The Giants braintrust of co-owners John Mara, Steve Tisch and GM Dave Gettleman all seemed to have a common theme when talking about their new head coach Pat Shurmur:
He’s mature and he’s an adult.
So what exactly does that mean for a position where they interviewed six candidates all above the age of 40?
“You need someone who is a quote adult unquote,” Mara said. “Someone who is a professional and has a certain demeanor to walk in there and start to straighten things out. I think he has all those qualities, but time will tell.”
Shurmur, 52, so far appears to be a far cry from the 40-year-old Ben McAdoo who preceded him and lasted just short of two full seasons as head coach.
He brings head coaching experience and extensive experience as a coordinator, something McAdoo lacked, but the Giants ownership was keen on making sure their assessment of Shurmur was not a knock against previous coaches.
“I don’t think there was a lack of maturity with earlier teams, with earlier leadership,” said Tisch. “But Pat just seems to command the room. He’s extremely intelligent; I think the experience speaks for itself. He’s extremely charismatic and I think listening to him, you watch him, get a sense of his body language, his commitment, he’s a leader and I don’t think he’s going to be sensitive to criticism from anybody.”
The Daily News first reported that Shurmur was the team’s third choice for head coach behind Matt Patricia and Josh McDaniels, and while he was not the flashy pick, he certainly left the Giants with plenty of confidence that he would be the right pick.
“I wasn’t looking for flash,” Mara said. “I was looking for someone who I could envision leading us in the future.”
Mara also mentioned that Shurmur and Gettleman seemed to connect immediately, sharing the same vision to rebuild the team by starting with the offensive line.
Gettleman, who was still in Mobile, Ala. scouting the Senior Bowl on Friday, said via conference call that Shurmur’s interview was “outstanding.”
“He was straight-forward; he was honest. There was no nonsense,” Gettleman said. “Halfway through the interview, I wrote at the top of my notes, this man is a professional and an adult. This is not a position for the faint of heart. We have to win every Sunday and we know that. I just felt very strongly that Pat was the guy for us.”
So now the fun begins for Shurmur, who is tasked with transforming a 3-13 team that has made the playoffs just once since winning the Super Bowl in the 2011 season into a consistently competitive team.
“Hopefully it’s a new beginning for us and gets us back to a place we want to be,” Mara said. “Establish a winning culture. It’s been a rough five years.”