Off the Record (OTR)

Holmgren says Shurmur needs to lighten up

It’s that time of year again when the NFL coaching carousel really heats up. Many teams have already fired their head coaches and are looking at the coaches and coordinators of teams that are still in the playoffs. For obvious reasons, of course.

One of the rumors out there is the potential of Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur filling the vacancy with the New York Giants. Shurmur has done a great job with quarterback Case Keenum this season, and apparently teams are now willing to overlook Shurmur’s awful stint as head coach with the Cleveland Browns. Shurmur is now one win away from the ultimate game, and if you’re looking at NFL betting odds for the Super Bowl, Shurmur’s work in the NFC Championship Game could end up influencing them.

As for being a head coach, Mike Holmgren says Shurmur needs to lighten up if he wants to be successful this go around.

“I’m a grinder, but I had fun coaching,” said Holmgren. “I said, ‘Pat, I don’t think you are having enough fun. Everything is doomsday. Joke with the guys. Tease them. Let them see you are human.’ He was scowling. He’s a good play caller, he’s a good offensive coordinator. In my brief time with him in Cleveland, I saw some light at the end of the tunnel.

“I believe the players in Cleveland respected him. He came off like a hard ass all the time. Very stern. Players are players – they respect you as long as you are honest. Bill Walsh said it to me once: ‘If you kick them in the ass, if you do it in practice, that’s okay. But don’t let them leave the field without telling them something good.’”

Holmgren was the one who hired Shurmur in Cleveland in the first place, so he would know. He also said that Shurmur paid way too much to what the media said about him.

“I told him, ‘You can’t let it get to you,’” Holmgren said. “‘Don’t create an adversarial situation.’ I tried to counsel him that way.”

I’m really not sure why a team would want to hand over the reigns to Shurmur. Being a good position coach or coordinator is not the same as being the head guy. That said, I can’t imagine there is a person on the planet that wants to be judged by the results that happened when they were in Cleveland. Remember, Bill Belichick even sucked with the Browns.

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