Pat Shurmur was hired and assembled his first coaching staff with the Giants by bringing in coaches he was not overly familiar with. When the staff was complete, it had only one member — linebackers coach Bill McGovern — who previously worked with Shurmur. The two were together with the Eagles.
This is highly unusual.
“I purposely didn’t hire some of my friends, who are now no longer my friends,’’ Shurmur said Monday.
Shurmur said he expects his staff to remain intact.
“You can’t ever say that, some guys leave for whatever reasons but that’s part of the process,’’ he said. “I’m all for guys advancing. I really don’t want to stand in anybody’s way and I’ll have some opinions as to whether it’s advancement or not. Listen, I had ambition as a young coach, you gain experience and you want to move forward.’’
If there is one name to watch for the Giants, it is Kevin Stefanski. Shurmur wanted to hire him last year as his offensive coordinator but the Vikings blocked the move. Stefanski was the quarterbacks coach in Minnesota when Shurmur was the Vikings’ offensive coordinator.
Stefanski this year was elevated to interim offensive coordinator when Vikings coach Mike Zimmer fired John DeFilippo.
Now we know the Giants' 2019 draft slot and opponents
The Giants, who finished 5-11 this season after Sunday’s season-ending…
Shurmur pivoted to Mike Shula after being denied permission to interview Stefanski. The offensive coordinator job with the Giants is not a play-calling role, as Shurmur calls the plays and runs his offense.
“I have a great deal of respect for Mike and having worked with him now, it worked great,’’ Shurmur said. “I think he’s done an outstanding job. I look forward to having him here moving forward.’’
LB Olivier Vernon, who led the team with seven sacks after getting 2.5 in the season finale, said, “I’d love to be back. It’s out of my control right there.’’ Vernon is set to count $19.5 million on the 2019 salary cap and could be jettisoned in a cost-savings move, although the Giants are woefully inadequate in pass-rush talent.
Saquon Barkley’s 2-yard leap for a touchdown against the Cowboys caused all sorts of social media interest and memes, but he grew a bit sheepish when looking back on his high-flying play.
“When I looked back on film I probably could have just walked in,’’ Barkley said. “Offensive line did a really good job of blocking. I was watching with a couple of offensive linemen and they were like, ‘You don’t think you could have just walked in?’ and we just laughed about it.’’
LT Nate Solder, after seven years with the Patriots, goes home for the season with no playoffs for the first time in his career. He said he is not sure what he will do with time off in early January.
“I’m working that out right now,’’ he said. “I was just talking with the strength and conditioning staff about recovery and getting back into training and all the things I hadn’t dealt with before and last year was mid-February before I was talking about those things so it’s a little different.’’
Prior to the past two weeks, the last time the Giants lost back-to-back games by one point was Oct. 14-22, 2001. … DT B.J. Hill set a Giants rookie record with 5.5 sacks, one-half sack more than Andy Headen had in 1983 and Cornelius Griffin had in 2000. Lawrence Taylor had 9.5 sacks as a rookie in 1981, but sacks were not an official NFL statistic until 1982.