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Giants officially hire Pat Shurmur as head coach

New York officially has its new leader of Big Blue.

The Giants have hired Pat Shurmur as head coach, the team announced on Monday.

Shurmur, 52, shot back up the ranks of head coaching candidates thanks to his work with career backup Case Keenum in 2017 as part of a Vikings team that won the NFC North and was one win from a Super Bowl berth. The coordinator conducted the league’s 10th-ranked scoring offense (23.9 points per game), and No. 11 unit in total yards per game (356.9) and passing yards per game (234.6), sparking the emergence of pass-catchers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen along the way.

Diggs and Thielen each finished in the top 25 in receiving yards as Minnesota’s offense evolved from ugly in 2016 to more than adequate in 2017. With much of it riding on the execution of Keenum and a retooled offensive line, the transformation was considered even more impressive of an achievement.

The Giants gig is Shurmur’s second head coaching job. He posted a 9-23 record with the Cleveland Browns from 2011-2012 before he was fired at the conclusion of his second campaign.

Payton pulled the stunt during the fourth quarter of his team’s 20-17 loss to Atlanta, aiming the gesture toward Freeman following a play that saw the runner wind up on the New Orleans sideline. The coach told reporters after the game that he had no memory of the incident, but reversed course on Wednesday.

It’s the same thing that we talk about with our players all of the time. It wasn’t good and I felt like as that game went on, it even affected me in calling plays, Payton said. I’ve got to [be] better that way. It was frustrating from some of the officiating. But you learn even when you’ve been in this thing as long as I have. It’s something that you regret and you look back on: ‘What are you doing?’ So, I think that’s the thing that bugged me for the better part of the week.

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