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Pat Shurmur to call plays for Giants; More from Dave Gettleman

Posted Jan 25, 2018

Giants GM Dave Gettleman spoke Wednesday at the Senior Bowl:  



In the middle of Pat Shurmur’s interview with the Giants, general manager Dave Gettleman wrote something down in his notes. “This is an adult.”

That might be an obvious take on a 52-year-old, but coaching the Giants requires a certain type of person. And Gettleman believes Shurmur is it.

“I really believe the head coach job for the New York Football Giants is a job for an adult, and Pat’s every bit of that,” Gettleman said in between Wednesday’s practices at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. “I’m just really excited. We’ve had some great conversations. He’s got a great sense of humor, and I’m just excited about where we’re going.”

Shurmur, who most recently served as the offensive coordinator for the reigning NFC North champion Vikings, was announced this week as the 18th head coach in franchise history.

Following his team’s appearance in the NFC Championship Game, Shurmur flew to Mobile for the college-all-star game and hit the ground running with Gettleman. Shurmur will be introduced at a press conference back in East Rutherford on Friday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

“He’s an adult. He’s mature. He’s got wisdom. He’s very even-keeled,” said Gettleman, who had previously interviewed Shurmur for the Panthers’ offensive coordinator position when he was the general manager in Carolina. “It really pays off. I’ve watched him on the sideline. He doesn’t get shook. He doesn’t get rattled. This is a job for a grownup. We’re halfway through the interview and I wrote down, ‘This is an adult.’ Everybody wants the next whiz-bang kid. Let me tell you something, you look at history and see how that’s worked out. He’s a veteran, seasoned, professional football coach.”

Gettleman discussed a variety of other topics on the state of the Giants. Here were the main takeaways:

*Gettleman confirmed that Shurmur, while the staff has not been finalized, intends to call plays for the offense. “I believe so, yes,” Gettleman said. Shurmur called plays in Minnesota, most famously “Buffalo Right Seven Heaven” that materialized as the Vikings’ 61-yard walk-off touchdown over the Saints in the divisional round.

*Eli Manning and Gettleman had a chance to catch up after the season ended. He said it was fun to talk again on a personal level after they had not seen each other in years. But what does that mean for Manning’s future? The second Philadelphia game said it all. 

“I had an opportunity to watch [Manning’s film] because the quarterback is the most important position on the team,” Gettleman said. “At the end of the day, it wasn’t a mirage. It was not a mirage.”

In that game, Manning threw for 434 yards, the fourth-highest total of his career, against a top-five Eagles defense that will be playing next week in Super Bowl LII.


*Speaking of conversations with key players, Gettleman also met with Odell Beckham Jr., who is rehabbing back from a season-ending surgery on a fractured left ankle.

“I had a chat with Odell. I had a great chat with him,” Gettleman said. “People are going to call me crazy, but in that [2014] draft the only guy I would have taken over Kelvin Benjamin, who (the Panthers) took, the only guy I would have taken over him was Odell. That’s it. … The bottom line is he’s a wonderfully talented player and I’m looking forward to working with him.”

*The Senior Bowl is a major checkpoint in the draft cycle every year, and the scouting department is down in Mobile along with Gettleman. The Giants hold the second overall pick for the first time since they drafted Lawrence Taylor in 1981. Gettleman’s philosophy is to use free agency to set up the draft. That way, the Giants can take the best player available, whether that’s a quarterback or not.

“With the second pick, we’re going to take the best player,” he said. “They screamed at me in Carolina, ‘You’ve got to draft a tackle, you’ve got to draft a tackle.’ If the value’s not there when you pick, you’re going to make a mistake. You’ll make a mistake. We’re going to set ourselves up so that we can take the best player available. And if the best player available is a quarterback, then that’s what we’re going to do.”

Gettleman added: “If you take a guy just to take a guy, especially at the quarterback position, and he fails, you set yourself back five years. You set yourself back five years because there are teams that are in what I call quarterback hell. They’ve got quality defense, they’ve got a good special teams, and they’re going 7-9, 8-8, 9-7. And now if there is a legitimate guy, they’ve got to trade up and give away the farm to get the guy.”

*The Giants drafted quarterback Davis Webb last April, but the third-round choice never saw the field as a rookie. “I know nothing [about him],” Gettleman said. “I know that he’s a double transfer. I’ve spent some time talking to him. He seems like a great kid. I know he followed Eli around and is learning how to be a pro. That’s what I know.”

*Despite the team’s 3-13 record in 2017, Gettleman still believes there is plenty of talent on the roster he inherited. After all, it was largely the same makeup that earned a playoff berth the year before and was heralded as one of the best in the league heading into the season.

“There’s talent here now,” Gettleman said. “There’s talent on this team. I went to Carolina and they’re coming off, I think, four consecutive losing seasons and we went 12-4. I’m not saying we’re going to replicate that, but I’m saying you’ve seen quick turnarounds in this league. It happens all the time. We’re going to build it one brick at a time. We’re going to see what we have. I have not had the opportunity to study our personnel yet. That’s my job Monday. I’m going to turn my cell phone off and just watch film for five days until my eyes bleed.”