Pat Shurmur should open a transmission shop.
He’s retooling an offensive line in the offseason for the second year in a row and following just about the same steps to do it. Last year, when he was offensive coordinator for the Vikings, he referred to the process as overhauling the transmission instead of just changing the oil. This year, as head coach of the Giants, he’s at it again.
“Eerily similar to a year ago, actually” is how Shumur put it on Friday night after the Giants selected UTEP guard Will Hernandez with their second-round pick. “Dave [Gettleman] and I were just talking about it and this really wasn’t planned, but it was part of the equation. A year ago in Minnesota, we went out and got two free agents and then we drafted Pat Elflein, who played center for us and played at a level way above what a rookie would play. This year we went out and got two free agents and now we’ve drafted another offensive lineman. A year ago we brought in Dalvin Cook and [this year] we brought in Saquon Barkley. I don’t think it was planned that way, but it sort of worked out that way.”
It helped bring the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game a year ago. Will the Giants get that much better? Hard to say. They certainly have improved their running game, which for the past few seasons has been one of the worst in the NFL.
“A lot better,” Shurmur said of the Giants’ renewed ability to run. “We’re all saying that with a smile. I think when you bring in a dynamic runner and then you bring in a guy that can block, certainly those are two pieces to the equation.”