After a chaotic decline from Super Bowl 46 champions, the New York Giants have decided to scrap their leadership and head back to the drawing board. With a new general manager in office, the next step has been to zero-in on a new head coach. Their top pick is the Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.
Although Shurmur is on a current Super Bowl run, the Giants have basically secured him as their future head coach. Shurmur is undoubtedly what this franchise needs.
With a resume that includes a current miracle team, the Vikings, and glorified third-string quarterback Case Keenum, Shurmur screams growth and prosperity for a struggling Giants team. Not only has Shurmur redefined Keenum as a quarterback but he has rerouted the offensive line and created an impressive play-action, winning offense.
The future of the Giants lies within their ability to either improve a veteran player like Eli Manning or prepare to build a new quarterback leader from the number two pick in the 2018 NFL draft. The offensive line has been a continuous problem along with play-action calling, balancing the options of running backs and wide receivers. These are all situations Shurmur has intensive experience with.
The Quarterback Specialist
Shurmur started his quarterback improvement specialty with the Eagles’ Donovan McNabb in 2002, improving his rating from 77.4 percent to 89.5 percent. He did similar jobs with Sam Bradford, Nick Foles and now Keenum. Keenum was originally an undrafted player and the Vikings were his fourth team in six seasons. His QBR has sky-rocketed from 78.4 percent to 98.3 percent.
It’s not surprising that Shurmur has earned the NFL Assistant Coach of the Year award.
Although the Giants problems go deeper than their quarterback troubles, Shurmur remains a hopeful piece to their puzzle.
One major issue with the Giants is the locker room is a divided mess. There is intensive talk about what Shurmur will bring to the culture of a passionate but dramatic team that includes emotional players like Odell Beckham, Janoris Jenkins, Eli Apple and so on. These are players that walk out, scream and throw temper tantrums on the sidelines. How is a soft spoken guy like Shurmur supposed to compete?
Well, what’s the point of fighting fire with fire? The Giants have had aggressive head coaches both in Ben McAdoo and Tom Coughlin. Now look at them. This franchise has decided to start over for many reasons, including change. The outline of leadership in New York has been the same for quite a while.
Rebuilding the Franchise
It’s not the first time Shurmur has been the head coach of a turbulent franchise. He went 9-23 as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns from 2011-12. The outcome was not the most forthcoming but it does add to Shurmur’s experience and connections leading into the Giants head coach role. The season with the Browns was also four coaches and ten starting quarterbacks ago. Shurmur has done much more good than bad since that time.
Honestly, the Browns are a very different kind of conundrum all together.
Concerning connections, Shurmur will play a key role in redefining the rest of the Giants coaching staff. One major influence in the relationship between him and Steve Spagnuolo. Spagnuolo is expected to step out of his interim head coach position and back into his original defensive coordinator position. This adds some controversy as the Giants defense has been a major part the team’s decline. But Spagnuolo and Shurmur have both given each other opportunities throughout their career and it isn’t expected to end just yet.
The two worked together with the Eagles and Spagnuolo also gave Shurmur an offensive coordinator position with the Rams when he was the head coach. Not only do these ties secure Spagnuolo’s current job with the Giants, but he can provide Shurmur with knowledge of a team he has never been a part of.
The Giants defense is currently ranked 31st out of 32 teams in yards allowed per game and 27th in points allowed per game. These numbers will have to be considered if the Giants plan to improve overall.
With connections to the Browns, Eagles and Rams, Shurmur has the ability to bring in influential coaches.
The future of the Giants can be something great with the leadership of both general manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur. It is just barely the beginning of it all.