BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — The guy who hired Pat Shurmur for his first head coaching job with the Browns thinks he will “absolutely” do better in his second job with the Giants. The biggest difference, Mike Holmgren said, is who he’ll have on the field.
“We didn’t have a quarterback,” Holmgren said of the 2011-12 Browns. “And now he’s got a quarterback.”
For the time being that quarterback is Eli Manning. It may soon be someone else, perhaps even one selected with the second overall pick in April’s draft.
Holmgren, a former two-time head coach who served as president of the Browns when Shurmur was hired, had plenty of glowing remarks on Shurmur while making the rounds at Radio Row at Super Bowl LII.
“He’s an excellent detail guy,” he said. “He’s smart.”
Holmgren did offer some advice.
“In Cleveland he was really a hard guy with the players,” he said. “Which was good, they needed it. But if I were to talk to him I’d say: ‘Enjoy it more. Enjoy your second time around more.’ You don’t have to look like this [clenched fist].”
Whether Shurmur heeds that advice or not, Holmgren thinks Shurmur will have learned from his experience in Cleveland. That tenure ended after two seasons with a 9-23 record when a new ownership took over the franchise and turned over the front office and coaching staff.
“He’ll be really good this time around,” Holmgren said. “He was good the first time around.”