Roughly 20 seconds into his introductory news conference as coach of the New York Giants Ed Dickson Color Rush Jersey , Pat Shurmur ran into his problem.
The lights went out in the auditorium where he was speaking.
Like everyone else in the packed room, the former offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings laughed, and then handled the situation without missing a beat.
”And we’re off,” Shurmur quipped. ”We have to keep adjusting. Anyway, I was going to tell a joke, so I’ll stop.”
Speaking and answering questions for more than 25 minutes after being introduced by co-owner John Mara, Shurmur was poised, funny and open, thanking his mother in Michigan for teaching him to be competitive, compassionate and not allowing anyone to tell him you can’t do something.
Shurmur faces a major task in taking over a team that went 3-13 after making the playoffs in 2016. The injury-ravaged Giants slipped so quickly that Ben McAdoo was fired in early December after less than two years on the job.
”There’s a lot of work to be done,” Shurmur said. ”There are changes that need to be made.”
One thing that seemingly won’t change is the Giants’ starting quarterback. Shurmur is looking forward to working with Eli Manning and he believes the 37-year-old two-time Super Bowl winner still has years ahead of him.
The 52-year-old agrees with new general manager Dave Gettleman that winning starts up front, and he is determined to build a good offensive line to go along with a talented defensive line.
”There are basic truths and basic facts that don’t change and you have to do,” Gettleman said. ”You have to run the ball, you have to stop the run, and you have to rush the passer. Pat and I completely agree on that. The other thing is that big men allow you to compete.”
As the Giants struggled last season Barkevious Mingo Color Rush Jersey , there were rifts in the locker room. Three players were suspended for a week for conduct detrimental to the organization.
Shurmur wants to get to know his players, particularly superstar receiver Odell Beckham Jr., joking it makes sense to throw him the ball. He added everyone will start with a clean sheet.
This will be Shurmur’s second head coaching job, and he says he is a lot more knowledgeable now than when he ran the Cleveland Browns in 2011-12.
”Those who do know me know I have zero tolerance for people who don’t compete,” Shurmur said. ”I have zero tolerance for those who do not give effort and I have zero tolerance for people who don’t show or lack respect.”
Shurmur has already started assembling his staff. Former Cardinals defensive coordinator James Bettcher will be his defensive coordinator.
The status of the offensive coordinator is uncertain. Shurmur intends to call his own plays on an offense that will have a West Coast influence, but also one that seeks to run the ball.
”We’re going to do what we can to get better each day,” Shurmur said. ”How fast that happens? I’m as impatient as the next fan, but we’re going to try to get better each day.
”As I mentioned we have a lot of really good players on this team. We’re going to get some new ones and we’re going to try to put together a team that can go out next year and win games.”
The Giants, who have made the playoffs only once since 2011, interviewed five other coaching candidates, including interim coach and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.
Shurmur was the clear choice, the co-owners said.
”After the season like we had, we needed someone who was ”an adult,” who is professional and who has a certain demeanor to walk in there and start to straighten things out,” Mara said. ”I think he had all the qualities. Time will tell.”
Co-owner Steve Tisch believes the Giants will be patient in the rebuilding process D.J. Fluker Color Rush Jersey , but he thinks Shurmur will hit the ground running. He was impressed with the way the new coach walked through the building Thursday and introduced himself to everyone.
”The evidence is there this is a mature, responsible, passionate leader,” Tisch said. ”I can’t wait for the players to meet him and him to put a new staff together. It’s a new day and it’s very exciting.”
Mara, who has taken part in his share of coaching searches, said Shurmur had as good an interview as he has experienced. Tisch added he felt an almost instant chemistry talking with him.
With closer Arodys Vizcaino on the disabled list, the Braves found strong relief elsewhere.
Four relievers combined to allow one hit in four scoreless innings, giving Atlanta’s bullpen an important lift as the Braves beat Baltimore 7-3 on Sunday for their first win over the Orioles in six years.
Freddie Freeman’s two-run single in the first inning gave Atlanta the lead and Dansby Swanson added a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the eighth .
Left-hander A.J. Minter pitched a perfect ninth following scoreless innings from Shane Carle, Jesse Biddle and Dan Winkler in relief of Brandon McCarthy. Vizcaino was placed on the DL before the game with right shoulder inflammation.
”My job was to kind of help out Vizzy today, give him some rest,” Minter said.
The bullpen’s strong showing was especially important after Braves relievers allowed nine runs and 10 hits on Friday night with Vizcaino unavailable.
”Those guys in the bullpen stepped up big,” said Braves manager Brian Snitker. ”… They couldn’t have done any better.”
Baltimore won the first two games of the series and swept the last set between the teams in 2015. Atlanta ended a stretch of seven straight losses to the Orioles since 2012.
McCarthy (6-3) overcame home runs by pinch-hitter Mark Trumbo and Trey Mancini to allow three runs in five innings.
Mancini, back in the lineup after missing three starts with a stiff neck, led off the third with his 10th homer . Despite Sunday’s loss Dontae Johnson Color Rush Jersey , Mancini said winning the series from the Braves was the last-place Orioles’ best showing since winning three of four at the Yankees in early April.
”This series down here felt like us again, I’d say for the first time really since the New York series early in the year in the Bronx,” Mancini said.
Trumbo hit a two-run homer beyond the reach of center fielder Ender Inciarte in the fifth. Trumbo has five homers in his last seven games.
Charlie Culberson doubled in two runs and Nick Markakis also had a run-scoring double in the third as Atlanta took a 5-1 lead. Swanson’s homer off Brad Brach landed inside the left-field foul pole.
The Braves took a 2-0 lead before David Hess (2-4) recorded an out. Hess walked Enter Inciarte, who moved to third on Ozzie Albies‘ double. Both scored on Freeman’s single to left field.
Hess gave up five runs on seven hits and two walks in four innings – his third straight start allowing five runs.
Albies had three hits, giving him nine for the series.
Orioles: Trumbo did not start due to a sore right knee, a recurrence of a problem that surfaced in May. Trumbo is expected to be back in the lineup on Monday.
Braves: Vizcaino hadn’t appeared in a game since June 17 against the Mets. … Tyler Flowers remained in the game after being hit on his helmet with a pitch from Mike Wright Jr. in the fifth.
McCarthy was well-rested for a day game. Those were prime conditions for success for the 34-year-old right-hander.
McCarthy began the day 2-0 with a 2.82 ERA in four day games this season, compared to a 5.79 ERA in 10 night starts. He was making his first start since June 15, and he was 2-0 with a 2.76 ERA in his previous three starts with at least six days rest.
OF Ronald Acuna Jr. (left knee sprain) likely will spend at least one more day on his rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett. Snitker said the Braves are ”still kind of evaluating” Acuna to ”make sure he’s healed. He feels he is.” Acuna has been on the DL four weeks, since May 28.
The Braves selected the contract of right-hander Evan Phillips from Triple-A Gwinnett, where he was 4-4 with a 2.31 ERA in 26 games, all in relief. INF Phil Gosselin was designated for assignment to create a spot for Phillips on the 40-man roster.
Orioles: RHP Andrew Cashner (2-7, 4.72) will try to end a streak of three straight losing decisions when Baltimore returns home to face Seattle on Monday night.
Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (right triceps tightness) is expected to come off the DL to start Monday night’s opening game of a three-game series against the Reds.