The strongest argument, for or against, Pat Shurmur remaining as head coach of the New York Giants involves Daniel Jones.
One of the reasons Shurmur was hired prior to the 2018 season was because of his successful work with quarterbacks of varying styles and pedigrees. The Giants knew they would likely be in the position of drafting and developing a successor to Eli Manning during the tenure of whoever they hired to replace Ben McAdoo, and Shurmur’s background made him seem perfectly-suited for the job of grooming the franchise’s next quarterback.
The euphoria of the back-to-back victories in Jones’ first two starts is long gone. Yet, aside from the six straight losses and the 13 fumbles so far this season, there has been much to feel good about from the play of Jones.
The rookie has thrown four touchdown passes in two of his last three games. He has completed 63 percent of his passes. He has only thrown two interceptions in his last four games. He has shown toughness, and both the ability and the willingness to use his legs to make plays.
Forcing him to start over with a new head coach who was not part of selecting him is a situation the Giants likely hope to avoid. Jones can help ensure that doesn’t happen to continuing to play well, by showing some progress with ball security and pocket awareness, and perhaps by leading the Giants to a few victories over the final six games.
Jones was asked on Tuesday how Shurmur has helped him in his adjustment to the NFL.
“I think Coach Shurmur has done a ton for me in my growth and development. He’s obviously seen a lot. He’s been around football for a long time, so I think that, to me, helps just kind of hearing his experience, hearing his understanding,” Jones said. “I think he’s been extremely patient with me and supportive of me. I’ve been up and down, I’ve played well at times and not so well at times. He’s continued to support me and continued to coach me hard and give me the points of emphasis or the things that I need to be looking at closer. I think that’s been a huge help for me.
“Like I said, his experience coaching quarterbacks, his experience coaching offense has been awesome for me. Just his support and patience with me, helping me grow and learn from my mistakes has been really big for me.”
Continued development from Jones would go a long way toward Shurmur returning in 2020. Let’s see if the rookie can help out his coach.