New Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam began to clean house Monday, firing general manager Tom Heckert and head coach Pat Shurmur a day after the team concluded a 5-11 season.
"We felt that these moves were in the best interests of the Cleveland Browns and our future," Haslam said. "I enjoyed getting to know Tom and Pat over the past several months, and want to thank them, not just for their contributions to the Browns, but also the insight they were able to provide. They are both fine men and hope they have the best of success as they move forward with their careers."
The Browns and Philadelphia Eagles are both believed to be interested in University of Oregon head coach Chip Kelly.
Shurmur went 9-23 in two seasons with the Browns, and his future with the franchise was in serious doubt since Haslam bought the team last offseason. President Mike Holmgren, who hired Shurmur in 2011, left the team in midseason with Haslam bringing in CEO Joe Banner to run the franchise.
"This decision was not an easy one because of my relationship with Tom and Pat and the fact that they are both quality people," Banner said. "Ultimately our objective is to put together an organization that will be the best at everything we do. On the field, our only goal is trying to win championships. I have a great deal of respect for Tom and Pat, and I want to wish them and their families nothing but the best."
New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer and Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien have also been mentioned as potential candidates to replace Shurmur.
"I am extremely proud of the players on this team, who I felt made tremendous strides and helped to make the Cleveland Browns relevant again," Shurmur said. "I want to thank them, as well as my entire coaching staff for making the past two years enjoyable. My coaches are outstanding teachers and even better men. They helped me lead these players through a unique time of transition. This group of players will achieve success soon, and there will be a part of me that will feel very good when that happens."