Home / Sport / Giants expected to hire Vikings OC Pat Shurmur as head coach

Giants expected to hire Vikings OC Pat Shurmur as head coach


Pat Shurmur knows quarterbacks. And if he can resolve the Giants’ dilemma and oversee a successful transition at the NFL’s most important position, his imminent hiring as head coach one day easily could be remembered as a win.


In 2013, Shurmur’s first year as Chip Kelly’s offensive coordinator in Philadelphia, a second-year quarterback named Nick Foles (24 at the time) came out of nowhere to throw 27 touchdowns and two interceptions in 10 starts replacing injured starter Michael Vick.


Foles will start against Shurmur’s Vikings in Sunday night’s NFC Championship Game in the City of Brotherly Love.


This season, Shurmur’s first as Mike Zimmer’s offensive coordinator in Minnesota, journeyman QB Case Keenum, 29, on his third team in six years, blossomed from the third-string QB into an efficient machine for a 13-3 team: 3,547 passing yards, 67.6 completion percentage, 22 TDs and seven INTs in 14 starts.


Shurmur then was the conductor of Sunday night’s Miracle in Minnesota on a play he reportedly named “Seven Heaven” because when you complete a pass to the seven route (the deep corner) something heavenly happens. Sure enough, Keenum hit Stefon Diggs for a crazy 61-yard walk-off TD pass to send Minnesota onward.


Back in 2002 through 2008, Shurmur was in Donovan McNabb’s ear as Andy Reid’s quarterbacks coach when the Eagles went to four NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl in seven years.


And now in New York, once Shurmur takes over, he will have Eli Manning, 37, coming off the most difficult and disappointing season of his career with uncertainty hovering over his future with the team. He will have Davis Webb, a third-round pick drafted by the previous GM, developing and still waiting in the wings.


And perhaps most significantly, Shurmur likely will play a role in evaluating, choosing, grooming and playing a No. 2 overall quarterback selection in April to be Manning’s successor to lead the Giants into the future with promise.


Shurmur’s one stint as head coach in Cleveland (2011-12) didn’t work out, but in fairness, his top three Browns quarterbacks by games started were Brandon Weeden (15), Colt McCoy (13) and Seneca Wallace (three).


Here with the Giants, John Mara wants the team to start winning again right away. So that could mean doing what GM Dave Gettleman advocated upon his recent hiring: starting Manning in 2018, then going from there. But Manning’s play dipped in 2017 and Shurmur will have to juggle improving the Giants’ record in the present and also constructing a foundation that serves the franchise for the long term.

Pat Shurmur is reportedly the Giants’ man.

(Bruce Kluckhohn/AP)


That means having someone capable of throwing the ball to Odell Beckham Jr., who is seeking a long-term contract extension this offseason and who seemed excited by the news of Shurmur’s Giants destination Monday. “God really works in mysterious ways,” Beckham said in response to a headline on Shurmur. “Let the journey begin…I’m geeeked.”


Shurmur’s experience with quarterbacks therefore hopefully will help the Giants get the most out of what Manning has left. Or, if Shurmur feels they should play a young QB, they could trade Manning elsewhere and provide the most productive and drama-free framework for the young quarterback, be it Webb or a draft pick, to thrive.


Shurmur also reportedly has bonded strongly in Minnesota with Keenum, who turns 30 in February and is scheduled to hit free agency this offseason. Based on the Giants’ handling of Webb this season, it wouldn’t seem that signing Keenum, trading Manning and developing Webb as the future would be their first choice of plans. But the point is it would be another conversation to have with Shurmur on board.


The Giants are not allowed to hire Shurmur, by the way, until the Vikings are eliminated from the postseason. But on Monday, both CBS Sports and NFL Network reported that Shurmur is expected to become the Giants’ next head coach. And CBS Sports called Shurmur to the Giants “a virtual lock,” while NFL Network said Shurmur “is expected to accept the job when it is offered.”


The Giants have a lot problems other than quarterback to address, of course, but the fact is Mara and the Giants hired Gettleman to take care of the big picture: Rid the current roster of players who have poisoned the culture, improve the offensive line, and instill a pride and dignity back in the organization that has lost its way.


Shurmur must contribute on that front by being on the same page with Mara and Gettleman and winning over and keeping the locker room as Ben McAdoo ultimately failed to do.


He must be the “CEO” who can handle not just the offensive side of the ball that he knows but the daily, detailed grind of coaching an entire team. McAdoo was hired as the offensive brains and then when he became the head coach it turned out he had too much on his plate.


But Shurmur’s primary charge here, above all, will be to improve the offense and cure the conundrum that suddenly plagues the Giants at quarterback after almost 14 full years of certainty with Manning at helm.


If he can do that, then in five years no one will remember this as the offseason the Giants didn’t get New England coordinators Matt Patricia (Detroit Lions) and Josh McDaniels (Indianapolis Colts). Instead, January 2018 will be the month that the Giants pressed play on a new, promising day. 

Tags:
nfl
nfl transactions
new york giants
pat shurmur

Send a Letter to the Editor

Join the Conversation:
facebook
Tweet

Pat Leonard

About admin

Check Also

Trump for the defense: A U.S. President alibis for his Saudi ally

The story, according to Turkish officials and powerful emerging evidence: Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *