With the Minnesota Vikings’ season over after a 38-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, Pat Shurmur is expected officially become head coach of the New York Giants.
Things could — and should — move quickly now between the Giants and Shurmur, who had been the offensive coordinator for the Vikings. Jay Glazer reported during the FOX broadcast Sunday evening that the Giants would like to get Shurmur signed and get an introductory press conference over with within 48 hours. That would enable Shurmur and GM Dave Gettleman to spend as much time as possible at the Senior Bowl scouting 2018 NFL Draft prospects.
Senior Bowl practices begin Tuesday afternoon. Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen, quarterbacks who could both be in consideration for the Giants with the second overall pick, are both participating. It would stand to reason that the Giants would want their key decision-makers on hand.
Shurmur flew back to Minneapolis Sunday night to conduct exit interviews with Vikings’ players. The New York Post is reporting that Shurmur and the Giants will meet Tuesday and that once a deal is reached Shurmur could join Gettleman in Mobile, Ala., at the Senior Bowl.
Arif Hasan of SB Nation’s Vikings website, Daily Norseman, recently endorsed the hiring of Shurmur:
“Pat Shurmur is a great fit as a head coach for any organization, and the Giants got a good one,” Hasan said.
Shurmur, 52, is a veteran NFL coach. He has been an offensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams (2009-10), Philadelphia Eagles (2013-15) and the Vikings, where he took over that role midway through the 2016 season when Norv Turner resigned from the job.Shurmur has been lauded for his work with quarterbacks. He was quarterbacks coach in Philadelphia with Donovan McNabb. The Rams won seven games with Shurmur guiding Bradford through his rookie season. In 2013, Eagles’ QB Nick Foles had a career year, throwing 27 touchdown passes to two interceptions and going to the Pro Bowl. This season, journeyman Case Keenum played the best football of his six-year career and went 11-3 as a starter in the regular season and helping Minnesota reach the NFC Championship Game.
Shurmur was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 2011 and 2012, compiling a 9-23 record. He dealt with the lockout as a rookie coach and an ownership change in his second season with the Browns.
Shurmur is one of six candidates the Giants interviewed. They also spoke with Steve Spagnuolo, Steve Wilks, Josh McDaniels, Matt Patricia and Eric Studesville.
With the Giants, Shurmur will be tasked with fixing a broken offense. The Giants have not scored 30 points in a game since the final game of the 2015 season when Tom Coughlin was still the head coach. They have finished in the bottom quarter of the league in yards and points in each of the last two seasons.
The Giants, of course, have quarterback questions. Eli Manning is nearing the end of his decorated career, and while there was a report Sunday that the Giants intend to keep Manning at quarterback in 2018, a transition at the position is coming. With the No. 2 pick in the upcoming draft, a quarterback could definitely be in play, and Shurmur’s history of success with several types of quarterbacks obviously played into his getting the job. The Giants also must figure out if they believe 2017 third-round pick Davis Webb has a future as a starting-caliber quarterback.
The offense, of course, isn’t the only issue Shurmur has to address. The defense under-achieved in 2016 and needs to be repaired. Shurmur also faces the challenge of rebuilding a winning culture in a locker room that fell apart in 2017 under the weight of a disappointing season.
The Giants’ job was open after the team fired Ben McAdoo 12 games into a dismal 3-13 season. At the time the Giants were 2-10, awash in disciplinary issues, and mired in a public relations quagmire after McAdoo benched Manning for Geno Smith, ending his consecutive games started streak at 210.
A couple of the key spots on Shurmur’s coaching staff may already be taken. There were reports Sunday that former Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio was the “leading candidate” to become defensive coordinator. Del Rio was the defensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers in 2002 and the Denver Broncos from 2012-2014. If he comes on board that would mean Steve Spagnuolo, who finished the season as interim head coach, would be out.
There were other reports that Thomas McGaughey, an assistant with the Giants from 2007-2010 and most recently special teams coordinator for the Carolina Panthers, could replace Tom Quinn in that role for New York.
When it was recently reported that Shurmur was expected to become head coach we polled Giants’ fans. The results were overwhelmingly favorable regarding Shurmur becoming the head coach. Here is the poll:
Are you in favor of the reported hire of Pat Shurmur as Giants’ head coach?
This poll is closed