INDIANAPOLIS — The quarterback from Vanderbilt has yet to have a formal interview with the Giants, but during the informal meetings, he did get a quick hug from the head coach.
That may seem out of the ordinary, but so is Kyle Shurmur’s presence here at the NFL Combine. The son of Pat Shurmur, he is trying to catch the eye of an NFL team while also navigating the mix of awkwardness, excitement and possibility that comes from having a dad as one of your possible next coaches.
“Obviously, that would be a unique situation,” Kyle Shurmur said of the possibility of landing with the Giants. More likely, though, he will be with one of the 31 other teams trying to beat his father.
“That’ll be an interesting situation as well,” he said. “Any opportunity I get, I’ll be real appreciative.”
Shurmur probably won’t be a first- or second-day pick, but given his pedigree and background, along with his experience of having played in the ultra-competitive SEC, there is bound to be a team that will at least give him a chance to be at its training camp. That may be as a late-round pick, it may be as a free agent.
For someone who grew up attending training camps as the coach’s kid, tossing footballs around with Donovan McNabb and Sam Bradford on the sideline, it would be very special. “It’s been a dream my whole life,” he said.
First he has to get through the combine. Dad gave him some advice, most of it logistical. Like many who have watched the event from afar, Kyle Shurmur said he was unaware how exhaustive and jam-packed the schedule can be. While the on-field drills are what we see on television, there are five full days of medical exams, interviews, meetings and other grueling tasks.
Kyle said his father helped shape him into the person he is more than the quarterback he is. While his father has given him technical advice over the years – one key suggestion came early in his playing days when Pat (who played center for Michigan State) told Kyle that if he was going to play football, he should “play a position where your hand is not in the ground” — their conversations are more often about decisions and character.
“Everyone thinks he wants me to be a great quarterback,” Kyle Shurmur said. “I think he wants me to be a great person first and foremost. And I think that’s a foundation for a great quarterback.”
His toughest critic, though, he said, is his mom. After he threw two early interceptions against Tennessee State, it was Jennifer Shurmur who texted him saying: “Man, Kyle, you really sucked in the beginning.”
“She was harsh at times, but at the same time, it came from love,” he said. “And she was honest. She was going to be honest with me and I know she has my best interest in mind.”
Does she want Kyle to be a Giant under Pat? “You know, I don’t know,” Kyle said. “I think just like I said, she’s going to be excited wherever I get an opportunity . . . whether it’s the Giants or 31 other teams.”
Pat Shurmur surely knows enough about Kyle to eschew the formal interview, but the Giants still might want to do one with him. Kyle Shurmur doesn’t know what it will be like if that happens.
“I mean, this is a professional environment and this is what I love to do,” he said. “I have a great opportunity ahead of me. He’s got a job to do with the Giants. It’s great, him being my dad, I’m his son and we’re both here, but at the same time, he’s got a job to do and I got a job to do here. Obviously, at the beginning I’d give a smile, but it’d be professional, I believe.”
And probably end just the way their earlier combine encounter did: with a hug.