Ex-Giants coach Pat Shurmur comments on facing former team as Broncos assistant

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Pat Shurmur Broncos practice arms folded cropped
Pat Shurmur Broncos practice arms folded cropped

For the first time since Dec. 29, 2019, when the Giants suffered a season-ending 34-17 loss against the Philadelphia Eagles, Pat Shurmur returns to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Now a second-year offensive coordinator with the Denver Broncos, Shurmur comes back to the Meadowlands for Sunday's 2021 season opener at 4:25 p.m.

Earlier this week, Shurmur reflected on his tenure as the Giants' head coach, a two-year tenure that saw him go 9-23 from 2018-19.

"I worked really hard with those guys in that building for two years and I sort of root for them -- not so much this week, probably, but I want them to have success," he said.

In Year 2, Shurmur went 4-12 on the 2019 season. He followed his 2018 debut, a 5-11 mark, one game worse and lost nine straight games from Oct. 6 through Dec. 9, 2019.

Shurmur, now 56, did not need long to find a new home. The longtime offensive-minded coach landed Jan. 14, 2020, with Denver.

The Giants replaced Shurmur Jan. 8, 2020, by going with a career special teams coach in former New England Patriots assistant Joe Judge.

"I'd say, in terms of a relationship with Pat, I knew Pat through the business," Judge said earlier this week. "I got to meet him at the (NFL Scouting) Combine a few years back. We actually had some familiar family friends from his time in Philadelphia (as the Eagles' offensive coordinator from 2013-15) and obviously my time growing up there. Some people that kind of came in common.

"I think Pat's a fine man. We've shared a beer together. We've gone to Mass together. We've gotten ashes on Ash Wednesday together. This is a guy that I've always taken time to sit down and talk with. I think he's one of the great offensive minds in all of football. I think he does a fantastic job. I can't speak highly enough of him as a person. I think he's a fantastic person. He's a great man.

"I think a lot of players in this building obviously have ties with him. I think that's important. This guy came to work every day and did his best to put these guys in a position to be successful and our guys recognize that. This guy worked hard every day for them. So, it's a small league. You have relationships with a lot of guys. I have a tremendous amount of respect for all of their coordinators. Pat would definitely not be an exception to that."