NFL: Giants, Cardinals name new coaches
Minnesota offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur was announced as the New York Giants’ head coach on Monday, less than 24 hours after Shurmur and the Vikings lost the NFC title game.
The Arizona Cardinals, who interviewed Shurmur for their head coaching job, announced their next coach will be Steve Wilks, the defensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers.
It is the first head coaching job for Wilks and second for Shurmur, who led the Cleveland Browns from 2011 to 2012.
Shurmur, 52, replaces Ben McAdoo, who was fired in early December with the Giants at 2-10 and owners and fans upset with his benching of two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning.
Shurmur has a reputation as a quarterback whisperer. NFC title game starters Nick Foles of the Philadelphia Eagles and Case Keenum of the Vikings were tutored by him. Now, Shurmur will get to work with Manning and possibly the No. 2 pick in the draft, if New York uses it to pick an heir apparent.
“He has an outstanding track record in developing young players, and it is clear his players respond to his guidance and direction,” co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch said.
Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen said Shurmur put players in position to contribute and he doesn’t take anything for granted.
“He’s not a stubborn guy. He’s going to throw stuff out if it’s not working, and he’s going to find things that guys are good at,” Thielen said Monday. “So I think as a head coach, he’s going to do that on both sides of the ball. Special teams, he’s going to find guys who can make plays and let them do what they do. So I think he’s going to have a lot of success.”
Shurmur just finished his second year with the Vikings. He began last season as the tight ends coach and for the final nine games was also the offensive coordinator, the title he retained this season. The Vikings finished 10th in the NFL in scoring (23.9 points), 11th in total yardage (356.9) and seventh in rushing yardage (122.3).
Wilks, 48, spent last season as defensive coordinator of the Panthers after five seasons as the secondary coach. He’s been an NFL assistant for 12 years. He replaces Bruce Arians, who retired after five seasons and compiled a franchise-record 50 victories.
The Cardinals were 8-8 last year despite significant injuries, though they’re looking for a new quarterback after Carson Palmer retired.
“This is not really a rebuild, this is a retool,” Wilks told azcardinals.com. “We have the culture of winning here. We just have to be able to sustain it.”
Panthers coach Ron Rivera promoted defensive line coach Eric Washington as Wilks’ replacement.
The Browns are hiring former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley to call the plays, according to reports. ... Greg Knapp is returning to the Atlanta Falcons as quarterbacks coach. ... The Seattle Seahawks parted ways with defensive assistant coach Travis Jones after five seasons.
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