The Vikings couldn’t stop Pat Shurmur from leaving to be the head coach of the New York Giants, but they stopped Shurmur from taking assistant Kevin Stefanski with him.
At the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Shurmur said the Vikings did a good thing “for the Vikings” by blocking the Giants from interviewing Stefanski, who will lead quarterbacks entering his 13th season as the longest-tenured Vikings coach.
“I think Kevin is a tremendous coach and obviously the Vikings feel the same way,” Shurmur said Wednesday. “I think he has a bright future. He’s a good man and the Vikings did a good thing by keeping him — for the Vikings. I’m hopeful they have a great year as well.”
Status quo still doesn’t describe the Vikings offense. Head coach Mike Zimmer hired two prominent offensive minds, John DeFilippo as coordinator and Todd Downing as a senior assistant. Stefanski will coach Vikings quarterbacks for a second season after previously working with running backs and tight ends.
Shurmur eventually hired ex-Panthers coordinator Mike Shula in lieu of Stefanski. In his second stint as a head coach, Shurmur has a remodeling job ahead of him led with 37-year-old quarterback Eli Manning and the No. 2 pick in April’s NFL Draft.
“We’re moving forward with Eli,” Shurmur said, “but certainly with the second pick of the draft we want to draft a player worthy of that pick. Last time the Giants had the second pick in the draft, they picked Lawrence Taylor.”