Pat Shurmur is under more pressure than anyone else in the New York Giants organization going into week ten’s game with the New York Jets, and Shurmur’s interactions with the media may just be one of the deciding factors in whether or not the team makes an uncharacteristic move and removes Shurmur in the middle of the season – it wouldn’t be an unprecedented move, however, as Ben McAdoo had similar results to Shurmur and met a similar fate before Shurmur was hired.
Shurmur recently spoke to the team’s website in a question and answer session during the buildup to the Jets game, and his answers may or may not inspire confidence in fans going into week ten’s matchup, depending on your perspective.
One of the most notable facts is that despite the dire straits the Giants are in, Shurmur claims the team isn’t looking at the game with a newfound sense of urgency.
“Weâ€™ve had the urgency, and the sense of purpose has been high all year. Weâ€™ve practiced hard. We just need to take what we do in practice and put it on the field. Weâ€™ve had stretches of really good play. Weâ€™ve just fallen victim to game-changing plays that have hurt us in close games,” Shurmur said.
But if the Giants have been urgent all season, they sure haven’t been urgent enough – the team only has two wins at this point, with one of them requiring luck down to the end as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers missed a field goal that would have given them a victory.
The Giants didn’t seem like a team playing urgently against Dallas, at least not beyond the early part of the game when they had the lead. And the blown lead at the end of the first half was more than just one game-changing play.
Saying that the Giants’ performances over the past weeks during their losing streak is just because of game-changing plays hurting them in close games is a massive oversimplification, and if this is how the Giants staff is looking at the matter, they may not put in the required effort to improve and turn things around.
After all, it’s hard to fix a problem while understating how big of a problem something is in the first place.
But we’ll be seeing some different things from the team on Sunday at least, with at least one of those changes being the addition of Sam Beal to the lineup of defensive backs – after missing his first season entirely with injury and ending up on the injured reserve list this year until only days ago, Beal is set to make his debut against the Jets and provide competition for struggling rookie cornerback DeAndre Baker.
“Weâ€™re going to get him out there, get him going. Weâ€™ve seen him practice. Heâ€™s a very talented young man that has been held back by injury. Weâ€™ll get him in the game and see where he can have an impact,” Shurmur said about Beal.
It also looks like Corey Ballentine will hold down the slot corner position long term, as Ballentine has received praise from Shurmur on his qualities at the position.
“Thereâ€™s more happening when youâ€™re on the inside. You have to have good instincts. He had been held back by injuries, so we havenâ€™t been able to practice him as much as we would have liked to in there. But we feel like heâ€™s one of our better corners, and so when you go to nickel, weâ€™re going to put him on the field.”
The Giants will definitely need changes not just in the secondary but in multiple areas if they want to come out of the Jets game with a win – and after the team showed with McAdoo that they aren’t afraid to fire a coach in the middle of the season, there’s a very real chance that this is Pat Shurmur’s last game as the head coach if those improvements don’t happen.
Somehow, though, it feels like that point has reached everyone but Shurmur.