Monday’s NFL: Giants hire MSU alumnus Shurmur

Associated Press

East Rutherford, N.J. — Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur has been hired as the New York Giants head coach.

The Giants announced the hiring late Monday afternoon, less than 24 hours after Shurmur and the Vikings were beaten by the Eagles in the NFC title game.

The 52-year-old Shurmur, who is from Dearborn Heights and played and coached at Michigan State, replaces Ben McAdoo, who was fired in early December with the team mired with a 2-10 record and owners and fans upset with his handling of the benching of two-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Eli Manning.

Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo took over for the final four games and posted a 1-3 record.

Shurmur was one of six candidates to interview for the job. He returns to the head coaching ranks for the first time since leading the Browns in 2011-12.

The Giants won’t officially introduce Shurmur until Friday. A winter storm in the Midwest is preventing him from coming to New Jersey on Tuesday and he will be at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, from Tuesday night through Thursday.

Shurmur takes over a troubled team that posted a 3-13 record a year after making the playoffs.

He has developed a reputation as a “quarterback whisperer” throughout his 19-year NFL coaching career, as recently evidenced by turning Vikings’ Case Keenum into a championship game quarterback.

Meantime, Steve Wilks, 48, is the new head coach of the Cardinals.

The Cardinals announced Monday that Wilks, who was the Panthers defensive coordinator, had agreed to a four-year contract with a team option for a fifth year.

And the Titans introduced Mike Vrabel, who interviewed for the Lions job, as their new coach Monday. They agreed to terms with Vrabel on Saturday, just five days after firing Mike Mularkey despite coming off the franchise’s first playoff victory in 14 years.

This is the first head coaching job for Vrabel, 42, who won three Super Bowl rings with New England during his 14-year NFL career as a linebacker.

Vrabel is coming off his first season as defensive coordinator for the Texans. Vrabel’s 14-year career as a player included stints with Pittsburgh under coach Bill Cowher and New England under coach Bill Belichick, along with Kansas City.

Wilks spent one season as coordinator in Carolina, his 12th year as an NFL assistant. Wilks spent five seasons as Panthers secondary coach before his promotion a year ago. Wilks replaces Bruce Arians, who retired after five seasons and compiled a franchise-record 50 victories.

Source: Browns to hire Haley

A person familiar with the negotiations says the Browns are hiring former Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

Cleveland coach Hue Jackson is turning his offense over to Haley, who spent six seasons in Pittsburgh before he was fired last week, said the person who spoke Monday night to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the move.

A former head coach with Kansas City, Haley worked with one of the NFL’s most high-powered offenses in Pittsburgh. He’ll inherit one with far less talent, but Cleveland is expected to upgrade its offense in free agency and the draft.

The 50-year-old Haley will assume play-calling duties from Jackson, who is 1-31 with Cleveland.

Haley was criticized following Pittsburgh’s playoff loss to Jacksonville for failing to have quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sneak on two fourth-down plays. The Steelers failed to convert and were beaten 45-42.

Extra points

A Eagles fan whose attempt to rally subway passengers for a playoff game ended with him running into a concrete pole says he’s doing OK and a viral video shows the “passion” of Philly fans. Jigar Desai said his pain eased with the Eagles’ 38-7 victory over the Vikings on Sunday night.

... Eric Washington has been named the Panthers new defensive coordinator, replacing Wilks.