As the Vikings begin their offseason, they’re officially on the hunt for a new offensive coordinator.
The New York Giants named Pat Shurmur their new head coach on Monday, making official a move that had been expected since last week. Sources told the Star Tribune last week that Shurmur had become the top candidate in the Giants’ coaching search, but the team wasn’t able to officially hire the Vikings’ offensive coordinator until the team’s season had concluded.
A day after the Vikings lost 38-7 in the NFC Championship Game to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Giants announced they’d hired Shurmur. ESPN reported the Giants gave Shurmur a five-year contract, making him a head coach for the second time in his career.
“I want to thank John Mara and Steve Tisch for giving me the opportunity to be the head coach of the New York Giants,” Shurmur said in a statement. “I am looking forward to getting to work with Dave Gettleman and Kevin Abrams and starting the process to once again build a championship team. I have been fortunate to work with many great coaches and players, and I am thankful for those relationships.”
Shurmur, 52, went 9-23 as the Cleveland Browns’ head coach in 2011-12, before winning one game as the Eagles’ interim head coach after the team fired Chip Kelly in 2015. He joined the Vikings as their tight ends coach before the 2016 season and became the interim offensive coordinator after Norv Turner resigned last November.
When Vikings coach Mike Zimmer made Shurmur the permanent offensive coordinator after the season, Shurmur put together an offense that triggered the Vikings’ jump from 8-8 to 13-3 this season. Minnesota ranked 10th in the league in points and 11th in yards, despite the fact quarterback Sam Bradford played only six quarters all season and running back Dalvin Cook tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in Week 4.
Shurmur interviewed with four teams — the Cardinals, Lions, Bears and Giants — while the Vikings had a bye during the first weekend of the playoffs. The Giants hired him to work with Gettleman, the former Panthers general manager that New York made its new GM in December.
As Shurmur replaces Ben McAdoo as the Giants’ coach, the Vikings will look for ways to replace him in Minnesota.
The Vikings could consider external candidates, but if they opt for an internal hire, quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski might be a candidate. Stefanski, 35, has coached running backs and tight ends in Minnesota, since joining the organization in 2006.
Asked what the Vikings would need from Shurmur’s successor, tight end Kyle Rudolph — who has worked with both Shurmur and Stefanski — argued for continuity.
“As Pat said when he took over, ‘The wheel spins fine; let’s just make it spin a little bit better,’ ” Rudolph said on Sunday night. “Hopefully whoever comes in will adopt that same mind-set. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel; we did pretty well this year. We know our formula to win football games, and what gets us beat.”