A new coach is supposed to be a beacon of light for a struggling franchise - a reason to believe in brighter days ahead. So it didn't seem like a good omen when, just 25 seconds after Pat Shurmur was introduced as the new head coach of the Giants, the lights in the auditorium suddenly went off.
"And we're off, huh?" Shurmur said with a laugh. "But we've got to just keep adjusting, I guess."
Shurmur seemed to adjust really well in his first day in the New York spotlight, mixing an image of strength with some touches of humor and an actual vision for the team's future - not just a bunch of clichés. He came across as a man in control, who'll insist players do things his way and the right way, but still willing to "give them a hug at the end of a hard day."
He wasn't the hard-charging, whip-cracking general that Tom Coughlin was in 2004, nor was he the laid-back, cliché-machine that Ben McAdoo was in 2016. Instead, he seemed like the perfect cool, calm choice to revitalize the Giants, even if he wasn't exactly a big, flashy choice.
"I wasn't looking for flash," Giants co-owner John Mara said. "I was looking for someone who I could envision leading us in the future. As Dave (Gettleman) said, it was a professional and an adult. I think he checks all the boxes."
Here's a look at some of the other boxes that were checked on Friday, and some important takeaways from Shurmur's first press conference as the Giants head coach:
Eli is most definitely the Mann - Shurmur said QB Eli Manning has "years" left, GM Dave Gettleman concurred with Shurmur's analysis after his extensive film study of the 2017 season, and both Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch seemed thrilled with that development. There is no quarterback controversy here. It's Manning's job in 2018, and the way they were all talking, don't be shocked if he's the guy in 2019, too.
Odell Beckham might actually be reined in - the Giants have talked a lot about this over the years, but no one has ever done anything more than talk. Will that change? Hard to say, but Shurmur made it clear he planned to call Beckham on Friday and start a conversation about how to do things the right way. Oh, and Mara made it clear he wants to see how that plays out before he starts talking about Beckham's next contract.
Shurmur may not have been first choice, but he sold them with how much he wanted the job - Despite some continuing reports, Giants sources insist they did not settle on an initial favorite for the job after the first round of interviews. They settled on a threesome of favorites - Shurmur and the Patriots coordinators, Matt Patricia and Josh McDaniels. But it became clear that Patricia (with Detroit) and McDaniels (with Indianapolis) were looking at other jobs and were really going to have to be convinced to come to New York. Not so with Shurmur. "He made it pretty clear right from the beginning that he wanted this job," Mara said. "That really resonated with me. You want someone that really wants to be here and thinks that there is something special about this franchise, as opposed to just it just being another job."
Then again, maybe he was the first choice - Mara seemed legitimately wowed by Shurmur's interview, which he said was "about as good an interview as I've ever been involved with." He raved about everything he said, about how Shurmur and Gettleman meshed, about how his research kept turning up positive things. He didn't sound like man who had settled on someone else and had to come crawling back in Shurmur's direction later.
Here come the hog mollies - Gettleman made it clear he wanted to fix the offensive line, and Shurmur is right there with him. Asked when he knew he the Giants job was for him, Shurmur said "As soon as he said 'Everything starts with the offensive line.'" That made Mara feel warm and fuzzy, too. "When he said, 'You have to be able to block them,' that is something that hit home with me."
Ben McAdoo must have really been in over his head - I mean we could all see that for the most part, but the more Mara, Gettleman and Tisch used the word "adult" to describe Shurmur, and the more they described him as "a professional coach" and how he commands the room and is a "presence", the more it was clear McAdoo was none of that. Clearly the way the former coach dealt with his players, the press, and probably other things behind the scenes grated on ownership more than anyone knew.
Maybe McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese weren't on the same page - An underrated quote from Friday: Mara said the coach and GM of a team "have to be able to communicate, respect one another and have similar philosophies. I think we have that now." Does that mean he didn't before? There definitely was a simmering discontent between Reese and Tom Coughlin in their later years together. Maybe McAdoo and Reese were at odds behind the scenes, too.
Davis Webb isn't the Giants' Quarterback of the Future - The Giants have three months until they make the second pick in the draft and they know the only way they can pass on one of the top quarterbacks is if they believe they already have a top, young quarterback. Do they? At the Senior Bowl this week, Gettleman said "I know nothing" about Webb. Shurmur said he scouted him last year and determined he "had a chance to be a starter someday," but added "beyond that, I don't know much about him. There isn't much tape out there on him that I was able to see." That tape isn't going to magically materialize in the next three months, so it's hard to see how they can be sold on Webb before they have to make a move on Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen or Josh Allen.
Not playing Davis Webb late last season was a HUGE mistake - Yes. Yes it was.