New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia was rumored to be the favorite to succeed Ben McAdoo and become the 18th head coach in franchise history last week. Patricia will reportedly choose to fill the Detroit Lions’ coaching vacancy.
ESPN’s Dan Graziano and Chris Mortenson reported the Giants have scheduled a second interview with Shurmur for next week. NFL rules state teams cannot interview candidates or negotiate with their representatives when they are coaching teams that have not been eliminated from postseason contention.
The Vikings will travel to Lincoln Financial Field to face the Philadelphia Eagles in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game. If Minnesota loses, the Giants would be able to negotiate with Shurmur and sign him immediately otherwise they would have to wait until after the Super Bowl.
Shurmur was one of six candidates to interview with the Giants. Patricia, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, former Denver Broncos assistant Eric Studesville, and interim head coach/defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo also interviewed to fill the vacancy created when McAdoo was fired Dec. 4.
McAdoo was the team’s offensive coordinator for two seasons before he succeeded Tom Coughlin. Co-owner/CEO/team president John Mara said the next head coach should have experience as a head coach and/or extensive experience as a coordinator. Shurmur is a candidate who has both.
Shurmur spent 10 seasons (1999-2008) on Andy Reid’s Eagles staff as a tight end/offensive line coach and a quarterbacks coach. He joined Spagnuolo’s St. Louis Rams staff as offensive coordinator in 2009.
Shurmur spent two seasons in St. Louis before leaving to become head coach of the Cleveland Browns. He had a 9-23 record as Browns head coach. Shurmur was fired along with general manager Tom Heckert at the end of the 2012 season. He returned to the Eagles as offensive coordinator (2013-15), serving as interim head coach after Chip Kelly was let go prior to the 2015 regular season finale.
Shurmur joined the Vikings in 2016 as a tight ends coach. He was named interim offensive coordinator after Norv Turner resigned prior to Week 9 of the 2016 season. The interim tag was removed for the 2017 season.
Shurmur is considered a quarterback guru with three quarterbacks under his tutelage having career years: Nick Foles (2013), Sam Bradford (2016), and Case Keenum (2017). Keenum was 11-3 as the Vikings’ starter after Bradford went down with a knee injury. He threw 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions in the regular season.
Coaching is in Shumur’s blood. His uncle Fritz was a defensive coach in the NFL for almost a quarter century. He was defensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers teams that beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI and lost to the Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII.