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Fact or Fiction: Predictions for Coach Pat Shumur


The staff debates topics as Pat Shumur is introduced as Head Coach:

The hiring of Pat Shurmur means the Giants are more likely to draft a QB with the No. 2 pick.

> Watch Pat Shurmur press conference
> Shurmur answers fan questions
> Fact or Fiction: Predictions for Shurmur
> Watch: Pat Shurmur has arrived
> Eli Manning to return as starting QB

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction - In my opinion, who the Giants head coach is has zero impact on what they will do with their first round draft pick in April. I, frankly, don't understand the contention. Yes, Shurmur is an offensive coach that has developed young quarterbacks before, but would a future franchise quarterback be any less essential to a defense-oriented coach? Every team needs a franchise quarterback if they want to sustain consistent success. The only thing that should (and probably will) impact if the Giants pick a quarterback with the second pick in the draft is if one of those players is good enough to warrant being selected that high.

DAN SALOMONE: Fact - It certainly doesn't make it less likely. Just look at his track record at the position. On top of that, the Giants don't plan on drafting this high again, so they'll have the opportunity to get their guy. It's just a matter of if that guy plays quarterback. Gettleman's philosophy is to use free agency to set up the draft to avoid pigeonholing yourself at a position. March will tell us a lot.

LANCE MEDOW: Fiction - Pat Shurmur has helped develop multiple young quarterbacks throughout his career most notably Donovan McNabb, Sam Bradford and Nick Foles.  With that being said, I don't think that track record increases the chances that the Giants will take a quarterback with the number two overall pick.  They'll take the best player they think is a good fit for the team, regardless of the coaching staff.  Case in point, in 2016, New York took corner Eli Apple with its first round pick yet Ben McAdoo had an offensive background.  It takes more than one coach to develop a quarterback and the skillset and upside of the player is far more important than the individuals on the coaching staff, who could very well change over time.

The Giants will run the ball under Shurmur more than they did last year.

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - I had a chance to ask Dave Gettleman at the Senior Bowl whether or not the fact Pat Shurmur had a 47/53 run-pass split had an impact on his decision to hire him. He answered by repeating what he said at his introductory press conference – that more often than not, you need to possess an effective running game to be able to win significantly in the league. At that same introductory press conference, Gettleman said that he needed to fix the offensive line. Both those goals go hand in hand. When it comes to the actual final numbers, what personnel is added to the roster will have a big impact, as will game situations. It is a lot easier to run the ball more when you are leading games. Last year, the Vikings ran it more than every other team in the NFC and averaged about seven more carries per game than the Giants. I would be surprised if the Giants don't average more than the 24.6 carries per game they averaged in 2017.

DAN SALOMONE: Fact - It What did Gettleman say at his own introductory press conference? The game evolved, but some things stay the same. You have to run the ball, stop the run, and rush the passer. I expect the new head coach to be in line with that approach.

LANCE MEDOW: Fact -In 2017, the Giants ran the ball 394 times and that accounted for nearly 40 percent of their plays.  In comparison, the Vikings tallied 501 rushes and ran the ball nearly 50 percent of the time.  Keep in mind, how often and how much a team runs the ball is dependent on game flow and, unlike New York, Minnesota played with the lead much more in 2017.  Given the Giants roster is different from the Vikings, you can't assume how he used Minnesota's personnel will be the same way he'll utilize his talent pool in New York but running the ball is always a priority, regardless of the roster and the system, and I think he'll look to emphasize that facet next season.

The offense can drastically improve in the span of a year.

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - We've seen offenses turn around quickly in the NFL when teams have coaching and personnel changes. The Los Angeles Rams this season are the perfect example, going from the lowest scoring team to the highest scoring team, basically doubling their point total per game. Whatever scheme Pat Shurmur installs will certainly help, but even more important are the player additions Dave Gettleman makes between now and September. There's a good chance that the offensive line will have to be completely rebuilt with so many players not under contract that started last season. We'll see if the two men now in charge of the Giants will be able to pull it off.

DAN SALOMONE: Fact - It That's what makes the NFL so great and so maddening. Worst-to-first is just as likely as first-to-worst. And this team does have talent on both sides of the ball. The cupboard is not bare.

LANCE MEDOW: Fact -Forget just the offense, in the NFL, a team overall can drastically improve in the span of a year.  Just look at this year's playoff field.  Eight of the 12 teams missed the playoffs the previous season and, in the NFC, every single division winner in 2017, had finished in third or fourth place in their respective divisions the previous season.  If you want to focus on offense alone, Pat Shurmur's former team is a great place to start.  In 2016, the Vikings ranked 28th in the NFL in total offense, 23rd in scoring, dead last (32nd) in rushing and 18th in passing.  One year later, they finished 11th, 10th, 7th and 11th in those respective categories.  The combination of free agency, the draft and a new coaching staff can easily help turn things around quickly.

The Senior Bowl is a better evaluation than the NFL Scouting Combine.

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - It's really as simple as at the Senior Bowl you see prospects wearing helmets and pads, competing against each other in a similar way you see them do it in a NFL game. They compete against each other, get coached by NFL coaches, and play an actual game after all the practices are done. The Combine, while providing great injury and height/weight/speed information, doesn't necessarily show you how good these guys are at playing football, which is really the point.

DAN SALOMONE: Fiction - It. If you combined the two, you would probably get the best evaluation. The one drawback of the Senior Bowl is that the top prospects aren't, well, seniors a lot of the time. And some of the ones who are just decide not to accept the invite because they feel like they've shown enough on film and don't want to risk anything. On the other hand, everyone will be at the combine in a month.

LANCE MEDOW: Fact -What's more important in evaluating a football player?  What they can do with pads on or what they can do running around in their underwear?  That's a rhetorical question so don't think too hard.  Gathering medical information and having an opportunity to sit down one-on-one with a prospect at the NFL Scouting Combine is important but I think you take much more away from watching a player take part in drills, in pads, and competing against some of the best talent in the country, for a week, rather than observing how fast someone can run a forty-yard dash.

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