The New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur is one of seven new head coaches whose team will take the field for the first time this weekend in charge of a brand-new team.
Unlike some of the other new head coaches in this group—Steve Wilks of Arizona, Matt Nagy of Chicago, Matt Patricia of Detroit, Frank Reich of the Colts, and Mike Vrable of Tennessee—Shurmur is one of the two “new” head coaches with prior experience, joining Jon Gruden of the Raiders.
Historically, teams with new head coaches find varying degrees of success in their first year. In 2017, six new head coaches took the field for their respective teams.
Of those, Doug Marrone’s Jaguars, named the full-time head coach in January 2017 after serving the end of the 2016 as the Jaguars interim head coach; Sean McDermott of the Bills; and Sean McVay of the Rams—made the postseason, with Anthony Lynn and the Chargers just missing the cut.
“I don’t know if you take teams by surprise,” Shurmur said. “I think it’s fair to say we’ll do some things that teams haven’t seen in the preseason, that’s No. 1. But we all have backgrounds and a lot of years we’ve coached.
“Some of the words we used in training camp—something that meant run might mean pass—so there’s some tactics involved when you start the season, but for the most part, we are who we are, and we want to be a tough, gritty team that runs the ball and makes the effort to score points.”
Veteran safety Michael Thomas, who has been through a change in head coach—he went through three times in Miami—believes that if there is an advantage to be gained from having a new coaching staff and a mostly new roster, it’s slight.
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