North Notes: Browns, Bears, Fox, Vikings

New Browns general manager John Dorsey has a plan to turn around the winless Cleveland franchise, and given the club’s lackluster history with quarterbacks, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Dorsey’s first order of business will be finding a long-term answer under center, as Pat McManamon of writes.

“This is a quarterback-driven league,” Dorsey said Friday. “We all know that, and we all know to succeed and go a little bit further and further and further that you need one of those guys.

“I want to understand from a coaching perspective how they see [quarterbacks],” Dorsey said. “I want to see how the personnel staff sees it. I want to sit down with the head coach and see how he sees it. Let’s begin to build a plan moving forward and identify.”

Here’s more from the NFL’s two North divisions:

  • While the Bears are currently putting together a winning performance against the Bengals, most observers believe Chicago’s coaching staff will be let go following the conclusion of the regular season, and that’s the feeling within the building as well, according to Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of (video link). Not only has Bears head coach John Fox “accepted his fate” and recognized that he’ll likely be fired once the 2017 campaign ends, but many Chicago assistants are cognizant that they’ll be let go, too. At present, the Bears are last in the NFC North with a record of 3-9.
  • Pat Shurmur is generating “a ton of interest” as a head coaching candidate, so the Vikings could soon be searching for a new offensive coordinator, per Courtney Cronin of Shurmur has head coaching experience, as he lead the Browns from 2011-12 and also served as the Eagles’ interim head coach at the tail end of the 2015 season. Running an offense with journeyman Case Keenum under center, Shurmur has led Minnesota to a No. 8 ranking in offensive DVOA, so it’s no surprise that other teams around the NFL have taken notice of his efforts.
  • Despite previous reports that Lions head coach Jim Caldwell recently signed a contract extension, his deal in fact only runs through the 2018 campaign (with an option for 2019). Therefore, Caldwell’s pact likely won’t play any role in whether Detroit general manager Bob Quinn retains Caldwell after the current season.
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