After a long, exhaustive search, the New York Giants have named Pat Shurmur as their next head coach. Shurmur, who served as the Minnesota Vikings' offensive coordinator this past season, will be getting a second chance at being a head coach. His first stint came with the Cleveland Browns where he coached from 2011-12.
"We are pleased to welcome Pat to our organization and look forward to the leadership he will provide for our team," Giants team president John Mara and chairman Steve Tisch said in a joint statement. "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."
The hiring of Shurmur falls in line with the expectations set out by Mara back in late December. "I think it has to be somebody that has either had head-coaching experience or at least has been a coordinator for a significant period of time," he said, per NJ.com. "I think if you don't have that, the odds are really stacked against you." Regardless of how the Giants front office wants to spin this decision, it's more likely that Shurmur became the best choice in an ever-declining list of options. After most likely losing out on Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia to the Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Lions, respectively, Big Blue was left with slim pickings. [Note: Any Patriots coaches hired by another team cannot be made official until after the Patriots' season comes to an end.]
The Giants interviewed Panthers' first-year defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, however, given the fact that Mara openly stated his desire to hire someone who "has been a coordinator for a significant period of time," Wilks didn't fit the bill. That left Shurmur, former Denver Broncos assistant head coach Eric Studesville, who wasn't a coordinator last season, and their interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo.
If there's any silver lining to the hiring of Shurmur, it's his work with developing quarterbacks. Case in point—no pun intended—look at how he helped turn Case Keenum into a competent NFL quaterback who nearly helped lead the Vikings to the Super Bowl. If the Giants are poised to get the most out of Shurmur's strengths, they may look towards drafting a quarterback with the second overall pick in this year's draft.
Much like their head coaching hire, the new Giants regime cannot drop the ball in this year's draft. The only thing hanging in the balance is their future with the organization, so yeah, no pressure.