Our good friends at the SB Nation flagship have listed Pat Shurmur of the New York Giants as one of the six most fireable NFL coaches heading into the 2019 season.
I beg to differ.
In my view, unless things unexpectedly go Ben McAdoo-level sideways for the Giants this season, Shurmur has at least a two-year window to show whether or not he is the right guy to be leading the Giants.
I will get to why in a second. First, here is what SB Nation’s Christian D’Andrea wrote about the Giants head coach:
Shurmur is stuck in no-man’s land. His Giants are rebuilding in 2019, and he’ll almost certainly finish the year with his second straight losing record. With Eli Manning inching toward retirement, jettisoning a coach who’s low on victories could be the first step in restoring the team’s identity.
The former Browns head coach (and interim Eagles HC) went 5-11 last fall, then saw some of the best players from that team depart this offseason. Odell Beckham Jr. and Olivier Vernon were both traded to the Browns. Landon Collins escaped in free agency. Now Shurmur has to hope additions like Golden Tate (who will miss the first four games of the season due to a PED suspension), Kevin Zeitler, Jabrill Peppers, and preseason all-star Daniel Jones can improve on last year’s lost season.
How does he save his job?: By making Daniel Jones look like the franchise’s savior.
Jones appeared worthy of 2019’s No. 6 overall pick through four good-to-great preseason performances. If he can live up to expectations as a rookie, he’ll cement Shurmur’s reputation as a quarterback’s best friend — and buy him some extra time in north Jersey.
In my view, the only thing D’Andrea gets correct here is that Shurmur future is tied directly to Jones.
Shurmur got the Giants’ job partially because of his success with quarterbacks. No one has gotten better play than Shurmur out of guys like Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, Brandon Weeden and Case Keeenum.
The Giants are not going to even consider moving on from Shurmur until they give the Shurmur-Jones relationship a full chance to succeed or fail. That, at minimum, is two years. At least, the way I see it.
This season, honestly, is almost a freebie for Shurmur. Unless, as we said before, McAdoo-level incompetence unexpectedly pops up. We don’t know how much Jones will play, or if he will play at all. No matter, this is a developmental year for the rookie from Duke.
Neither he nor Shurmur should be judged based on what happens in 2019. It’s why, if you either believe Shurmur will be fired or the Giants will draft Tua Tagovialoa or Justin Herbert in the 2020 NFL Draft I believe strongly you will be wrong.
I believe, honestly, that no matter what happens this season Jones is the Giants’ quarterback in 2020. I can’t see the No. 6 overall pick sitting any longer than that, especially as impressive as he has been.
I also believe it is completely unfair to judge him, or the coach charged with developing him, before we actually have a chance to see what Jones will turn into.