In a column which preceded the unprofessional post-game antics from Sunday afternoon, Plain Dealer columnist Bud Shaw had a line item wherein Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur was called out for phoning and emailing reporters and columnists off of the record with the goal being to chastise said criticism.
“Short of winning, though, [Shurmur would] do himself a favor if he stops worrying about his critics,” writes Shaw. “Stops being so thin-skinned. Stops calling and emailing reporters or commentators who criticize him. Criticism is part of the job for any NFL head football coach, especially one who last won a game the week before Thanksgiving 2011.”
ESPNCleveland’s Tony Grossi adds that Shurmur left an angry voice mail early in the morning for a columnist who chastised him for perceived insensitive comments made about the Cleveland ’95 NFL Film documentary and “tossed a few F-bombs” after a reporter pressed him to go on the record about Trent Richardson’s excused absence at a Browns practice.
As a follow up to his column, Shaw, in an interview with 92.3 The Fan’s “Kiley & Booms,” Shaw specifically referred to former Cleveland Browns head coach Sam Rutigliano receiving a phone call after the legend said that Shurmur appeared overwhelmed and was “in over his head.” In addition, one specific, unnamed reporter was pulled aside following a press conference where Shurmur piled on the snark, belittling lines of question.
“If you’re 0-11,” said Shaw on air,” you have to expect this stuff.”