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Vikings coach Mike Zimmer endorses Pat Shurmur hire

Posted Jan 24, 2018

Giants coach Pat Shurmur was previously the Vikings' offensive coordinator under coach Mike Zimmer:


It’s good to be wanted.

Following seasons like the Vikings had in 2017, head coaches like Mike Zimmer know their coaching staffs probably won’t look the same the next year. Thanks to the Giants, he will need to find a new offensive coordinator after Pat Shurmur was announced this week as the 18th head coach in franchise history.

“When you’re successful, this happens every year,” Zimmer said in his season-ending press conference following Minnesota’s run to the NFC Championship Game. “I hope it continues to happen. I hope I have a coaching tree that is 200 people long. It’s just the way life goes. When you’re successful, people want your coaches. I think that is great. That means you’re doing something right.”

Zimmer, who is part of Bill Parcells’ legendary coaching tree that also includes Bill Belichick and Sean Payton, originally hired Shurmur as the Vikings’ tight ends coach in 2016. Shurmur became the interim offensive coordinator for the final nine games last season, taking over on a full-time basis in 2017.

This season, Shurmur navigated injuries to key positions, most notably at quarterback. After losing Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford, Case Keenum had a career in leading the Vikings to a 13-3 finish, the NFC North title, and a first-round bye.

The Vikings defeated the Saints in the divisional round thanks to “The Minneapolis Miracle” before falling to the top-seeded Eagles, who will face the Patriots in Super Bowl LII. “Pat did a great job,” Zimmer said. “I’m happy for him and his family. It’s another great opportunity. I think he’s going to get an opportunity to work with [new Giants general manager] Dave Gettleman, who is a really good football guy, and we thanked him yesterday for the success that he’s helped us with and we hope he’s successful in the future, except when they play the Vikings.”

Critical to the Vikings’ success was the staff’s ability to get the most out of each player. “I want to continue to do a lot of the things we’ve done,” Zimmer said. “I don’t ever want to take a square peg and put it in a round hole. I want to try to do what is best for the players. I think there are some things that we can continually build on from what we’ve done.” Now it’s time for Shurmur to put together a staff and plant his own tree. While that will be finalized in the coming days at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center, Zimmer praised the chemistry among his coaches.

“To me, number one, with this coaching staff, I think they did an incredible job, not just the offense but defense, special teams, the whole bit,” Zimmer said. “They had a great chemistry. To me, that’s going to be very important. What kind of chemistry we have with the other coaches, the communication with all the other coaches, and then the next thing is to try and get the best guy.”

And in a few years, Shurmur hopes to have his own vacancies to fill. So do Giants fans.