The New York Giants will officially introduce their “adult” head coach Friday, as Pat Shurmur will stand before local media for the first time.
Shurmur’s task as 18th head coach of the Giants is not an easy one. He has to pull the Giants out of the much of an embarrassing season. At 3-13, 2017 was the worst record-wise in franchise history. That was embarrassing in itself, but not the only way in which the Giants embarrassed themselves.
There were, quite obviously, instances of players not giving full effort during games. There were anonymous players taking complaints about Ben McAdoo to the media. There were player suspensions. There was the poorly handled one-game benching of Eli Manning. Ultimately, there were the in-season firings of McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese — after ownership had promised to ride out the season before making any decisions.
For a proud franchise that has four Super Bowl titles and values its standing as a class organization and an NFL standard-bearer, 2017 was a regrettable occurrence.
They have chosen veteran, hopefully steady, hands in an effort to put the franchise back on the right path. The GM, 66-year-old Dave Gettleman, served the Giants for 15 years as a personnel man and helped built the Carolina Panthers into a consistent winner.
Shurmur, 52, already cut his head-coaching teeth with a two-year stint in the NFL graveyard known as the Cleveland Browns. He has been an offensive coordinator three times, and also a successful quarterbacks coach.
He wasn’t the sexy choice for the job — he’snot Josh McDaniels or Matt Patricia. The Giants hope, though, that his experience will make him the right one.
“He’s an adult. He’s mature. He’s got wisdom. He’s very even-keeled. It really pays off. I’ve watched him on the sideline. He doesn’t get shook. He doesn’t get rattled. This is a job for a grownup. We’re halfway through the interview and I wrote down, ‘This is an adult.’ Everybody wants the next whiz-bang kid. Let me tell you something, you look at history and see how that’s worked out. He’s a veteran, seasoned, professional football coach.”
We won’t get answers on Friday to all of the questions we have about Shurmur. Mostly, we won’t know if he is the right guy for the job until we have seen the results on the field for a period of two or three years. That, of course, is far longer than any fan and most media members want to wait to pass judgment on Shurmur.
What we can look for on Friday are signs. Signs of whether or not the bright lights are too much for this Michigan native. Signs of whether or not he can command a room. Signs of whether or not the role of head coach of an NFL flagship franchise suits him. And, of course, whether or not his suit fits (yes, I had to go there).
The old saying goes that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Shurmur gets his opportunity to make a first impression on Friday morning. Let’s see how it goes.
You can watch on Giants.com beginning at 11 a.m. or via, Facebook, Instagram or the Giants App on your mobile device.