Pat Shurmur

Pat Shurmur On Eli Manning’s Status

Five months ago, Eli Manning accepted a benching that ended his historic start streak and triggered a massive shakeup within the organization. But even after getting his job back a week later, the 14-year veteran was still viewed as either a trade candidate or a lame duck, given the Giants’ rare draft real estate.

But Big Blue’s new power structure immediately said Manning wasn’t going anywhere, and their actions on draft weekend leave no clear succession plan from a 37-year-old quarterback who is coming off one of his worst seasons. Pat Shurmur reiterated the Giants believe in their starter, viewing Saquon Barkley‘s talent as too difficult to pass up despite Albert Breer of SI.com reporting the team did like Sam Darnold to an extent.

I don’t know what [taking Barkley] means for Eli,” Shurmur said, via Breer. “What it means for us organizationally is we picked the guy we thought was the best player in the draft. I believe in Eli. What I know is that Eli is going to be the very best Eli he can be, and we believe in him.”

Shurmur was reported to have preferred Josh Allen in a Giants war room that reportedly did not produce a definitive answer on which of the 2018 draft class’ top passing prospects was the best. That the team devoted its offseason to adding the draft’s top non-quarterback prospect and three new offensive linemen figures to help paint a better picture of where Manning’s at than what transpired last season leading an injury-ravaged Giants offense.

But Shurmur remains confident the Manning he studied on film from a shootout loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Eagles in December is one on which the franchise can still rely.

It came down to the last score,” Shurmur said, via Breer, of a game that saw Manning throw for 434 yards and three touchdowns despite being without Odell Beckham Jr. “It’s not one thing, it’s Eli over the course of time. And it’s gotten solidified now getting a chance to work with him. … [on film] I saw a guy that could still throw the ball. I could tell he was still operating the offense pretty well. I saw that he had command of the offense, and I saw all the elements you see when things don’t go well.

There were drops, missed blocks. I think everyone had their mistakes. Things tend to get magnified. But just as a player, you could see he could still drop back and throw the ball as well as anybody.”

New York has 2017 third-rounder Davis Webb and rookie fourth-round pick Kyle Lauletta behind Manning, but despite numerous calls for the Giants to draft a successor with their first top-five pick in 14 years, the team will attempt to groom the lesser-regarded prospects behind Manning for the time being. Two years remain on the starter’s contract.

No, I didn’t see the age,” Shurmur said of watching the 15th-year quarterback on film. “There’s no substitute for experience and he’s got it. So no, the age doesn’t bother me.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Did Not Have Consensus On Draft’s Top QB

The Giants were enamored with Saquon Barkley to the point they didn’t waste much time turning in their card. And the team is now prepared to enter the season without a surefire heir apparent behind Eli Manning.

It turns out, Big Blue’s brass didn’t appear to have a consensus among which of the quarterbacks they would take, with Paul Schwartz of the New York Post reporting different sects of the Giants’ decision-makers preferred three separate signal-callers. And they didn’t feel strongly enough about one of them to pull the trigger at No. 2.

Mostly, the Giants were down to Sam Darnold or Josh Allen, with some Josh Rosen support in the building as well. Schwartz reports there wasn’t much love for Baker Mayfield among the new-look Giants power structure.

If it were up to Pat Shurmur, Allen would have been the quarterback pick — had the franchise been leaning in that direction. Upside drew Shurmur to Allen. However, the Giants would have selected Bradley Chubb if Barkley wasn’t available, per Schwartz.

The Giants placed the same grade on Barkley and Chubb, but the Penn State running back was listed atop Chubb’s name on Big Blue’s board. They proceeded accordingly, and are “ecstatic,” Schwartz writes.

Additionally, Schwartz lists second-round pick Will Hernandez as a near-surefire starter at guard. Hernandez caught the Giants’ eye at the Senior Bowl, and one staffer told Schwartz the the team’s consensus was the UTEP lineman’s Combine performance would not have him available by the time New York’s second-round window opened. The Giants signed Patrick Omameh in free agency and still have returning starter John Jerry on the roster. And Schwartz adds that Lorenzo Carter could well get a strong push to start ahead of free agency addition Kareem Martin, the latter’s knowledge of James Bettcher’s system notwithstanding.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Giants’ Pat Shurmur Hire

A difference between how Pat Shurmur approached his Giants interview helped land him the job. The former Vikings OC conducted his Giants meeting in a fashion that left no doubt the Giants were his first choice, which is something, per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv, team management couldn’t see in Josh McDaniels or Matt Patricia.

While Vacchiano reports some in the Giants’ organization preferred the two Patriots coordinators to Shurmur “until the very end,” he notes Shurmur left “by far” the strongest first impression on the Giants of the candidates summoned. One of the reasons management was sold on Shurmur was his desire to land the Giants’ job was far more evident than the other finalists’. Vacchiano writes McDaniels appeared to be more interested in the Colts’ job because of Andrew Luck‘s presence, and Patricia’s Lions connection turned out to be very real.

Multiple sources informed Vacchiano that Shurmur was at one point viewed as the favorite in Arizona and that his personality would work better there, but the former Browns coach, per the Giants, was intent on securing the New York job.

Shurmur’s interview, one John Mara ranked as arguably the best he’s seen, resulted in him edging the New England assistants after they’d been viewed as previous favorites. Shurmur also made the strongest connection with Dave Gettleman of the six candidates interviewed, which is interesting given Steve Wilks‘ history with the new Giants GM. Vacchiano notes Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin did not see eye to eye on key components of the team in their final years together, with a specific disagreement involving the team’s offensive line approach, and adds Mara appeared to indicate Reese and Ben McAdoo weren’t meshing as well as they’d hoped to.

Mara indicated a head coach/GM partnership was critical here, and Shurmur — who made a point of saying how much stock he places in repairing the Giants’ offensive front — appears to be in stride with Gettleman at this point.

Mara previously said he wanted a head coach with previous experience leading a team, and Vacchiano reports Shurmur was “much more willing” to accept his wrongdoings from his first job (with the 2011-12 Browns) than McDaniels (fired midway through his second Broncos season in 2010) was. Shurmur made clear he will hire an offensive coordinator, identifying that as a mistake from his first Cleveland campaign. The Giants ultimately ruled out Wilks because of his lack of experience.

Shurmur also spoke with Eli Manning on the phone on Wednesday from the Senior Bowl and then sat down with the franchise passer in the Giants’ cafeteria on Friday, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post reports. Considering Gettleman’s praise for Manning, and what Shurmur offered about the quarterback’s future at his press conference, it’s starting to look like a strong bet he will be back in New York for his age-37 season.

Schwartz writes Shurmur’s approach with Manning differs from Coughlin’s with Kerry Collins, whom the Giants replaced with Manning in 2004. Coughlin ignored Collins when they saw each other at the facility during the months his and Collins’ tenures overlapped in ’04, Schwartz recalls.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Rumors: Shurmur, Callahan, Staff

Pat Shurmur will be calling plays for the Giants in his first season as head coach, Dave Gettleman said this week from the Senior Bowl (via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post, on Twitter). This will mark the second time Shumur’s gone this route. He called plays for the 2011 Browns, but the offense ranked 29th. Additionally, Shurmur is not guaranteed to hire an offensive coordinator, Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com notes. While Shurmur did not hire a non-play-calling OC in his first year with the Browns, he did bring Brad Childress aboard in 2012. Shurmur also functioned as a game plan-centric OC with the Eagles under Chip Kelly from 2013-15, indicating he may value the job.

Here’s the latest from Giants headquarters:

  • While he might not hire an OC, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv notes Shurmur could opt to give an assistant a dual role of OC and quarterbacks coach. The Giants have recently dismissed Lions QBs coach Brian Callahan on their radar for this potential position, Vacchiano reports. Callahan is an in-demand name, however. He interviewed for the Titans’ OC job and is slated to meet with the Raiders and Jets about the respective teams’ QBs-coaching jobs.
  • Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski is set to interview for Shurmur’s old post next week, but Albert Breer of SI.com notes rumblings emerged of Shurmur bringing Stefanski to New York with him. Breer tabs Stefanski as a rising star, and the 35-year-old Vikings staffer worked as their assistant QBs coach from 2009-13 before taking over as head QBs instructor this past season. He may have a decision to make soon since the Vikings’ offensive staff has splintered following their NFC title game loss.
  • Harold Goodwin looks set to lose his Cardinals OC job. Reports circulated indicating Mike McCoy will join Steve Wilks‘ staff, but Goodwin could have a landing spot in New York. Vacchiano notes Goodwin could be a candidate for both the Giants’ or Jets‘ offensive line coaching jobs, illustrating the Todd Bowles/Goodwin Arizona connection as a possible Jets pipeline. With Gettleman pointing out how far Big Blue has to go to repair its front, this will be a pivotal hire.
  • The Giants did make some additional assistant hires on Thursday, organizing their defensive position groups’ hierarchies. Gary Emanuel will preside over the Giants’ defensive line, Bill McGovern will stay on to coach linebackers and Lou Anarumo will oversee the defensive backs, Alex Marvez of the Sporting News tweets. Anthony Blevins will also become the Giants’ assistant special teams coach after serving in that role with the Cardinals last season, per Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com (on Twitter). McGovern coached Big Blue’s ‘backers under Ben McAdoo for the past two years. Emanuel coached the Colts’ D-line during all six of Chuck Pagano‘s years in Indianapolis, and Anarumo instructed the Dolphins’ DBs during the same time period. Anarumo also served as Miami’s interim defensive coordinator for part of 2015.
  • James Bettcher has only worked with 3-4 defenses, and the Giants have played a 4-3 look for ages. But Vacchiano doesn’t think it would mark that big of an adjustment. He writes that Olivier Vernon may be a good fit as a stand-up outside rusher. Damon Harrison would make sense as a 3-4 nose, given that he played there with the Jets. Vacchiano adds that the Giants may have to overhaul their linebacking corps to make that switch — which isn’t certain yet — work.

More On The Latest Coaching Hires

The Giants officially hired former Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur to be the team’s next head coach earlier today, and Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com offered his breakdown of why Shurmur was selected out of the field of six candidates.

Raanan notes that while the Giants did consider coaches with without head coaching experience, general manager Dave Gettleman made it a point that he wanted someone who has held the position before and could bring coordinator experience to the team, which is two criteria Shurmur clearly checks off. He also notes that Gettleman mentioned in his own statement about the hire that the job seemed like it was “not too big” for Shumur, which speaks to Gettleman’s want to bring in somebody that has been lead positions in football for a long while.

Raanan also passes along a ringing endorsement from Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, who’s Shurmur coached for the past two seasons.

“He’s one of the best coaches I’ve ever played for,” said Rudolph. “He’s a guy I had the pleasure of working with in the tight end room before he took over as offensive coordinator halfway through the year, and then working with him day in and day out this year, the way he’s led the offense and took us — even though we faced the adversity [of] losing another starting quarterback, another starting running back — he carried us all the way to a top-10 offense.

It’s not a surprise that Shurmur got the job considering the reports that have been coming out over the past week and with the original criteria that the Giants front office was looking for, it appears that they have hired the type of guy they wanted for the job when they began their search for their next head coach.

Here’s a few more notes from today’s coaching news:

  • Mike Vrabel is well known for his days as a Patriots linebacker, but he now enters the biggest challenge of his post-playing days as the new head coach of the Titans. In today’s introductory press conference, Vrabel touched on many things he intends to do now that he is the leader of a team and coaching staff, reports Terry McCormick of Titans Insider. The first-time head coach stated that he doesn’t “want to put a timetable on it because I want the right guys”. This comes in accordance with the reported front runner for the team’s offensive coordinator position, Ryan Daywill not be hired. Speaking of offense, Vrabel noted that even with the team wanting to properly develop Marcus Mariota, he intends to have a strong ground game to compliment him, but not to the team’s detriment. “I think that we’re going to run the football,” said the head coach. “We’re going to run it from the quarterback being under center, we’re going to run it from the quarterback being in gun,” Vrabel said. “We’re going to give Marcus (Mariota) some easy access throws, whether that be RPOs or run reliefs. We’re not going to run it into eight or nine guys, we’re not going to be silly. I believe in screens, I believe in play action, things that he does well.” Overall, Vrabel wants to establish a “Titans Way” brand of football that the team can point to year in and year out. “I think to get a ‘Way,’ you have to win. You have to be able to win championships before people start giving you ‘Ways’ to do things. That will be our ultimate goal, but I talked about how our players are going to be prepared,” Vrabel said. “They’re going to play fast and aggressive, and that’s what I believe in. Until we can win a championship doing that, then there’s not going to be this ‘Titans Way.’ That will be talked about in the building, but people from outside the building, they won’t believe in us, they won’t have faith in us until you win.”
  • The Cardinals head coaching search ended in the hiring of former Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks being named to the position this afternoon. Wilks has a difficult job in succeeding Bruce Arians, but Kent Somers of AZCentral believes that he will bring a “stead, firm hand” to the Cardinals organization. Somers notes that former players have lauded him for him for his ability to tell it straight and stay mentally tough in difficult situations. Veteran safety Eric Weddle, told Somers that, “The way we worked, the accountability. He stood tall among the big personalities. He didn’t bow down.” The search lasted Arizona’s front office three weeks, the longest of any team in the NFL. While Wilks doesn’t bring a high level of coordinator or head coach experience, he has made a mark on many of the players that he’s coached along the way, including retired cornerback Antoine Cason“I think he is a hell of a coach,” Cason said. “He was the type of guy you just knew was going to be a head coach.” 

Giants Officially Hire Pat Shurmur

It’s been an open secret for about a week, but now that the Vikings are eliminated from the postseason, the Giants have officially named Pat Shurmur to be their next head coach. The team will be signing him to a five-year contract, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).This will be Shumur’s second stint as a head coach after he led the Browns from 2011-12.

Pat Shurmur (vertical)

“We are pleased to welcome Pat to our organization and look forward to the leadership he will provide for our team,” said owner John Mara and vice president Steve Tisch. “He has an outstanding track record in developing young players, and it is clear his players respond to his guidance and direction. We interviewed six talented and qualified candidates, and we feel like Pat, with his vision and experience, is the right person to lead our team.”

Shumur is entering the Giants organization after a very successful 2017 season as the Vikings offensive coordinator. He dealt with injuries to his top quarterback and running back, but maintained an offense that ranked 11th in total yards. Shurmur got the job after he took over an an interim basis in 2016 after originally being hired as the team’s tight ends coach. Prior to his few seasons in Minnesota, Shurmur worked as the Eagles offensive coordinator from 2013-15 after he was fired from his job with the Browns. After fighting back to being considered for another had coach position, Shurmur expressed that he is excited to start building a winner in New York.

“I am looking forward to getting to work with Dave Gettleman and Kevin Abrams and starting the process to once again build a championship team,” said Shurmur. “I have been fortunate to work with many great coaches and players, and I am thankful for those relationships. I would like to thank my family and friends for their tremendous support.”

It was mentioned early in the search that new general manager Dave Gettleman preferred for his hire to have previous head coaching experience, and it seems that he got exactly what he was looking for in the 52-year-old coach.

“I can’t wait to start working with Pat,” said Gettleman. “I know he will provide the type of leadership we need to take our team back to where it belongs. I have followed Pat’s career for many years, and he has had great success wherever he has been. What struck me during our conversation is that being the head coach of the New York Giants is not too big for him. He is made for this moment and this opportunity.”

Now that Shurmur is officially in place, he’ll have a number of challenges entering the offseason. This includes gaining control of a fractured locker room, addressing the quarterback situation and starting to build a team that can get back to playing like a playoff caliber squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dave Gettleman Wants Eli Manning To Stay

Just as they were 14 years ago, the Giants are in a position to select another potential franchise quarterback with their first-round pick. However, the new GM isn’t ready to abandon the incumbent just yet.

Dave Gettleman wants Eli Manning to stay with the Giants this coming season and be the 2018 starter, Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com reports. The two had a meeting Gettleman described as “great” earlier this week, and Manning confirmed as such to ESPN.

Pat Shurmur will have a major say in the franchise’s choice here, and the man tabbed as the next Giants HC offered a favorable impression of Manning in his interview, Mortensen reports. However, Gettleman explained to Manning during the powwow the team has yet to fully dig in on the 2018 draft class or come to a consensus on Davis Webb.

Manning has said all along he would like to be a Giant through the conclusion of his career, and he reaffirmed his desire to remain with the team in 2018 — regardless of what Big Blue does with its No. 2 overall pick. That selection is expected to be used on a quarterback.

The Giants ended Manning’s historic start streak this season but botched the handling of the benching so badly it ended the tenures of Jerry Reese and Ben McAdoo early. Gettleman was a high-level Giants executive during both of the Super Bowl runs Manning piloted and was also around when Ernie Accorsi made the deal with the Chargers to acquire Manning in 2004. Accorsi jettisoned previous starter Kerry Collins quickly but added Kurt Warner as a stopgap.

Manning would likely be the stopgap in the upcoming scenario, but Mortensen notes the 37-year-old passer is confident enough in his abilities to compete with whoever the Giants choose at No. 2 — if they, in fact, select a quarterback. Gettleman told Manning during the meeting he wants the team to make a bigger commitment to fortifying its offensive line, which is an area the Giants have struggled mightily with the past two seasons.

Probably the best quarterback in this franchise’s storied history, Manning is under contract through the 2019 season. He’s set to count at $22.2MM and $23.2MM against the Giants’ next two salary caps. While the Giants could fit a rookie signal-caller’s contract on their payroll, they have several other needs that may be difficult to fill if they still have Manning’s salary on the books.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jack Del Rio Frontrunner For Giants’ DC Job?

Fired less than a year after signing a lengthy extension, Jack Del Rio looks to have an offer to get right back into high-profile coaching.

Pat Shurmur is interested in the former Raiders head coach to run his defense once he lands with the Giants, Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com reports. Del Rio is a leading candidate for a position that, as of now, has no other known external candidates. Mortensen describes Shurmur as having Del Rio high on his prospective candidate list.

The Giants are expected to hire Shurmur as their next head coach but still plan to interview him a second time, Mortensen reports.

Any Del Rio deal would be offset against his Raiders contract, which will average $6MM annually for the next three years, per Mortensen.

While there are no known external candidates, interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo interviewed for the Giants’ HC post and has worked with Shurmur in the past. Shurmur served as Spagnuolo’s offensive coordinator in St. Louis from 2009-10. The Giants and Shurmur both think highly of the longtime DC, Tom Rock of Newsday notes.

While the Giants have lost several of their assistants to jobs elsewhere, much of the team’s defensive staff remains on board. Although, Shurmur could certainly have names in mind to replace the incumbents.

Del Rio’s Raiders defenses weren’t particularly imposing, but he fielded multiple top-five units with the Broncos (in 2012 and ’14). And both of Del Rio’s playoff teams in Jacksonville (2005 and ’07) fielded top-10 scoring defenses before the Jags began to deteriorate in his later years.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Expected To Offer Pat Shurmur HC Job

A day after Pat Shurmur‘s Vikings offense orchestrated one of the most improbable plays in NFL history, he’s in line to become the next Giants head coach.

CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora and NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter link) report the Giants are expected to offer Shurmur their HC position. He plans to accept once offered, Rapoport reports. La Canfora also reports this hire is expected to happen.

The 52-year-old Shurmur has been in contention for the Cardinals’ top coaching job, with SNY.tv’s Ralph Vacchiano reporting he was viewed as the favorite for that position. Should Shurmur be on his way to New York once the Vikings’ season concludes, the Cardinals will have to move on to their second choice.

Shurmur and Josh McDaniels were the finalists for Big Blue’s HC gig as of Monday morning, but with McDaniels remaining pointed toward the Colts, Shurmur rose to the forefront.

This would be Shurmur’s second head-coaching role. He coached the Browns from 2011-12, and although he won just nine games in Cleveland, the infrastructure he’d be walking into with the Giants would be better than the one he encountered with the Browns.

The Vikings have rocketed to the NFC championship game after missing the playoffs last season, landing in the NFL’s final four for the first time since the 2009 season. And unlike the Eagles, who have only had to rely on a backup quarterback since December, the Vikings have needed Case Keenum to come through for most of the season. The Vikings’ defense has powered this Super Bowl opportunity, but Keenum has taken a major step forward under Shurmur. Minnesota’s offense finished the regular season as the No. 5 DVOA attack.

The Giants had Shurmur, McDaniels and Matt Patricia in their final three. But the Patriots coordinators are set to land in Indianapolis and Detroit, respectively, in all likelihood.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Down To Shurmur, McDaniels?

And then there were two. Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels are the finalists for the Giants’ head coaching position, according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press (on Twitter). Pat Shurmur (vertical)

It appears that McDaniels is now a leading candidate for three different head coaching vacancies. Over the weekend, it was reported that he is set to take the Colts’ head coaching job. However, the Titans parted ways with Mike Mularkey on Monday morning, leading to speculation that McDaniels could be in play for Tennessee.

A Shurmur hire could be a popular one in the tri-state area, particularly after he called the game-winning play in Sunday’s thrilling win over the Saints. If he is indeed the next head coach of the Giants, however, fans could be waiting until February for that to be made official. If Shurmur and the Vikings get past the Eagles on Sunday, they’ll be Super Bowl bound.

Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks was said to still be in the running for the Giants’ job, but it appears that is no longer the case. Meanwhile, Shurmur was believed to be a leading candidate for the Cardinals’ vacancy, so they may have to shift their focus elsewhere.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.