It is probably an understatement to say that Pat Shurmur did not succeed with the New York Giants, posting a 9-23 record in two seasons.
Yet, the Denver Broncos wasted no time in picking Shumur up as their new offensive coordinator shortly after the Giants fired him at the end of the 2019 season.
And now, in the wake of Mark Dantonio’s surprising resignation as head coach of Michigan State, Shurmur might have yet another job offer on the table at his alma mater where he played from 1983-87.
Dantonio leaves behind a complicated and layered legacy at MSU. He led the Spartans to the Rose Bowl in 2013, College Football Playoff in 2015 and three Big Ten title’s during his time at the helm but his teams finished No. 95 and No. 116 in total offense the past two years and posted a 14-12 record.
Dantonio will also be remembered for the scandals that plagued his tenure. There were multiple sexual assault charges against Michigan State in 2017 that resulted in four dismissals from the program. Then, on Tuesday, a former MSU staff member accused Dantonio of committing multiple NCAA violations, according to a report in The Detroit News.
Now, as Michigan State tries to find a new head coach, it is looking for someone who can not only lead the program back to football dominance, but also create a clean slate in terms of off-the-field drama. That’s where Shurmur comes in.
As we have noted by his record, Shurmur was not a successful head coach with the Giants and he did not fare much better with the Cleveland Browns in 2011-12, also posting the same abysmal 9-23 record.
But Shurmur was a part of some successful teams as an offensive coordinator. During his first year with the Minnesota Vikings, the team finished 8-8. During his second year in 2017, the Vikings advanced to the conference championship. The team finished in the top 10 in the league in points scored and 11th in yards.
Shurmur’s second year with the Vikings also proved that he knows how to get the best out of the quarterback position as he worked closely with then-Vikings QB Case Keenum. After taking over for Sam Bradford in Week 1, Keenum posted the best season of his NFL career, completing 67.6 percent of his passes (No. 2 among all QB’s), for 3,547 yards, 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions in the regular season.
Shurmur had a similarly successful experience when he was the offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles from 2013-15. Eagles quarterback Nick Foles had the best season of his career in 2013, recording a passer rating of 119.2, the third highest in NFL history. Foles also threw 27 touchdowns and just two interceptions.
Developing quarterbacks is arguably more important at the college level than in the pro’s and Shurmur brings hands-on NFL experience that would certainly attract recruits.
Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports! proposes Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell as the number one possibility but Shurmur ranks second on his list of potential hires. It remains to be seen if Shurmur has to pack his bags yet again and return to East Lansing.