Thumbs up

To former Eagles assistant Pat Shurmur, who was hired yesterday as the Browns' new head coach. Shurmur, 45, is a smart guy who is deserving of the opportunity to run his own ship. He did an excellent job as Andy Reid's quarterbacks coach. Did an excellent job as the Rams' offensive coordinator developing NFL offensive rookie of the year Sam Bradford. With club president Mike Holmgren and GM Tom Heckert and now Shurmur, the Browns are headed in the right direction and have a chance to be a playoff team in '11.

Thumbs down

To Raiders owner Al Davis, not so much for firing Tom Cable, but for doing it in the wrong year. Last year, Cable broke an assistant coach's jaw and teeth in an unprovoked attack. Then, two women - his ex-wife and his ex-girlfriend - both accused him of physically abusing them. Yet, Davis wasn't inclined to show him the door. Then, this year, Cable goes out and does the best coaching job of his life, guiding the Raiders to an 8-8 record that included a six-game sweep of the rest of the AFC West, and outscoring the rest of the division by 108 points, and Davis decides to can him. Makes perfect sense to me. I don't know why everybody else thinks the guy has lost his mind.