you’re a true journalist.  If you were researching a dangerous yet potentially life-saving medication, would you believe research that was funded by the drug company or an independently funded study?

            The fact is that EVERYONE has an agenda.  You won’t see Vic tackle any of the controversial issues like Peyton Hillis’ strep throat or contract.  You won’t see him gripe that Evan Moore isn’t getting involved.  Vic’s agenda seems to be to highlight issues around the Browns such as keys to victory and a story here and there about personnel.  I agree that there’s nothing wrong with that from a consumer standpoint.  It’s always good to have options.  You just have to always question where the information/noise is coming from.

            Vic Carucci is a far more insightful commentator on all things football than what these writings show us.  These are reserved and measured.  They’re all fluff as far as I’m concerned.  They’re paying him a pretty penny because they learned from the previous regimes that you can’t lose the spin war…so they brought in an experienced veteran.  The true test of whether Vic is truly acting in a ‘journalist’ capacity will be if and when the $hit hits the fan…and eventually it always does.

          • Anonymous

            Frownie called him a “PR Flack”..  personally, as previously mentioned, i could care less about him proving if he is a “spin doctor” or not for the Browns, i know that he is, of course he is, just for all the reasons you stated..  i read nearly everything on the web related to the Browns and can make my own opinions..  i just like reading anything and everything Browns related..  everyone has their motives for writing what they write, including Frownie, it is what it is..  to me it’s all a form of entertainment and i could really care less about the “journalistic factor” because in the end, it’s just a game and typically everything you need to know is what happens during the 60 minutes..  

          • Anonymous

            rod, I don’t disagree with anything you say here, but none of it makes it any less ridiculous that this guy wrote that Shurmur has an “remarkable knack for keeping his focus on doing everything possible to help a young team get better” without further explanation.

  • Anonymous

    Any time I see Shurmur on the sidelines I want to send someone to check for a pulse.  

  • Anonymous

    this is a pretty key game for shurmur.  

    he really has gotten the benefit of doubt for many (most) fans thus far.  there might be a no excuses mandate from berea, but berea doesn’t need to make excuses when so many fans, blogs, and of course the beat reporter are willing to make them for him.

    but eventually we all need to see that this guy can coach.  by that, i mean more than managing a press conference or cultivating a positive environment among the players.  i mean coach.  i mean develop a game plan for the specific opponent and execute it on sunday.  i mean recognize tendencies of the opponent throughout the game and exploit them.  i mean leading a discussion with the other coaches at halftime and re-tooling.  i mean giving his team the best chance to win.  i haven’t seen it yet.

    i am by no means a ‘mangini guy’… or at least i wasn’t when he was here.  but there was never a question that he and daboll poured through film looking for edges and built a game plan tailor made for their opponent every week.  given a bye week to prepare, we all saw what mangini/daboll brought to the table against new england.

    so here we are in shurmur’s bye week.  the first week seemed dedicated to putting out the hillis fire, the second week was marcus benard.  with that sort of noise swirling, i imagine it has been challenging for OC shurmur to focus on game-planning for the raiders.  

    the proof of whether shurmur can HC and OC will be on the field sunday.  i sure hope they’re ready but i have very little confidence.  and if/when they’re not ready … count on hills-benard distractions to be next week’s excuses.

    • Anonymous

      did you watch Shurmur’s pressers these past 2 weeks???  i did, every minute of them..   he barely has talked about Hillis and said as little as he could about Benard..  if anything he got the most questions about Mack and Haden..   but remember, he’s got a “remarkable knack” to focus on the task at hand..  

  • Anonymous

    I have read the transcripts from almost every Shurmur presser this year, I have also read Carrucci’s ‘blogs’ as well, and yes I do expect a little bit of ‘home cooking’..

    now that being said….

    GDI if I dont hear this ambiguous shmegma out of Shurmur week in and week out, pretty much exactly what you would want to hear, BUT I RARELY see these details and plans TRANSLATE to the field on game day…

    almost every week you see this

    (question alluding to practice)
    Shurmur: “ya, we practiced well i think, good execution, minimal mistakes, lots of focus, good energy; although that doesnt guarantee we will do good in the game, etc etc…”

    I expect this, truly I do.. but I really want to see those good, high energy practices translate into the game more often…

    Gotta agree with Frowns here, I wanna see this guy get charged emotionally just once, feed your team Pat!!!!

    • Anonymous

      Aren’t we all glad to have comments like that from Shurmur?  I mean really; it’s such a breath of fresh air and such a difference from:

      “I thought the players played hard throughout the course of the game.  I
      thought we had opportunities throughout the course of the game that we
      weren’t able to capitalize on.  I thought they worked hard through the
      week, and my expectation this week is the same thing, to have a good
      week of practice”

      I’m with Dubby.  What’s the over/under on what week Shurmur has a Bo Pelini meltdown on the sideline?

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