Packers Defensive Coach Shurmur Suddenly Showered with Accolades

By Daly, Dan | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), January 24, 1997 | Go to article overview

Packers Defensive Coach Shurmur Suddenly Showered with Accolades


Daly, Dan, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


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 Shurmur managed to rise above the failure and find another job. And then another. And another. And now here he was, at age 64, getting all these accolades as the defensive boss of the Packers, arguably the league's top unit this season.

Shurmur has been in pro football too long, though - 22 years and counting - to take the "genius" bait. He knows only too well that this year's genius

is next year's lunkhead.

"Look," he said, "this is just a game. Maybe my son is a genius. He fixes hearts. I'm just trying to get my players lined up halfway decent."

And, from all indications, doing a swell job of it. The Pack allowed the fewest points in the NFL this season, 210. They also gave up just 19 touchdowns, a record for a 16-game season.

For years, Shurmur has been attracting attention for his creativity and willingness to try new things. With the Rams, he had lots of good linebackers and no defensive linemen, so he devised the 2-5 "Eagle" defense. With the Cardinals, he had a shortage of outside linebackers, so he came up with the 4-2-5. He also was the first to play a nickel defense against the 49ers on first down - a strategy that proved pretty successful. But he never made the Super Bowl until now, so he probably hasn't gotten quite the credit that was due him. And he's never gotten a serious sniff of a head coaching job.

"I was teasing him this morning," Packers coach Mike Holmgren said. "I said to him, `How old is Dick Vermeil [the new Rams coach]?'

"And Fritz said, `Not as old as I am.'

"Fritz is unbelievable, though. He's still very creative, and he has a great enthusiasm for the game."

Shurmur has channeled some of that enthusiasm into the writing of four books aimed at high school and college coaches. Surely you've read "Coaching Team Defense." How about "The Eagle Five-Linebacker Defense"? Anyway, not bad for a guy who, when he graduated from Albion, figured "I'd coach high school for 10 or 12 years and maybe become a principal."

He's coached an awful lot of Pro Bowl players over the years. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Packers Defensive Coach Shurmur Suddenly Showered with Accolades
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.