The question of whether Eli Manning will be on the roster in 2019 has dominated recent discussion about the Giants, but there is another name that could add an interesting wrinkle to the quarterbacks’ meeting room come spring.
What about Kyle Shurmur, a starter at Vanderbilt for 3 ½ years who closed out his college career on Thursday in a 45-38 loss to Baylor in the Texas Bowl?
Shurmur is not expected to be an early round draft pick, but if the Giants consider him in the later rounds or as a free agent, it would set up an intriguing dynamic in that their head coach, Pat, happens to be Kyle’s father.
At this early stage, Pat is able to joke about the possibility, because there are 31 other places Kyle could land.
When asked after practice on Friday whether he allows himself to think about his son joining him, he said, “I don’t know. I think that’d be hard on his mom.”
A reporter noted that at least Kyle would be home a lot, to which Pat said, “Yeah, he’d be home a lot. That’s what I’m saying.”
But seriously, folks, Pat said he would approach scouting and evaluating Kyle like he does any player.
“They go through the paces, there’s exposures to each player, different points here in the offseason and you get tagged with a grade and they make a magnet for you and they put you up on the board,” he said.
He said it is important that professionals who do not know Kyle as well as he does decide independently what they think of him.
“I think that’s the fairest way to do this thing,” he said, then added, jokingly, “Questionable parenting, that’s the first thing. That’s one knock.”
Pat never has coached a team on which Kyle was playing, but he said, “I’ve been his dad for a long time. I mean, we’ve played catch quite a bit.”
Kyle was 18-for-37 for 286 yards and a touchdown in the loss to Baylor, and finished with school records of 8,865 passing yards and 64 touchdowns (with 29 interceptions) surpassing the marks Jay Cutler set from 2002-05.
The 6-4, 225-pounder has NFL-level size and plenty of experience against elite SEC defenses.
His father said that while he has tried to guide his son, he mostly has left the particulars to his college coaches.
“I’ve always stayed out of it,” he said. “I haven’t called Vanderbilt one time in his tenure there to talk anything football. (Head coach) Derek Mason and (Andy) Ludwig and (Gerry) Gdowski, the coaches that have worked with him, they’ve done an excellent job, and that’s his world. That’s for him.
“I guide him on little things like body language when there’s an incomplete pass, the camera goes right to you. I guide him on things like that, but I think all along, his coaches have done an excellent job of coaching him, but to the process. Now going through the (draft evaluation) process, I’ll have some pointers I can give him.”
While Pat was not able to be in Houston for the game, the fact that it did not begin until 9 p.m. allowed him to watch it live on television after preparing for Sunday’s season finale against the Cowboys.
“It was quite a game - a lot of offense,” the elder Shurmur said. “I thought he battled. I thought he did a lot of good things. Much like any game, they fell a few plays short of winning in a really high-scoring affair. I watched him as a dad and I was proud of his efforts to this point.
“He’s accomplished a great deal and he’s done it because he’s made good choices along the way, which has allowed him to go to such a great place like Vanderbilt. He’s on a flight home with the family and he’s got a Vanderbilt degree and he helped his team win a lot of games and (set) a few records, so we’ll sit down and maybe celebrate later this evening.”