There’s one huge comparison between Coughlin and Shurmur:
In 2017, the New York Giants saw their pride crumble to a mere fraction of what it used to be under former head coach Tom Coughlin. The now vice president and general manager of the Jacksonville Jaguars has brought his success and wisdom to the AFC, taking his new team to the AFC Championship game in one season. The Jaguars were 3-13 in 2016.
For the Giants, they were left with Ben McAdoo, the man who destroyed the image of the franchise, and botched the benching of Eli Manning. McAdoo was fired before the end of the season, and Jerry Reese followed close behind as they both were kicked to the curb for turning the Giants into the laughing stock of the NFL.
These dismissals brought forth the reign of Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur, who both share one glaring comparison to Coughlin.
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Why was Coughlin successful with the Giants?
The two-time Super Bowl winning coach brought a sense of discipline and adulthood to the organization — setting standards for his players and his coaching staff. Under McAdoo, the Giants saw players suspended weekly and the degradation of several first-round picks (Eli Apple and Ereck Flowers).
In the words of Gettleman, we now have an adult in the room. Shurmur expresses a keen sense of discipline just as Coughlin, and bleeds football. The NFL’s assistant coach of the year has already had experience as a head coach, as he led the Cleveland Browns to nine wins over the course of two seasons, which is far more than any other coach has accomplished.
In addition to his structured ways, Shurmur is known as the "quarterback whisperer." He’s helped even third-string quarterback Case Keenum reach his full potential; but how? Shurmur plays to his players’ strengths, and allows his quarterback to control the game. This should bode well for Manning, should it not?
Manning is known as one of the league’s best quarterbacks at the line of scrimmage, and just as his brother Peyton, he acts as a commander of the game. Manning loves to audible out of plays and confuse the defense, something McAdoo disabled when he became head coach.
The discipline and respect Shurmur brings to the Giants is reminiscent of Coughlin, but can he create a culture of winning is the big question.