It is not official by any means, but indications are that the NY Giants will be hiring Pat Shurmur as their next Head Coach.
We have explained this on Twitter than it is a lot harder to tell about the candidacy of a Coordinator who is eyed for a HC position. The job responsibilities are completely different. For Shurmur, on the other hand, there is relevant experience to directly examine. Shurmur was the Cleveland Browns Head Coach in 2011 and 2012. When you look at the personnel from those teams, it is frankly an accomplishment to have won 9 games in total those 2 seasons. McCoy? Weeden? Throwing to Little? And rookie soon to be All-Pro substance abuser Josh Gordon. His Pro Bowlers were Josh Cribbs and (of course) Joe Thomas. The Browns have been skinny on talent for the last decade. They have run through 6 Head Coaches in that period of time. The takeaway from this observer is that you can put God (aka Belichick) through that cuisinart and I am pretty sure he won’t make it out in one piece.
In Colt McCoy’s 7 years in the NFL, Shurmur got half of this QB’s career completions out of him in 2011. Similarly, Shurmur got half of Weeden’s completions out of this QB’s 5 career years in 2012. That has to be the definition of a coach who has one arm tied behind his back.
Maybe Shurmur is better off for the experience. Maybe he is not. Maybe the Giants first choice, Matt Patricia, is the one who will be the next great coach. Perhaps the Giants got lucky with their 2nd (?) choice. We do not know. When I asked our analyst, Wonder, about the selection, he was unethusiastic. But we will give Shurmur, just like we give any first year head coach, the honeymoon. We won’t criticize. We had some lingering questions for McAdoo during Year 1 and when Year 2 came out, within the first 2 games it was apparent that the HC was in deep trouble. So let’s give Shurmur some time to work it out. As an Offensive mind, there is only one way to go from here, and that is up. Hopefully he has learned a few lessons about being a Head Coach and will be the better for it.
As far as skill in coaching, that resume is very strong. He was with Philadelphia as QB Coach for Donovan McNabb. He was Offensive Coordinator for Foles when he had his breakout/career year in 2013. That was the Year when Foles went to the Pro Bowl, putting together 27 TDs and 2 INTs. Shurmur was OC for the Rams when Sam Bradford was Rookie of the Year. The latest demonstration of his skill is the elevation of journeyman Case Keenum to NFC championship game QB for the Minnesota Vikings.
Once again, the rub is that being a Head Coach is different than being a QB coach or Offensive Coordinator. Here is an article written by Scouts.com after Shurmur’s 1st season in Cleveland. A mixed bag.
If the Giants draft a QB with the #2 overall pick in 2018, it will be great having Shurmur as his mentor. It will also be great to have his input in selection of the player, as Shurmur should know by now what he wants in his QB.
Summary: It is really hard to know everything about a man’s credentials for the Head Coaching position. 2 years as an NFL Head Coach would normally indicate the relevant track record to measure his qualifications, but Cleveland is one large asterisk. Let’s give Shurmur the benefit of the doubt and see how he does.