1- "I think it has to be somebody that has either had head-coaching experience or at least has been a coordinator for a significant period of time "I think if you don't have that, the odds are really stacked against you.” - John Mara
Using that as barometer this would seemingly rule Eric Studesville and Steve Wilks. Studesville has never been even a coordinator and Wilks is just a 1 year DC.
That leaves Shurmur, Schwartz, McDaniels, Patricia and Spagnuolo.
If we assume that Spagnuolo is a courtesy interview like Ross was, lets get down to it.
2- “It's not impossible to succeed without that (experience), but I think the more experience that individual has, as either a head coach, or as a coordinator on either side of the ball, I think it's very important." - John Mara
Clearly Shurmur has the more experience side. Patricia just has the one as a DC and this seemingly rules him out.
This leaves Shurmur, Schwartz and McDaniels.
Shurmur resume is filled with pretty bright spots and the one blemish in Cleveland as Head Coach. Overall it is a resume that shows he has done well in several spots- Rams, Eagles & Vikings. He has done this with several different systems and under several different coaches. This distinguishes him from McDaniels who has really had success in one system, for one team and for one HC and QB. This would seemingly rule out McDaniels.
This would leave Shurmur and Schwartz.
Both have had success in several spots. Both have been HCs and long term Coordinators. Both have one big failure as HC for a poor organization.
Shurmur does to me have an edge with his HC experience as Schwartz was more directly fired for his failure. Schwartz was HC for 5 seasons which is a substantial chance to succeed and he delivered just 1 winning season and one playoffs (a loss) and an overall 35% winning percentage. This despite having a franchise QB, franchise WR a franshise defensive player. He had Stanford, Calvin Johnson and Suh. Schwartz was legitimately fired for his failure there after ample opportunity and talent. Plus he also had the weird on the field cursing showdown.
3- On your head-coach priority list, how important is the ability to develop a young quarterback?
A: It’s really important. You draft a quarterback high, and you’re wrong? It sets you back, because then what happens, there are teams that I call, they’re in quarterback hell. They got solid defense, they’ve got a pretty good offensive line, they got some skill players. They … just … can’t … find the trigger guy. And what happens is they go 7-9, 8-8, 9-7, and they never get high enough to get a real guy, and they’re afraid to trade up and trade the farm to get a guy because they’re [No.] 18, 19, 20 draft position. I call that quarterback hell.- Gettleman
Shurmur is a QB guru and that is what landed him his first head coaching job in Cleveland. His rep was developed from McNabb in Philly where he was QB coach for 4 NFC Title games and a Super Bowl appearance. It was developed from his time with the Rams where he got Sam Bradfords best year ever there (McDaniels failed as Rams OC, Shurmur didn’t). It was developed from his time as Philly with Foles who had 27 TDs! (How bad is Foles now?) and now with Case Kennum.
This part would seemingly eliminate Schwartz.
So to me, the case is made for Shurmur.
Shurmur was let go on Cleveland by a new Owner. This was a complete management change including the GM was fired. This was basically said at the start of the year, before his 2nd year that this change would happen if the sale went through. The sale was finalized with Browns at 5-8 and they proceeded to lose last 3. It’s hard to say he had a real chance to succeed there.” Joe Banner, the former Browns chief executive officer who fired Shurmur as coach after a 9-23 stint, said his decision had little to do with Shurmur’s performance as coach.”
Shurmur was hired by Mike Holmgren there.as a handpicked guy which I think is plus. I respect Holmgren. He had little talent in his 2 years with Colt McCoy at QB.
"I've never seen a coach with that much on his plate in two years," linebacker Scott Fujita said. "To handle it the way he did and to manage it day to day the way he did and to not let the distractions from outside come in and infiltrate the locker room, you couldn't have asked for more out of him."
That seems to be quite an endorsement from one of his players of. Fired coach.
Also, he was immediately picked up as OC again in Philly. A lot of fired failed HCs have to sit out of the league or really take a step down to position coach (McAdoo was so bad he got passed over as a QB coach).
Shurmur once a again had big success running Chip Kellys system. This is impressive as it was entirely different system than he had with Rams. Both are entirely different systems than he is succeeeding with in Minnesota.
Shurmur was well thought of enough in Philly to be interim HC when Kelly was fired. Of which he beat the Giants in his one game 35-30. He was considered a real candidate for the Eagles job (unlike Spags) and was said he just lost out to Pederson.
he was immediately hired by Vikings who promoted him in under 1 year to OC where he has had wild success so far. (He took over from Norv Turner who failed there and had once been considered a great OC).
I see a consistent track record of success and being well regarded and promoted everywhere he went. His failure in Cleveland is explainable.
4- Lastly we all know the “command the room” comment from Gettleman about leadership. But he also said this
Q: Are you looking for a kick-ass coach?
A: I want a coach that has a toughness about him. There’s a number of ways to be tough. I’ve seen quiet tough guys, and the players know he’s nobody to fool with. He says, “Jump,” we’re jumping. It’s like I tell people — you have a message? It’s about your delivery. Some people just deliver messages differently.
Shurmur likely fits into this category.
“He is a master motivator,” Wishart said. “He could get the kids to play better than you would think. He was a coach on the field. I don’t know what else to say. He was just a leader."
Banner, who fielded calls from several NFL teams about Shurmur in recent weeks, said Shurmur excels at connecting with people and that concerns about his locker-room presence are overblown.
"He’s just a really good person,” Banner said. "I think people will respond to that. I think ownership, the GM, the players sense somebody that really cares about people, cares about them, is highly motivated to do the right things the right way. I just think, if you’re going to be a leader and people see those kind of qualities, I think it gets you a good way towards being a successful leader and he’s just a good, good person."
Banner was the guy who fired him in Cleveland. Who has the person who fired you speak about you that way?
So thats the case for Pat Shurmur. The man who turned around Rams from 1-15 to 7-9 behind a career year from Sam Bradford. The man who got a 119 QB rating out of Nick Foles. The man who is turning Case Keenum into a star.
Shurmur “wanted to know how to kick his opponent’s ass,” Wishart recalled.He held mini film sessions at his house with his father, younger brothers and friends, and as Wishart looks back at that time, it has become increasingly clear that Shurmur “is so built for what he is doing.”