Takeaways from Pat Shurmur’s Introductory Press Conference
Pat Shurmur was formally introduced to New York Giants fans on Friday morning. Despite the lights going out for mere seconds, Shurmur brightened up the conference room. How so? Shurmur provided a radiant outlook for the Giants organization.
Here are some takeaways from Shurmur’s first day at the Giants facility.
Lessons From Cleveland
Shurmur’s time as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns did not go as planned. He took the reins after a brief NFL lockout, which eliminated all of preseason, just leaving the month of August to prepare. Despite this, Shurmur’s tenure ended with a 9-23 record, which is pretty respectable in Cleveland terms.
It was all a learning experience for Shurmur, who would use that for his inevitable second chance.
“Everything Cleveland, I wish I knew then what I know now,” said Shurmur. “I think when you’re doing anything for the first time, there’s things that happen that you adjust to that if you’ve done them before.
“…But obviously once you’ve done it before, you have the resources, and you’ve made those decisions. You’ve made those calls. You’ve done the things that you say if I do that again, I’ll never do that again. And I think I learned that.”
Manning-Webb Duo an Option
One of the biggest things that Giants fans were keeping an eye on was the quarterback situation. Would the Giants move on from Eli Manning? Is Davis Webb an option at quarterback? Would New York take a signal caller with the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft?
Shurmur was asked about Manning after the botched benching initiated by former head coach Ben McAdoo. He made one thing clear, Manning still has some years left in the NFL.
“I watched Eli throw a little bit this summer, and I walked away saying, ‘He looked really, really good,'” said Shurmur of Manning. “He looked fit. He was throwing the ball well. The ball had good velocity coming off his hand. And again, I think he’s got years left. How much, I don’t know. But I think he has time left, and I look forward to working with him.”
While Manning appears to be a sure thing for the Shurmur era, he also spoke glowingly of Davis Webb. The 52-year-old head coach spoke of what he saw from Webb in the draft process, when he was the offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings.
“We went through the process on Davis Webb, and we thought he was an outstanding player,” said Shurmur. “We liked how competitive he was. He’s got size. He’s got good arm strength. We felt like he was a guy worthy of being drafted and having a chance to be a starter someday.”
It is not set in stone, but we should get a better look at Shurmur’s approach during this offseason. After all, Shurmur has made a reputation of being a “quarterback-whisperer.”
No-Nonsense Reputation/Odell’s Clean Slate
On the exterior, Shurmur has a quiet and serious demeanor to him. However, he has seen what has caused the Giants to spiral down to 3-13 after an 11-5 2016 campaign. It will be a no-nonsense approach from Shurmur and discipline will play a big role in his tenure.
“I have zero tolerance for people that don’t compete,” said Shurmur. “I have zero tolerance for people that don’t give effort, and I have zero tolerance for people that show a lack of respect. And I think that’s something that you’ll know about me as we get to know each other better.”
One of the main catalysts for the Giants downfall was the behavior exemplified by some of the players. One of which was Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham faced the ire of co-owner John Mara and the league in regards to his “dog urinating,” celebration in Week 3. Not only that, but the numerous antics Beckham has participated in over the years.
Shurmur has stressed that discipline is a top priority, but stressed that Beckham will start off fresh with the new coach.
“…this is sort of a clean slate deal right now,” said Shurmur. “As I mentioned, we need to sit down and talk. When things happen, there’s typically reasons for it. I learned that by coaching the quarterback…And I think with all things Odell, we just need to start talking and find out why things happened, and if they’re not what is by our standards, then we’ve got to find a way to get him fixed.”
Beckham is looking for a contract extension, making him the highest-paid player in the NFL. However, Shurmur wants to “get to know him,” before entering negotiations.
Shurmur shared a common ideology with general manager Dave Gettleman, and that’s the importance of an offensive line.
While with the Vikings, the offensive line was banged up in 2016, leading to a 8-8 record. When addressing that need in free agency and the draft the following offseason, the proof was in the pudding, as Minnesota improved to 13-3 and reached the NFC Championship Game.
Former GM Jerry Reese has neglected to address the offensive line over the years, and it was exemplified this season. Shurmur knows how much an effective offensive line can lead to offensive success, and that it is a priority for New York.
“As soon as he said, ‘Everything starts with the offensive line.’ And I think there’s a great example of that, what we went through in Minnesota,” said Shurmur.
“I know that about Dave. I know we have a serious mindset when it comes to doing what we can to upgrade in those areas. And some of it may be just inspiring a player on the roster to play better than he’s played, you know, and that comes back to coaching. And then we all know that every once in a while, you need to get some new players.”
The Pat Shurmur era in New York has officially begun, and based off the press conference, the future looks bright. We will get a better look at Shurmur’s Giants leading up to free agency and the NFL Draft.