The Giants had two openings on their coaching staff. They took care of both with one hire.
Mike Shula, who spent the past five seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Panthers (which included a run to Super Bowl 50), will be named the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Giants, a source confirmed to Newsday on Tuesday. The NFL Network was first to report the news and the Giants are expected to announce the designation officially — along with the entire coaching staff — as early as Wednesday.
With head coach Pat Shurmur handling the play-calling for the Giants in 2018, Shula will be able to oversee the offense as coordinator and focus on the quarterbacks room at the same time. Veteran quarterback Eli Manning is expected to return for at least one more season, so that position group will not need much baby-sitting. If the Giants draft a quarterback high in the first round in April, though, Shula undoubtedly will have to spend more time with the rookie.
Shula was not the first choice for offensive coordinator, otherwise he would have been hired long before this week. He’s been available since he was fired by the Panthers after their wild-card loss to the Saints in early January. Shurmur was more likely eying others, and hinted at his introductory news conference in mid-January that some of those candidates were “not currently available” because of their involvement with playoff teams. At the NFL Honors on Feb. 3 where he was named 2017 Assistant Coach of the Year, Shurmur was asked about the offensive coordinator opening.
“I’ve got an idea what I want to do,” he said at the time.
That pointed to Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski, who worked under Shurmur in Minnesota and was a candidate to replace him as offensive coordinator. Stefanski was passed over for the coordinator job in Minnesota but the Vikings denied the Giants’ request to interview him for their position. There was also speculation that Shurmur was leaning toward one of the assistants from his time in Philadelphia, including John DeFilippo (since hired as Vikings OC) and Duce Staley. Ultimately, though, Shula was given the job.
Shula and Shurmur have not worked together in the past, but they were both candidates for the Panthers’ offensive coordinator position in 2013. Shurmur, just fired as head coach of the Browns, interviewed for that job which eventually went to Shula, who had been the Panthers’ quarterbacks coach the previous two seasons. Giants general manager Dave Gettleman was the GM of the Panthers during that time.
Shula, 52, is the son of Don Shula, the NFL’s all-time winningest coach. He played quarterback at Alabama and was the head coach there from 2003-06. After that he worked for three years as a quarterbacks coach for the Jaguars before landing with the Panthers.