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Volume 25 No. 25
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Giants' Hiring Of Pat Shurmur Seen As Solid Move; Cardinals Stay Patient With Steve Wilks

The Giants hired Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur as their next coach in what is "perhaps the most important decision" of any that new GM Dave Gettleman has to make, according to Bob Glauber of NEWSDAY. Shurmur will now "begin the process of fixing his new team." It will "not be an easy undertaking, nor is there a timetable for a turnaround, although getting the job done yesterday certainly would be a start." The team's recent front office and coaching hires provide "some clarity" for the organization. Shurmur coached the Browns to a 9-23 record from '11-12, so if "nothing else, he knows what it is to work for a dysfunctional franchise." But he "quickly will understand the difference in working for a much more stable setup with the Giants" (NEWSDAY, 1/23). In N.Y., Gary Myers writes maybe the Giants "need safe and solid after the drama of the last two years" under former coach Ben McAdoo. However, the Giants have "passionate loyal fans and safe just doesn’t cut it" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/23). YAHOO SPORTS' Frank Schwab wrote Shurmur "has his challenges." The good news is he should "get time to establish his program, because the Giants have a long track record of patience" at coach and GM. Shurmur "will get time," and this seems "like the right fit" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 1/22).

CUT ABOVE THE REST? PFT's Mike Florio said there is a sense in the NFL that the Giants are "a cut above," but it "doesn't feel like the last two hires fit with the idea that there's something special." The Giants "created the impression" that Shurmur was the "third choice, and that was a problem." Teams "need to create the impression the guy you get it the guy who was your top choice." But NBCSN's Chris Simms said Shurmur is a "Giants type of guy." He is "not perfect but he's a good fit personality-wise for what they want in the head coach" ("PFT," NBCSN, 1/23). NFL Network's Ian Rapoport noted Gettleman also believes this is a job that is "not too big" for Shurmur ("NFL Total Access," NFL Network, 1/22).

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: In Phoenix, Greg Moore writes the Cardinals' move to hire Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks as coach proves that President Michael Bidwill and GM Steve Keim "aren't afraid to zig while everybody else is zagging." And while it "might seem like the Cardinals had to scramble after other teams took all the good candidates, that’s not likely the case." Bidwill said, "I’m glad we didn’t get caught up, like it’s a race or something. I think we made the right decision by being patient, following our process" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 1/23). ESPN's Adam Schefter said the Cardinals like Wilks' "leadership and presence" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 1/22). SI.com's Conor Orr wrote the hiring of Wilks is "encouraging for multiple reasons, but most notably it ends this hiring cycle on a high note for the embattled Fritz Pollard Alliance." The Alliance watched as the Raiders "comically tried to circumnavigate the Rooney Rule by forcing through a pair of head coaching interviews while negotiating with Jon Gruden on the side." The NFL currently has eight total minority head coaches, which is "tied for the highest number" in NFL history. Still, the NFL is "loaded with talented minority candidates who get little to no buzz during hiring season" (SI.com, 1/22).