Brad Childress joined Giants.com's Big Blue Kickoff Live to discuss new coach Brad Childress:
When Andy Reid was named the 20th head coach in Philadelphia Eagles franchise history, he hired a pair of assistants out of Big Ten country, neither of whom had ever worked together.
Brad Childress, an Illinois native who had spent the past eight seasons under Barry Alvarez at the University of Wisconsin, was brought on as quarterbacks coach. Pat Shurmur, a Dearborn, Michigan, native and Michigan State alum, got his first shot in the NFL as Reid's offensive line and tight ends coach after a decade at his alma mater.
Reid hadn't worked with Shurmur before, but as an assistant with the Packers from 1992-98, he was on the same staff as Pat's uncle, Fritz, a coaching legend and Green Bay's defensive coordinator from 1994-98.
Starting in 1999, Reid's first year in Philly, Childress and the younger Shurmur would go on to spend the next seven seasons together on "Big Red's" staff. In 2002, Childress was elevated to Eagles' offensive coordinator. Shurmur replaced Childress as quarterbacks coach.
The relationship continued in Cleveland. Shurmur was named head coach of the Browns in 2011 by then-team president Mike Holmgren (Green Bay's head coach while his uncle Fritz was on staff). The following year, Shurmur hired Childress as his offensive coordinator.
As Shurmur takes the reigns of a Giants' franchise coming off a 3-13 season, Childress, whose connection with Shurmur goes back almost 20 years, believes he's up to the challenge.
"Pat is a great hire because he's wired and he's a flatline guy," Childress said on Giants.com's "Big Blue Kickoff Live" Monday. "What I mean by that is he's never too high and he's never too low. That's Pat. He's going to take it all in stride. He spent those years in Philadelphia, which I think probably thickened his skin a little bit in terms of the media and the fans. He's always going to be level-headed and I've always appreciated that about him. He's not going to rant and rave and stew. He's going to figure out what his problem is and go about solving it."
Shurmur is widely respected around the league for his ability to develop quarterbacks. It started with the Eagles, when Shurmur helped guide Donovan McNabb to three trips to the Pro Bowl during his tenure. Sam Bradford won NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2010 while Shurmur was the St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator.
This past Sunday, two quarterbacks Shurmur helped groom squared off in the NFC Championship game – Nick Foles, who Shurmur coached in his second stint with the Eagles as offensive coordinator from 2013-15, and Case Keenum, the Vikings quarterback who enjoyed a breakout season in 2017.
"Pat gets it," Childress said. "I think he's seen enough of what NFL teams do. He's probably got books on NFL coordinators. He knows how to attack defenses and he has the ability to be able to teach the guys that are in his classroom. He has the ability to listen as well."
As part of the Andy Reid coaching tree that goes all the way back to Hall of Famer Bill Walsh, Shurmur's offensive philosophy is rooted in "West Coast" principles. But Shurmur has also worked with offensive minds like Norv Turner and Chip Kelly, meaning the system he brings to the Giants will draw from all 19 years of NFL coaching experience.
"When you say 'West Coast', that's such a big blanket," Childress said. "I think what Pat has done is change up some of the run game. You've seen Mike Shanahan and Jon Gruden change the run game, too, but use a lot of the same West Coast passing principles. I think the best thing that we all do is when we see schemes that someone else has run and it fits what we're doing, we steal that equation and we make it our own."
Shurmur led the Browns for two seasons from 2011-12. Before his second season in Cleveland, Browns owner Randy Lerner sold the team to current owner Jimmy Haslam. Shurmur was let go after the 2012 season. Childress argues that stable ownership in New York will benefit Shurmur in his second turn as an NFL head coach.
"I think what's great about the Giants is the established ownership," Childress said. "I, as many, have a lot of respect for the Mara and Tisch families and what they've accomplished over the years. I just think Pat will blend in and be a perfect Giant in that organization."