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Pat Shurmur struggling to make nice with local media

The Cleveland Browns haven't won a game since before last Thanksgiving.

After last year's 3-3 start, coach Pat Shurmur's team is a mind-bending 1-14 since, and tension is building around a coaching staff that can't buy a victory right now.

The Browns have played hard for Shurmur, despite the 0-5 mark, but the coach is struggling to convince fans and media that his plan is about to produce results. Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland reports Shurmur is displaying increased stress and sarcasm during the team's epic swoon.

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"In the last week alone," Grossi wrote, "Shurmur has confronted a former Browns coach for critical comments he made on a local radio show; 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; and then overreacted to legitimate and fair questions about a game-changing play-call in the 41-24 loss to the Giants."

Shurmur has been "condescending," according to Grossi, who wondered where president Mike Holmgren exists in all of this. "The Big Show" is a practiced communicator and easy on the ears, but he's failed to help Shurmur develop on this front.

A tough moment bubbled up last week when Shurmur responded apathetically to questions about "Cleveland '95," the the NFL Films presentation that detailed the team's heart-wrenching move to Baltimore. It was a failed opportunity for Shurmur to step out of the shadows and clarify to everyone that he understands this community's passion for the Browns.

Incoming owner Jimmy Haslam III seems to get it. He'll surround himself with men who vibe a similar knowledge of what this franchise once meant to football -- and could once again, if it learns to get out of its own way.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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