NEW ORLEANS - The first interview session of Super Bowl week hadn't even begun, and already the New England media was staking out Green Bay defensive coordinator Fritz Shurmur. They were gathered around his designated seat in the Superdome stands - sportswriters from Boston and Providence and Worcester and Springfield.
"Bring that genius over here!" one of them called out when a league escort was spotted leading Shurmur up the stadium steps.
"I'm not talking to you guys," Shurmur said, breaking into a grin. "You're Parcells guys now."
Nobody thought of Fritz Shurmur as a genius when he and the rest of the Patriots' coaching staff were swept out in 1981. The team had just completed a 2-14 season, one that would earn it the first pick in the NFL draft. It was the kind of season that can kill a coaching career - or at least take years to recover from - but …