FINAL: Browns 10, Steelers 24
CLEVELAND — At the start of any NFL season for Browns fans, a potential season sweep of the rival Steelers would make a great year and undoubtedly create instant job security for those in charge.
However, when business mogul Jimmy Haslem III pays $1 billion (that’s nine zeros) for the franchise, he’s entitled to do anything he wants.
That’s the scenario Pat Shurmur faces today in Pittsburgh.
FOX 8’s John Telich confirms, through league sources, that Sunday’s game will be the last for the second-year head coach.
It also appears General Manager Tom Heckert will be shown the door.
Rumblings have grown for former Browns GM and current NFL Network analyst Mike Lombardi being tabbed for the job.
The moves will be formally announced on Monday, as CEO Joe Banner ushers in his vision for the future.
Entering Sunday, Shurmur is 9-22 piloting the Browns. After an 0-5 start, the Browns have split their last ten games, including a three-game winning streak starting in late November.
As for the game, let the Thad Lewis era begin in Cleveland (5-10), albeit for the season finale against the Steelers (7-8).
Shurmur announced Friday after practice that QBs Brandon Weeden (shoulder) and Colt McCoy (shoulder) have been ruled out for Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh.
The injury news didn’t get any better. He added RB Trent Richardson (ankle), CB Sheldon Brown (head/neck) and TE Jordan Cameron (head/neck) also were not at 100% and will not suit up.
Lewis will get his first start of his career. He was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2010 while Shurmur was the offensive coordinator in St. Louis.
The Browns picked him up in September of 2011 after he was waived by the Rams. He was inactive for the entire 2011-12 season.
The former Duke quarterback earned a roster spot coming out of training camp this past season but was waived in mid-October.
After Sunday’s bone-crushing loss at Denver, Lewis got the call to rejoin the Browns.
Friday’s announcement means that Josh Johnson will be Lewis’ back-up.
Johnson was signed earlier this week and has made five career starts with Tampa Bay.
He went 0-5 in those games, throwing 5 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Third year back Montario Hardesty will replace Richardson in the starting line-up. He has rushed for 234 yards on 51 carries this season.
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. from Pittsburgh. The FOX 8 Sports team will have all the highlights, reaction and the latest coaching moves tonight on FOX 8 News at 10.