Pat Shurmur

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.

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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.

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East Notes: McDaniels, Patriots, Z. Jones

Two of the Giants‘ top choices for their head coaching vacancy, Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia, are reportedly set to accept jobs elsewhere. Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, however, says that Big Blue fans should not count out McDaniels just yet. One team source says the Giants have not been informed that McDaniels is out of the mix, and while it has been reported that McDaniels wants more control over personnel than New York is willing to allow, the team feels it can resolve that issue.

Nonetheless, Vacchiano concedes that Patricia is off the table, and if McDaniels does indeed take the Colts’ job, that leaves the Giants with Pat Shurmur and Steve Wilks as their top remaining targets. But Vacchiano says Shurmur appears to prefer the Cardinals’ gig, and Arizona is apparently prepared to offer it to him. So it appears that things may be coming full circle, with Wilks looking increasingly like New York’s next head coach.

Now let’s take a look at more notes out of the east:

  • Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link) reports that Patriots owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick, and quarterback Tom Brady will meet this offseason to clear the air and to resolve whatever tensions exist among themselves. While reports of discord within the organization were likely overblown, Rapoport says there is indeed some tension within the triumvirate, and since Belichick and Brady are not going anywhere until they choose to leave, it makes sense that the three men would want to hash out their issues.
  • Bills WR Zay Jones reportedly played his rookie campaign with a torn labrum, and his father, former NFL linebacker Robert Jones, told Robert Quinn of the Bills Wire that his son will have surgery on Tuesday to repair the injury. Zay Jones finished the 2017 season with 27 catches for 316 yards and two touchdowns.
  • The Dolphins will not retain defensive line coach Terrell Williams, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Williams coached the team’s D-line for the past three seasons, and his unit experienced mixed results in 2017. Jackson adds that former offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen has indeed been reassigned to a new role within the organization, as was expected after Miami hired Dowell Loggains as its new OC earlier this month.

Latest On Giants’, Cardinals’ HC Searches

As of Friday evening, the Giants were reportedly down to three finalists in their search for a new head coach: Josh McDaniels, Matt Patricia, and Pat Shurmur. This morning, however, we learned that McDaniels is expected to become the Colts’ next head coach, and Patricia is expected to take the Lions’ top job. Logic would therefore dictate that the Giants will do everything in their power to bring Shurmur on board as soon as possible (which could be tonight if Shumur’s Vikings fall to the Saints).

Pat Shurmur (vertical)

Indeed, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that, if Minnesota loses tonight, New York could move quickly on Shurmur, whose potential staff is already in place. But Big Blue could have competition, as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets that the Cardinals will also pounce on Shurmur if he becomes available this evening.

As La Canfora notes, Giants brass follows the letter of the law when it comes to rules concerning the hiring of head coaches whose teams are still in the playoffs, which makes it difficult to pin down New York’s true top choice (Twitter links). After all, Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks is still very much in the running for the Giants’ job, per Rapoport, who adds (via Twitter) that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin called the Giants last week to make a case for Wilks, who would be the first minority head coach in franchise history.

If they do not land Shurmur, the Giants could also circle back to Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who at one point was rumored to be the team’s top option. Paul Schwartz of the New York Post names Steelers’ offensive line coach Mike Munchak — who has also interviewed with the Cardinals — as a potential dark horse candidate for the Giants’ job.

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NFC Notes: Vikings, Cards, Packers, 49ers

For the first time all season, the Vikings will have all three of their quarterbacks healthy when they host New Orleans on Sunday. Even with the return of Sam Bradford and the health of Teddy Bridgewater, Case Keenum “is the guy” reports Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.

This should come as no surprise, as Keenum has been among the league’s top signal-callers since taking over for Bradford early in the season. The question, however, will be if the team wants to have all three suit up on Sunday. Florio’s sources say that won’t be determined until right before kickoff. Florio thinks untimely concussion evaluations could play into the decision.

Regardless of the decision, Keenum will have as long a leash as possible as the starter. The sixth-year quarterback enjoyed a breakout campaign, throwing for 3,547 yards and 22 touchdowns while posting a stellar 98.3 passer rating. It is unknown at this time if Bradford will leapfrog Bridgewater for the backup role.

Here is more from around the NFC:

  • Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur is the perfect candidate for the Cardinals head-coaching vacancy, AZ Central’s Dan Bickley writes. Bickley notes Shurmur’s ability to get the most out of his quarterback as the underlying factor. He also thinks the hiring of Shurmur would ensure the return of Larry Fitzgerald. The hiring, however, would go in opposition to former head coach Bruce Arians’ wishes that defensive coordinator James Bettcher get the job.
  • Packers head coach Mike McCarthy reportedly met with team president and CEO Mark Murphy and expressed concerns Russ Ball wouldn’t be aggressive in free agency, USA Today’s Pete Dougherty reports. The meeting in theory caused Murphy to not promote Ball to general manager after Ted Thompson left the spot. Dougherty has doubts that the meeting had any impact on the situation. He also laid out another theory that Murphy preferred Brian Gutekunst all along for the job.
  • There is confidence on both sides that the 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo will strike a deal, NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco writes. If the sides don’t reach an agreement, it’s almost a guarantee that the quarterback will be franchised. After leading the Niners to wins in each of his first five starts, Jimmy G is a safe bet to be the QB in San Francisco for a long time.

Latest On The Giants’ HC Search

The Giants have interviewed six candidates for their vacant head coach position and could start to be moving more quickly on completing their search in the next week. Of the six coaches they’ve interviewed, it appears that Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and Patriots’ coordinators Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia are the favorites to land the position, according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.

Pat Shurmur (vertical)

All three candidates have garnered interest from around football and should either the Patriots or Vikings be eliminated from the playoffs this weekend, Vacchiano thinks that the “Giants could have a new coach in place by next week”. If both teams take care of business at home in the Divisional Round, the process will likely extend another two weeks as the Giants management tries to figure out a way to get one last meeting with their top choice, whoever that may be.

Shurmur and McDaniels look like natural fits for the job as they have an offensive background and previous head coaching experience. The team has been rumored to want experience in whoever they hire and could also want someone who has the ability to get the most out of a young quarterback, should they choose to draft either Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen with the number two overall selection in April’s draft. However, Patricia clearly impressed in his initial interview enough to have the Giants move away from their original checklist.

In a wrinkle to Vacchiano’s story, there could be another sleeper candidate lurking behind the scenes, reports Tom Rock and Bob Glauber of Newsday. A source told the writers that should all three candidates land other positions with the likes of Arizona, Detroit and Indianapolis, the team has a backup plan. While no names were given for who that prospective fourth coach could be, Rock and Glauber speculated that defensive coordinators Steve Wilks and Jim Schwartz could be options as well as Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, who was passed over for the Bears head coaching gig.

New York has officially interviewed McDaniels, Patricia, Shurmur, Wilks, Steve Spagnuolo and Eric Studesville. They could also eventually interview Schwartz, even though his previously scheduled interview has been put on hold.

 

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Steve Wilks No Longer In Running For Giants’ Job?

The full assortment of Giants decision-makers only attended the Steve Wilks HC interview earlier this week, with co-owner Steve Tisch joining Big Blue brass in meeting with the Panthers’ DC. But Wilks may have to concentrate on other options going forward.

The Giants are believed to be down to three finalists for their top coaching job: Vikings OC Pat Shurmur and Patriots coordinators Matt Patricia and Josh McDaniels. Wilks did not make the cut after the first round of meetings, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post reports.

Each of these coaches are preparing for divisional-round games, so the Giants look to be willing to wait to make their hire. Patricia is said to prefer the Giants to the Lions, who were once reported to have zeroed in on Patricia as the favorite to land their job. McDaniels might be a better bet to become the next Colts coach as well; he interviewed for both Indianapolis and New York’s HC vacancies. The Cardinals are also in on Shurmur.

An unofficial agreement could be reached between the Giants and one of these candidates, a la the 49ers’ process with Kyle Shanahan, but New York must wait until the Vikings or Patriots is eliminated to make an official hire.

Schwartz notes the Giants believe McDaniels would work well with their next quarterback, or with Eli Manning, and the team may view Shurmur as the most well-rounded candidate. The New York-based reporter adds the Giants are also concerned McDaniels might still not be ready, considering what happened the first time he was a head coach, and might not be comfortable with a strong GM presence. The Giants are also unsure, per Schwartz, Patricia brings the “CEO-type” leadership Dave Gettleman covets in an HC.

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Coaching Rumors: Broncos, Giants, Cowboys

The Broncos have made an interesting set of choices in replacing fired offensive line coach Jeff Davidson, as the club announced that Sean Kugler has been hired as offensive line coach-guards/centers, while Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post reports that Chris Strausser — who spent the 2017 campaign as Denver’s assistant OL coach — will tutor the Broncos’ tackles (Twitter link). It’s a compelling set of hires, as hiring a combination of coaches to lead separate parts of one position unit is something that usually occurs on the defensive side of the ball (safeties/cornerbacks, outside/inside linebackers). Elsewhere on the Denver staff, former interim quarterbacks coach Klint Kubiak is considered a candidate to become the the Broncos’ next wide receivers coach, tweets Mike Klis of 9News.

Here’s more on the 2018 hiring cycle:

  • Former Broncos assistant head coach/running backs Eric Studesville was scheduled to interview for the Giants‘ head coaching vacancy over the weekend, but weather-related concerns forced that meeting to be pushed back. Instead, New York will interview Studesville on Tuesday, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. Studesville, who had been employed in Denver since 2010, was fired earlier this week. While he’s never been a head coach, the 50-year-old Studesville did serve as an interim HC during the 2010 campaign.
  • While the Raiders reportedly have interest in adding Cowboys running backs Gary Brown to Jon Gruden‘s staff, Dallas wants to keep Brown — who is a coaching free agent — as well, per David Moore of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). Brown, who enjoyed a nine-year career as an NFL running back, first entered the coaching ranks with Cleveland in 2009. Oakland has been aggressive in hiring staffers under Gruden, as it’s agreed to bring in Greg Olson as offensive coordinator and Paul Guenther as defensive coordinator.
  • If Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur lands a head coaching gig in the coming weeks, he’s expected to bring Panthers quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey along with him, tweets Alex Marvez of the Sporting News. Dorsey, 36, has spent his entire post-playing career in Carolina, first as a pro scout and now as QBs coach. He interviewed for the Bills’ offensive coordinator position in 2017, but Buffalo ultimately hired Rick Dennison.
  • The Bengals will interview Baylor wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell for the same position in Cincinnati, according to Marvez (Twitter link). Bicknell coached in the NFL from 2008-16, most recently with the 49ers, and interviewed with Chicago last offseason. Cincinnati, meanwhile, lost WRs coach James Urban to the division-rival Ravens.

Pat Shurmur Could Bring Case Keenum If Hired As HC

Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur is one of the more sought-after head coaching candidates this year, and as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com writes, one of the reasons for that is that he could bring current Vikings QB Case Keenum with him.

Case Keenum (vertical)

Shurmur has interviewed with four different clubs already, and two of those teams — the Cardinals and Giants — could be classified as “quarterback-needy.” Keenum, of course, is one of this season’s feel-good stories, stepping in for the injured Sam Bradford to lead Minnesota to a first-round bye. He is 11-3 as a starter this season, completing 67.6% of his passes, throwing for 22 touchdowns against just seven interceptions, and posting a 98.3 quarterback rating in the process.

Luckily for Keenum, and for teams in search for a quarterback, the Houston product will become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. As Schefter writes, Keenum and Shurmur have developed a close working relationship and think very highly of each other, leading league sources to believe that the two men could depart Minnesota as a package deal.

The Vikings will take on the winner of today’s Saints-Panthers matchup next week.

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Latest On Giants’ Coaching Search

Once thought to be the Giants’ No. 1 candidate, Jim Schwartz looks like he will be a bit behind in Big Blue’s search.

The Eagles’ DC received an interview request, but the sides have yet to schedule said summit, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). If nothing transpires by Sunday, the Giants will have to wait until the Eagles are eliminated to meet with Schwartz. Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com notes (on Twitter) the Giants don’t have a Sunday interview scheduled; he labels Schwartz as being on the back-burner.

While waiting hasn’t been a deal-breaker for some teams in the past, the Giants and Schwartz — attached in rumors for weeks — not conducting an interview before he prepares for Philadelphia’s divisional-round game could cause the team to pivot away from the former Lions boss. The Eagles are not a highly regarded No. 1 seed presently, but in a hotly contested coaching market that’s seen three Giants interviewees also take meetings elsewhere, the team could opt to move forward with other candidates to stave off competitors. Schwartz has met with the Cardinals about their HC vacancy.

Big Blue has already met with Steve Spagnuolo, Josh McDaniels, Matt Patricia and Pat Shurmur, whom Raanan notes (on Twitter) interviewed Saturday. The Giants still plan to meet with both Eric Studesville and Steve Wilks early next week, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv tweets. The Carolina DC would be eligible to meet with New York’s representatives after the Panthers-Saints game, whether his team wins or loses.

Dave Gettleman, John Mara and assistant GM Kevin Abrams are meeting with the HC candidates, per Vacchiano (on Twitter), who adds co-owner Steve Tisch will meet with candidates as the team moves closer to a final decision.