NFL.com has released its 2018 NFL head coach rankings, and the list isn’t kind to New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur. He is 27th, behind head-coaching newbies Matt Patricia of the Detroit Lions (24th), Matt Nagy of the Chicago Bears (25th) and Frank Reich of the Indianapolis Colts (26th).
Here is the explanation:
Shurmur's run in Cleveland didn't go as planned. Those were the Brandon Weeden/Trent Richardson Browns, if you are scoring at home, with some young Colt McCoy sprinkled in for good measure. Shurmur last walked the sidelines as a head coach for one game as an interim front man, after Chip Kelly was fired in Philly. (Shurmur did win that game.) Now he inherits a Giants offense that has been retooled, with a shiny new back (Saquon Barkley) and some notable O-line turnover. Not to mention, a healthy Odell Beckham Jr. and a hopefully-rejuvenated Eli Manning. Shurmur earned much kudos for his exemplary work running the Vikings' offense sans Dalvin Cook, including building on Case Keenum's strengths. But the lower ranking stems from his poor record thus far.
The writer, Elliot Harrison, is holding Shurmur’s time in Cleveland against him. I can’t do that. Yes, he was part of the decision-making group that made the disastrous decision to select Trent Richardson third overall in 2012. Shurmur, though, won nine games over two seasons with Branden Weeden and Colt McCoy at quarterback. He should be applauded for that. In five seasons since Shurmur got fired, the Browns have only won 15 games. So, by comparison he was successful.
No games have been played in the Shurmur Era with the Giants thus far, of course, and the won-loss record will be the important measuring stick. Shurmur needs to be lauded, though, for restoring some professionalism and order to a team that was in chaos before he was hired.
I don’t honestly know — or care — exactly where Shurmur should be on this list. I just think putting Patricia, Nagy and Reich ahead of him isn’t giving Shurmur enough credit.