CLEVELAND – Browns coach Pat Shurmur joked about his defense at his introductory news conference. But he hired someone serious to run it.
Shurmur called on former NFL head coach Dick Jauron as his defensive coordinator Friday, a well respected 60-year-old, who spent last season as Philadelphia's secondary coach.
"He has a tremendous knowledge of the game and is an excellent teacher," Shurmur said. "His experience in the NFL as a player, position coach, coordinator and head coach will be a huge asset to our staff."
Jauron and Shurmur have known each other for years. Jauron played and coached with Shurmur's uncle, Fritz, in Green Bay. Jauron has previous experience as a coordinator and he was head coach in Buffalo (2006-2009) and Chicago (199-2003), posting a 60-82 record.
Jauron also has ties to Browns president Mike Holmgren, working as the Packers defensive backs coach when Holmgren was head coach.
Under Jauron, the Eagles secondary had 23 interceptions last season, third best in the NFC. Cornerback Asante Samuel had seven picks and made the Pro Bowl.
Before taking over as Bears coach, Jauron served as defensive coordinator for the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars from 1995-98. He helped the team make the playoffs three times in four years, including the AFC championship in 1996.
Jauron drew interest from several other teams, but decided on Cleveland, where he's likely to convert the Browns' 3-4 scheme to a 4-3.
"There were many elements of this job that were attractive for me," Jauron said. "I believe that with people like Pat Shurmur, Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert in place, this organization is building a solid foundation. I can't wait to get started with the Browns."
A two-sport star at Yale, Jauron was selected by Detroit in the fourth round in 1973, and he was also taken that year by the St. Louis Cardinals in the major league baseball draft. He spent five seasons with the Lions and four with Cincinnati. He made the Pro Bowl as a punt returner in 1974, and finished with 26 interceptions.
Shurmur, hired last week as Cleveland's fifth coach since 1999, is also looking for an offensive coordinator after Brian Daboll was fired and signed with Miami. Rob Ryan, Cleveland's defensive coordinator the past two years under Eric Mangini, is now with Dallas.
Meanwhile, a team spokesman said special teams coordinator Brad Seely has left the Browns. Seely spent two years with Cleveland and developed some of the league's best kick return and coverage units.