HEAD COACHING SEARCH UPDATE: Giants Interview Pat Shurmur for Head Coach Position

The New York Giants confirmed they have interviewed Minnesota Vikings  offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur for their vacant head coaching job.

Shurmur met with co-owner John Mara, general manager Dave Gettleman and assistant general manager Kevin Abrams Saturday in Bloomfield, Minn.  Steve Tisch, the team’s chairman and other co-owner, will meet the head coaching candidates at a later stage in the process.

The 52-year-old Shurmur is a 19-year NFL coaching veteran who spent two seasons as head coach of the Cleveland Browns.  His other pro coaching experience includes stints with the Eagles (two stints with responsibilities for the tight ends, offensive line,  quarterbacks and offensive coordinator); Rams (offensive coordinator);  and Vikings (tight ends, and offensive coordinator)



Pros:  Shurmur has a strong background on the offensive side of the ball, having coached every position at the NFL level except for running backs and receivers. As an offensive coordinator, he has developed and evolved his systems to fit the talent he has, and, as evidenced by what he did with the Vikings this year, he believes in a run/pass balance.

Shurmur, who worked with Steve Spagnuolo in St. Louis as the offensive coordinator–Spagnuolo was the Rams’ head coach at the time–helped quarterback Sam Bradford, then a rookie to his best season with St. Louis. Bradford finished the 2010 campaign throwing for 3,512 yards and had 18 touchdowns to 15 interceptions.

This year, the Vikings offense really took off under Shurmur, largely thanks to a revamped offensive line. They finished with the seventh best rushing attack in the league, averaging 122.3 yards per game and the 10th best scoring offense (23.9 points per game).

Cons:   There’s that stint in Cleveland, but to be fair,  Shurmur isn’t the only head coach who had trouble finding the rainbow with the Browns.

Odds He Gets the Job: The next head coach of this team will have the dual-edged challenge of fixing a broken offense that didn’t’ match the personnel’s strength and getting whoever is deemed the next franchise quarterback ready to compete for the not-so distance future.

Despite his issues in Cleveland, Shurmur’s resume would appear to indicate that he’s capable of checking off both those boxes for a Giants offense that desperately needs balance, direction and better talent to come together like a well-oiled machine.  It would be a shock if his candidacy isn’t at or near the top of the Giants’ list.

On Deck: The Giants appear to be finished (for the weekend at least) with head coaching interviews. They were reported to have had an interest in Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, but per the NFL Network, they won’t meet with Schwartz this weekend and will have to wait until the Eagles are eliminated from the postseason if they haven’t found their next head coach by then.

The Giants are supposed to be having an interview with former Broncos running backs coach Eric Studesville, whose interview scheduled for last Thursday was postponed due to inclement weather. Also on tape is Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, who should be available regardless of what happens with his team’s playoff game this weekend, this weekend.

It’s unclear when the Giants plan to wrap up their interviewing process, but it could be this coming week, depending on when Tisch,  interviews the candidates. It’s also unclear if Tisch will meet all the candidates already interviewed or just the ones who earn consideration for second interviews.