MOBILE, Ala. — Dave Gettleman might not have hired the flashiest candidate on this year’s coaching carousel, but the Giants general manager is damn sure that he helped pick the right one. Before Pat Shurmur is formally introduced as the next Giants head coach on Friday, the man who hired him waxed poetic about his most appealing quality.
“He’s an adult,” Gettleman said of Shurmur from the Senior Bowl on Wednesday in his first public comments since the hire. “He’s mature. He’s got wisdom. He’s very even-keeled. His demeanor 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 grown-up,” Gettleman added. “We’re halfway through the interview and I wrote down in my notes: This is an adult. Everybody wants the next wiz-bang kid. Let me tell you something: You look at history and tell me how that’s worked out. This is a veteran, seasoned professional football coach.”
Shurmur’s blend of experience and steady nature should serve him well in the crucible that is the New York market. Gettleman left little doubt that Shurmur’s past failings as the Browns head coach (2011-2012) have helped shape him for his next gig in charge.
“People aren’t honest enough with themselves,” Gettleman said. “It’s a problem that people have. You don’t think for a moment that after I got fired back in July that I didn’t say, ‘ok, what did you do wrong?’ … In any walk of life, if you get let go, you were somehow complicit. And you have to be honest with yourself and figure that out. We talked to Pat about what he learned in Cleveland. He learned a lot and he was honest with himself and figured a lot of things out.”
Shurmur, who weaved magic in Minnesota this season with a journeyman QB and offense missing its most dynamic weapon (rookie running back Dalvin Cook), will call plays for the Giants, according to Gettleman. Much of the rest of the coaching staff is TBD. “The guy’s adaptable and he’s proven he can win,” Gettleman said.
Gettleman didn’t directly answer whether Shurmur was the Giants’ top choice (given their interest in Matt Patricia), but made it clear that “Pat’s the right man for this job. Absolutely.”
Although Shurmur inherits a team coming off a miserable three-win season with a litany of questions, Gettleman doesn’t necessarily subscribe to the notion that the Giants are rebuilding.
“There’s talent on this team,” Gettleman said. “You’ve seen quick turnarounds in this league. It happens all the time.”
The general manager said that he will begin evaluating his personnel on Monday “until my eyes bleed.”