Vikings Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur is expected to be named the new head coach of the New York Giants, and the 20th head coach in the team’s history. Shurmur’s work with the Vikings offense, and especially Case Keenum, is the driving force behind his rising star in the NFL world over the last year. What some people may not know is his past success with other QB’s such as Donovan McNabb, Sam Bradford, and Nick Foles.
Shurmur became the Eagles’ QB coach in 2002, holding that position until 2008. In that Time, he worked closely with Donovan McNabb, who holds nearly every passing record in the franchise’s history. After his time in Philadelphia, Shurmur was hired by none other than Steve Spagnuolo to become the Offensive Coordinator for the St. Louis Rams. While with the Rams, Shurmur coached up rookie Sam Bradford, who won Rookie of the Year in 2010, success he has not repeated in his career, until he reunited with Shurmur again in Minnesota. Shurmur’s coaching abilities on the offensive side of the ball were no longer in doubt, and his name was beginning to be mentioned as a top head coaching candidate during the winter of 2010-2011.
Then came his time with the Cleveland Browns, the NFL’s black hole for coaches and players for nearly two decades. Despite going 9-23 over two seasons, there was at least one silver lining during his time with the Browns, that being Colt McCoy of all people. During the 2011 season, Colt McCoy threw for 2,733 yards and 14 Touchdowns in 13 games, which is not that good, but when you consider that McCoy is not very good, then it makes Shurmur look like he got the best out of the below-average pieces he had in Cleveland. Once again, Pat Shurmur showed his coaching abilities at least with Quarterbacks and offense.
Pat Shurmur would then go back to Philadelphia for the 2013 season, where he worked with Chip Kelly, and Nick Foles. The team set a number of franchise records for offense, and Nick Foles looked like he was the next big thing, posting a rating of 119.2, and throwing 27 TD passes and only 2 interceptions. If you think that Pat Shurmur is not an excellent offensive coach, then you need to go look at Foles’ stats since that amazing season. As the Chip Kelly era became to look more like the Chip Kelly error, Pat Shurmur semed like a good internal candidate to replace the former Oregon coach. He was named interim head coach for the final week of 2015, and won his only game. He was a candidate until the final stages, when Doug Pederson beat him out.
Shurmur’s next stop was in Minnesota, where he was the Tight End’s coach for the 2016 season, until Norv Turner resigned in November of 2016. Since then, Shurmur has orchestrated formidable offenses in Minnesota with names such as Sam Bradford and Case Keenum, and without the aid of Adrian Peterson, who was the Vikings offense for about a decade, until injuries and a release ended his run.
Now Pat Shurmur has another opportunity to be a head coach, and this job will be in New York, not Cleveland. The Giants have a brighter future than the Browns, but then again who doesn’t? New York also has good pieces on offense, such as Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, and of course Odell Beckham. They also have good players on defense, such as Olivier Vernon, Jason Pierre-Paul, Damon Harrison, and a secondary that includes Landon Collins and Janoris Jenkins. Their defensive coordinator is Steve Spagnuolo, who worked with Shurmur in St. Louis, so there is familiarity there. Spagnuolo has been criticized by some because the defense was poor this season, but they were a top unit just a year ago, and much of their woes can be attributed to always being out on the field due to poor offensive play, and a number of injuries and a bad locker room. Steve Spagnuolo is a proven defensive coach, and if he is kept around, there is little reason to doubt the defense’s return to form in 2018.
This is a team that was 11-5 just a season ago, and even though they fell to 3-13, there is reason for hope. They hired a proven GM in Dave Gettleman, who established a good culture down in Carolina for a number of years. He also worked for the Giants previously, and is a well respected man in the NFL. Now with the likely hire of Pat Shurmur, it looks as though things are shaping up.
Their biggest concern right now is the future of the QB position. They could possibly acquire one in free agency, with names like Kirk Cousins or Case Keenum, but that does not seem likely. They could draft a QB in a class that includes Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen, and decide to either start him right away, or develop him behind Eli Manning for a year or two. The Giants could also see what they have in Davis Webb, a draft pick from a year ago who did not play at all during their tumultuous 2017 season. Although there is some uncertainty, there is one thing you can be certain of: Pat Shurmur is the right man for the job, and the future of the QB position, and the New York Giants, is in good hands.