Pat Shurmur wasted no time at all assembling his coaching staff with the Giants, and on Thursday he made it all official when he announced the hiring of 16 assistants, including six that were holdovers from Ben McAdoo's staff.
The big names, of course, were offensive coordinator Mike Shula, who came from the Carolina Panthers, and defensive coordinator James Bettcher, who came from the Arizona Cardinals. Shula was the last coach to be added, and he'll not only help with the game planning -- as Shurmur calls his own plays -- but Shula will be the Giants' quarterbacks coach, too.
"He'll assume all the roles that any offensive coordinator would have," Shurmur said in a press release from the team. "And he'd obviously be in positon to call (plays), if need be."
Most of Shurmur's staff has been in place since shortly after he was hired, and the Giants coach said he expects everyone will be at the Giants' facility and working by the end of the week. He said his coaches are "all excellent people, career coaches, guys who have had success in the profession developing players."
Here's a deeper look Shurmur's now-completed staff:
Defensive Coordinator: In James Bettcher, the Giants got a 39-year-old rising star in the NFL, who was very successful in three years as the Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator (where he succeeded Todd Bowles). The Cards ranked fifth, second and sixth in yards allowed and sixth, ninth and sixth against the run.
"James coaches a defense that's hard to score against," Shurmur said. "He had great success in Arizona, and we're certainly glad to have him here."
The Tennessee Titans tried to hire him too, but Bettcher chose the Giants instead. He's known for a pretty blitz-happy 3-4 scheme. Shurmur was noncommittal during his introductory press conference when asked of Bettcher would run a 3-4 in New York or stick with what has become a standard 4-3 for the Giants. He said he expects a little of both. If they do go 3-4, it's not necessarily a huge transition and Olivier Vernon in particular would seem to be a fit as a DE/LB outside 3-4 pass rusher. The Giants might need to reinforce their linebacking corps to really make a switch work, though.
Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks coach: The final piece of Shurmur's staff took the longest to fill, but after missing out on at least one (and possibly two) of his top choices, he finally settled on Mike Shula, the former offensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers and the son of Hall of Fame coach Don Shula. He has no clear ties to Shurmur, but his reign as OC in Carolina coincided with new Giants GM Dave Gettleman's time as the Panthers GM. Shurmur said "I've known Mike a very long time," too.
"He's done an outstanding job developing and working with quarterbacks," Shurmur said. "He was the offensive coordinator of a team that was recently playing in the Super Bowl. They've done an excellent job on offense in Carolina. We share a vision in terms of what we want to do offensively."
For most of Shula's time in Carolina, the Panthers' offense was OK. In 2015, though, it was the top scoring unit in the league as Carolina went 15-1 and reached the Super Bowl. Shurmur will be running and calling his own offense, though, so Shula's impact may be felt more in the quarterback room where he'll be the guy in charge of developing Eli Manning's eventual replacement.
Special teams coordinator: The definitive analysis of NFL special teams (so good that even some teams refer to it) is done by long-time Dallas Morning News columnist Rick Gosselin. In 2018, to no one's surprise, the Giants were ranked dead last - and other than a brief surge to second in 2015, they've been in the bottom half a lot in recent years. The Panthers, under Thomas McGaughey -- who is Shurmur's special teams coordinator -- ranked 10th last season. And he's had a trail of success as an ST coordinator with the Panthers, 49ers and Jets in recent years.
"I knew Thomas in the profession, and after having a chance to visit with him, I knew it would be a perfect fit here," Shurmur said. "He's an outstanding coach. He coached top 10 units in special teams."
He also, by the way, coached at LSU when Giants P Brad Wing was there. Odell Beckham, Jr. too.
Assistant special teams coordinator: He's not just "Coach," he's also Dr. Anthony Blevins, with a PhD in Instructional Systems and Work Force Development from Mississippi State -- a degree he remarkably earned in 2015, during his time coaching the Arizona Cardinals (where he had been a coaching assistant/special teams since 2013). He's also an alumni of the short-lived (and recently restarted) XFL. He's only been coaching in the NFL for five years.
The position coaches
Wide Receivers: The Giants lined up a former LSU receiver in Tyke Tolbert to try to handle their star LSU receiver (Beckham). The previous Giants receivers coach, Adam Henry, was Beckham's receivers coach at LSU. It's hard to tell if that helped, given Beckham's maturity issues, but what's really going to matter is Beckham's health. Tolbert's bigger challenge: Getting Sterling Shepard to the next level and developing others around them.
Linebackers: Shurmur promised he was considering multiple holdovers from Ben McAdoo's staff and the first one he hired was Bill McGovern, according to a source. The two worked together in Philadelphia. The Giants' linebacker corps has hardly been a strength, but a lack of overall quality and plenty of injuries haven't helped. He's well-respected in their room, but the position needs a big upgrade.
Assistant linebackers: The 32-year-old Rob Leonard has been with the Giants since 2013, mostly as a defensive assistant. Last year he was the assistant defensive line coach.
Defensive backs: A Staten Island native and former Syracuse assistant, Lou Anarumo may have the toughest job on the team because the Giants' defensive backs room was a disaster last season. Assuming most of the same players return, he'll have to find a way to get through to the troubled CB Eli Apple, and patch his relationship with S Landon Collins who publicly called Apple a "cancer". And he needs to make sure CBs Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins buy in to the Giants' plan after both were suspended last season for violating team rules. His training for this? Six years in the NFL, all as the Miami Dolphins defensive backs coach.
Assistant Defensive backs: After a 13-year career, including 12 with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Deshea Townsend jumped right into coaching, joining the Arizona Cardinals staff in 2011 as the assistant defensive backs coach. The 42-year-old spent the last two seasons coaching the Titans defensive backs.
Defensive line: Gary Emanuel is a former Rutgers and Syracuse assistant who spent most of his career in the college ranks. He jumped to the NFL to coach the Colts' defensive line in 2012.
Tight ends: Another holdover from McAdoo's staff will be Lunda Wells. The former assistant offensive line coach who was being courted by the Raiders will stay on board and coach the Giants tight ends instead. Yet another former LSU coach, he has been on the Giants' staff since 2012.
Running backs: And yet another holdover for the Giants will be Craig Johnson, who retains the position he's held with the Giants since 2014. They haven't exactly had great success with their running backs in his tenure, but much of that has to do with the porous offensive line in front of him. He has always seemed popular among the backs he coached.
Offensive line: The Giants have made it clear their rebuilding effort will begin along the offensive line, and they will start fresh with Hal Hunter as the coach of that unit. Hunter was out of football last year after one year as the OL coach in Cleveland. Before that, he spent four years as the assistant OL coach in Indianapolis and eight years as the OL coach and offensive coordinator with the San Diego Chargers. "(With) Hunter, there's a little bit of a scheme fit," Shurmur said. "He's done a good job coaching the offensive line wherever he's been."
Assistant Offensive line: Yet another coach with LSU ties - as a player and as a grad assistant -- Ben Wilkerson spent the last three seasons as the Chicago Bears' assistant offensive line coach. He also spent four seasons in the NFL playing for the Bengals and Falcons.
Offensive assistant: The 38-year-old Ryan Roeder has been with the Giants in this position since 2013. He coached in college before that and he was once a quarterback at the University at Albany.
Defensive assistant: The 33-year-old Bobby Blick is now entering his second season in this job. He previously was the director of player personnel for the Army football program at West Point.
Strength & conditioning/Nutrition
Shurmur is keeping the strength and conditioning program that Ben McAdoo installed in place. It workefd wonders in 2016 when the Giants seemed to shed what had been a multi-year issue with injuries. But under the same program, injuries devastated the Giants last year.
Surely there'll be some tweaks, but strength and conditioning coach Aaron Wellman and longtime Giants assistant S&C coach Markus Paul are back. So is Joe Danos, the Giants' performance manager for the past five seasons, and Pratik Patel, who came on board as the director of performance nutrition last year.