A former Cleveland Browns head coach is getting his second shot to lead a team, after spending the years in between rehabilitating his value to the NFL. Pat Shurmur, who helmed the Browns in 2011 and 2012, was named the new head coach of the New York Giants on Monday. Currently snowed-in in Minnesota, where he had been serving as the Vikings’ offensive coordinator during the previous two seasons, Shurmur will be introduced in a press conference on Friday.
Shurmur came to Cleveland after spending two years as the Los Angeles Rams’ offensive coordinator (when the team was still located in St. Louis). His 9-23 record over two years was nothing special to write home about—though notably better than the results the team have gotten in 2016 and 2017—and also encompassed the beginning of the Brandon Weeden era. Upon leaving Cleveland, he spent two years running the Philadelphia Eagles’ offense, eventually being named interim head coach in 2015 following the ouster of Chip Kelly. He then landed in Minnesota, where in 2017 he helped orchestrate one of the most impressive offensive turnarounds in recent memory.
As coordinator for the Vikings, Shurmur first had to navigate the loss of starting quarterback Teddy Bridgwater just days before the season opener in 2016. He then had to weather the storm of another significant quarterback injury the following year, with Bridgewater’s replacement, Sam Bradford going down with a knee injury in September, as well as a season-ending knee injury to starting running back Dalvin Cook. Still, with third-stringer Case Keenum under center, Shurmur’s offense ranked 10th in points and 11th in yards for the 2017 season. His Vikings’ loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship game on Sunday officially freed him up for a hire that was reported as inevitable for days in advance.
Shurmur heads to a Giants team armed with the No. 2-overall pick in the 2018 draft as well as a veteran, Super Bowl-winning passer in Eli Manning. Still, the Giants stumbled their way through 2017 mainly because of an anemic, weapons-weak offense that Shurmur will now be tasked with turning around, much as he did in Minnesota.
Shurmur isn’t the only former Browns head coach getting a high profile gig with a new team for 2018. Mike Pettine, who was the Browns’ head coach for 2014 and 2015, is the Green Bay Packers’ new defensive coordinator; he replaces Dom Capers.