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Pat Shurmur expected to be fired Monday, report says


The Cleveland Browns on Sunday will close out their season against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Where they go from there is anyone's guess, but change appears imminent.

Citing league sources, Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer reports that coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert are expected to be fired or part ways with the team Monday.

This isn't a surprise. It's been widely assumed that both men would be let go ever since new owner Jimmy Haslam III and his hand-picked CEO, Joe Banner, took over day-to-day operations of the team in October.

NFL Network's Michael Lombardi believes a second straight losing campaign under Shurmur -- 9-22 in two seasons -- might trigger a change.

"I think ultimately it's going to come down to this Pittsburgh game, (third-string quarterback) Thaddeus Lewis is going to play," Lombardi told "Total Access" on Saturday. "I think the new owner, Jimmy Haslam, and Joe Banner, the CEO, have made it very clear they wanted to wait and see the (full) season -- and remember, before the season started, (former team president) Mike Holmgren, when he was there, said 6-10 wouldn't be acceptable. Right now, they're 5-10, the best they can be would be 6-10, so if it wasn't acceptable for Mike, I doubt it would be acceptable for the new owner and CEO."

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Lombardi's name has been linked to a potential front-office role with the Browns, but he told NFL Network he hasn't heard from the team.

"The decisions haven't been finalized in terms of the front office," Lombardi said. "Once they do that, I look for the Browns to go get a coach first, and then make their decisions about a front office. I haven't been contacted, and that's what I maintained all along."

The narrative for the Browns has been constant change since their re-launch in 1999. With five head coaches, an interim coach and -- with Lewis playing Sunday -- 18 starting quarterbacks during that span, the organization is desperate for an anchoring force to take hold.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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