NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As far as Stefon Diggs is concerned, Odell Beckham Jr. should soon have a lot of fun on the football field.
That’s because, if the countless reports end up being true, the Giants are getting a serious offensive mind in Pat Shurmur as their next head coach.
If you didn’t know who Diggs was before, you certainly did after last Sunday’s NFC Divisional playoff game between the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings. All he did was catch a 61-yard touchdown pass as time expired, leading the Vikes to a stunning 29-24 victory and a place in Sunday’s conference championship game against the Eagles in Philadelphia.
Shurmur, Minnesota’s offensive coordinator, has received tons of praise for putting together an offense that is a lot better than many believed possible, given the team’s lack of star power at quarterback. Since taking over as the starter back in Week 2 due to an injury to incumbent Sam Bradford, journeyman Case Keenum has transformed into a bona fide No. 1.
Shurmur has gotten a lot of the credit for Keenum’s emergence, and on Thursday was named NFL Assistant Coach of the Year.
Diggs and fellow wideout Adam Thielen have been a big part of the Vikings’ balanced attack, hauling in a combined 155 passes and 12 touchdowns during the regular season. Diggs, who is in his third season, had six receptions, 137 yards and the aforementioned TD in last week’s win over New Orleans.
“(Shurmur) is gonna call plays that work for you,” Diggs told the Daily News. “He’s gonna do what you’re good at. He’s not gonna make it hard. He’s gonna make it as easy on you as possible. Whatever you’re good at, he’s gonna let you do. That’s it. As a player that’s what you want. So whatever you do well, he’s gonna let you do it to the best of your ability — and a lot.”
That has to be music to Beckham’s ears, especially considering how his 2017 season played out. The Giants lost their 25-year-old star receiver in Week 5 to a broken ankle. He finished the season with 25 catches, 302 yards and three TDs.
The Giants went on to a 3-13 record and as a result will have an entirely different look in 2018, from their head coach to their general manager to probably a good number of their players, including, possibly, their starting quarterback.
Beckham will also be out to prove he’s worth a long-term contract extension. Despite his 313 receptions, 4,424 yards and 38 TDs in just 47 career games, Beckham’s attitude and behavior has rubbed many the wrong way at times. Diggs said if OBJ strikes up a rapport with Shurmur, he’ll laugh all the way to the bank.
“As a player, (Beckham) does a lot of things well, so it’s gonna be a fun offense for him to be in,” Diggs said Thursday. “Because Pat knows how to get people the ball. He’s special. Good coach.”