Pat Shurmur assumed the role as Vikings interim offensive coordinator Wednesday replacing Norv Turner after his sudden resignation. Here are five things to help you get to know the veteran coach better:
Shurmur, 51, was head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 2011 (4-12) and 2012 (5-11). He also coached the Eagles last season in their final game, beating the Giants 35-30.
Shurmur was offensive coordinator in Philadelphia the past three seasons under Chip Kelly. The Eagles were second in the NFL in total offense (417.2 yards per game) in 2013, fifth (396.8) in 2014 and 12th (364.4) last year.
He was also OC in St. Louis from 2009-10. The Rams were 30th in total offense (307.6) in 2009 and 26th in 2010 (302.9). Sam Bradford was a rookie quarterback for the Rams in 2010 under Shurmur, and also played for him last season in Philadelphia. The Vikings hired him as their tight ends coach during the offseason.
During his 15 years coaching in the NFL he has been a part of eight playoff teams, won six division championships, and coached in the 2004 Super Bowl with Philadelphia as the quarterbacks coach. He is credited as helping develop Donovan McNabb into one of the league’s most prolific passers.
Familiar with Sam Bradford
Shurmur was the first offensive coordinator Bradford worked under in the NFL. Bradford was the No. 1 overall pick by St. Louis in the 2010 draft when Shurmur was in his first OC job with the Rams. He helped develop Bradford into the Offensive Rookie of the Year and establish himself as one of the best young quarterbacks in the league.
They only spent one year together in St. Louis, but reunited in Philadelphia in 2015. Bradford battled injuries midway through his one season in Philly and their reunion was cut short when Shurmur joined the Vikings staff.
The pair reunited in Minnesota eight days before the 2016 season and now get another opportunity to recreate the success they experienced together in St. Louis and Philadelphia.
“I wasn’t surprised,” Shurmur said last month about Bradford’s hot start in Minnesota. “I certainly saw that his first year in St. Louis, and I saw it last year in Philadelphia. I wasn’t surprised by it. I knew if he had a feel for what we were doing that he would be able to execute.”
Shurmur played big role in bringing Bradford to Minnesota
Vikings writer Mark Craig wrote earlier this year that it was Shurmur who convinced the organization that Bradford had the intelligence and the work ethic to learn Norv Turner’s offense quickly.
Their history together was enough for Shurmur to persuade the Vikings give up a future first-round pick and more. Here is an excerpt from Craig’s NFL Insider last month on Shurmur’s role in acquiring Bradford:
If Pat Shurmur tells you the New York strip is excellent, order the New York strip. If he tells you it’s going to rain, carry an umbrella, even if it’s sunny. And if he tells you it’s cool to pull an expensive trigger on a Sam Bradford trade eight days before opening day, by all means pull, baby, pull.
On Aug. 31, a day after quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s season-ending knee injury sucker-punched the life out of the entire Vikings Super Bowl contender, Shurmur went from a tight ends coach with some fresh ideas on West Coast schematics to resident Winter Park expert on all things Sam Bradford.
Shurmur, who was Bradford’s offensive coordinator in St. Louis in 2010 and Philadelphia last season, was asked this week to reflect on that day and the next two that led to the Bradford trade Sept. 3. He used the word “great” five times while answering one question about what he told Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman about Bradford.
“Sam’s a great decisionmaker,” Shurmur said.
“He has a great sense of timing,” Shurmur said.
“I knew he would be a great teammate,” Shurmur said.
“And I really felt having been here for a few months that he would be a great, great fit for our team,” Shurmur said.
Shurmur also stressed Bradford’s accuracy, his toughness, his appreciation for complementary football, and how the 28-year-old’s chronically reconstructed left knee had finally returned to full strength when Bradford closed last season as one of the league’s better quarterbacks.
Football runs in the family and Big Ten ties
Shurmur is the nephew of longtime NFL coach and former Green Bay defensive coordinator Fritz Shurmur. The elder Shurmur spent 23 years coaching in the NFL with five teams and won a Super Bowl late in his career (1996) with the Packers.
His stops before Green Bay were Detroit, New England, the Los Angeles Rams and Phoenix Cardinals.
Shurmur made a career coaching defense, while Pat’s career has been focused on offense.
Pat, an Ann Arbor, Mich., native, played college football in the Big Ten at Michigan State and was the co-captain of the 1988 Rose Bowl champion Spartans. His son Kyle is the starting quarterback at Vanderbilt and was top QB prospect in the 2015 recruiting class.
Longstanding respect for Vikings coach Mike Zimmer
During Shurmur’s early years in Philadelphia are when he and Zimmer began to form a relationship.
“Coach Zimmer and I became friends while we were working against one another,” Shurmur said. “I was at the Philadelphia Eagles and he was at the Dallas Cowboys as a defensive coordinator. I knew him then and he was terrific as far as defensive coordinator. He was a real son of a gun for us. Then I knew him when I was the head coach in Cleveland, he was the defensive coordinator for the Bengals. We had some pretty good battles. Because of those relationships, we became friends and it sort of started then.”
Zimmer made it no secret that offensive line coach Tony Sparano and Shurmur were hired in part to help Turner tweak an offense that ranked 29th overall and 31st in passing last season. But a major shakeup was not expected. The Vikings reportedly were one of a few NFL teams that expressed interest in Shurmur.