“There were informal interviews and I was near the Giants,” Kyle said. “He came up and gave me a hug—a bro hug or whatever you call it.”
It was a moment of genuine emotion in the midst of the annual meat market that is the NFL Combine.
Of course, the Shurmurs are treating Indianapolis like the business trip that it is. Kyle is trying to prove he is worthy of a late-round draft pick. Pat is evaluating talent for the Giants, which may include taking a quarterback (possibly Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins or Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray) with the No. 6 overall pick.
Pat Shurmur did take time out of his day for a little fatherly pride.
“I’m extremely proud of him,” Pat said, visibly emotional. “He’s made great decisions. He did an excellent job in high school giving himself the opportunity to go to a place like Vanderbilt. He graduated in three and a half years. Helped them win games. He’s a good player.”
Kyle Shurmur owns virtually every Vanderbilt passing record, many of them previously belonging to former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler. In four years with the Commodores, he had 722 completions in 1,264 attempts (57.1 percent completion rate) for 8,865 yards, 64 touchdowns, and 29 interceptions.
“Experience is the best way to learn,” Kyle said. “Trial by error, making mistakes, and correcting them and moving forward. I’ve got a lot of football intelligence. I feel as if I prepare really hard and I’m committed to the game. I grew up around football. I know what the process looks like.”
Of course, Kyle Shurmur is not the typical college player trying to make a name for himself. He knows a little something about the NFL lifestyle from accompanying his father on his coaching stops. He’s worked NFL training camps for the Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams, and Cleveland Browns. He’s played catch with Donovan McNabb, Sam Bradford, Brandon Weeden, and Colt McCoy.
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Kyle Shurmur also attended the Manning Passing Academy twice. He called Eli Manning “a great guy” and has tried to emulate No. 10’s approach to the game.
“I think that’s a great way to approach football or the quarterback position specifically,” Kyle Shurmur said. “Stay out of the headlines and let your actions speak for themselves. You never hear about him, which is the way it should be, I feel like. There is enough chaos going on in the game. You want to eliminate everything off the field.”
Kyle Shurmur is already conducting himself like a professional athlete. When he walked into his media roundtable for what was supposed to be a 20-minute interview, he noticed about 10 Giants reporters and team media personnel. He smiled, shook every hand, and introduced himself as if he didn’t have a name plate.
“With my dad being in the spotlight, I represent him and I need to make sure I handle my business the right way,” Kyle said. “Being a good person first. When it comes to playing the game, I think I learned a lot from him. Not just the physical aspects but the intangible aspects as well.”
Pat (along with Kyle’s agent Tom Condon) helped Kyle understand the NFL Combine is a five-day job interview. It’s not just about the workout and position drills. Of course, the fatherly advice didn’t begin this week. Pat Shurmur is a former All-Big Ten center at Michigan State who went undrafted in 1988.
“Growing up, he said, ‘Make sure you play a position where your hand is not in the ground, so I sort of gravitated to quarterback,” Kyle said. “He is usually traveling on Saturdays, but if he catches a game he’ll say, ‘Hey, what happened on this play? Talk me through it.’ Nothing too major.”
Pat Shurmur is known in NFL circles as a quarterback guru. Certainly, Kyle picked up some pointers from his NFL head coach father. It is not the biggest advice the elder Shurmur passed on to his son.
“My dad really, everyone thinks he wants me to be a great quarterback,” Kyle said. “I think he wants me to be a great person first and foremost. I think that’s a foundation for a great quarterback. I think establishing my morals, being a father first. He’s been a great father my whole life.”