The Odyssey that the New York Giants’ search for a new head coach became finally seems to be at an end. As we’ve already reported, current Minnesota Vikings’ offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur is expected to be hired as the Giants’ next head coach.
Don’t worry, this won’t be my usual, rambling “Philosoraptor’s Corner”. Ed simply asked me for my reaction to the (impending) hire, and I thought this would be a nice format.
Put simply: I like it.
In a vacuum, I think I would have preferred one of the New England coaches because I am a fan of the Erhardt-Perkins System of offense that they run there. But taking a step back, Shurmur hits a number of the same notes that made McDaniels and Patricia desirable, plus a couple more.
He is a mature coach, having already taken his lumps as a head coach. While getting all of 9 wins with the Cleveland Browns might not look impressive, considering what he had to work with and the fact that they combined for 11 wins over the next two seasons puts it into perspective. Shurmur knows first-hand what NOT to do and is not unfamiliar with adversity.
Speaking of adversity, this year the Vikings are 10th in points and 11th in total yards (11th in passing yards, 7th in rushing yards). That is despite the team losing starting QB Sam Bradford and potential offensive rookie of the year Dalvin Cook. For a team that was devastated by injury, having a coach well-versed in adapting and overcoming it is an obvious plus.
He has proven adaptable, coaching under a variety of head coaches at a number of stops — from Andy Reid to Mike Zimmer. He has been exposed to a number of different ideas, philosophies, and styles, and has successfully adapted to them all.
Frankly, Shurmur is a talented coach. He has coached Nick Foles, Sam Bradford, and Case Keenum to top-10 seasons. Sometime in the next couple years will be the transition from the Eli Manning era to whatever comes next, and having a coach who could bring out the best in a young quarterback is absolutely paramount. Given his history, Shurmur is about as good a choice as you can have.
And finally, I stated before that I would prefer the Giants move to an EPS, such as the Patriots run, but they are well-built for what Shurmur likes as well. He bases his offense off a West Coast Offense, what the Giants have been built for over the last four years. Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard are two of the best route runners in the NFL, and the pieces at hand for the Giants’ offensive line are good fits for the zone blocking scheme Shurmur favors.
The hire is no slam-dunk (like somehow getting Sean Payton or Bill Belichick would be), nor as viscerally exciting as one of the Patriots’ coordinators. However, my initial reaction is that Shurmur is a strong hire, with the possibility to be great with the right staff.
Oh, and relief that I now have some context for what the team could be interested in for my continuing draft prep.