NFC Notes: Vikes, Turner, Redskins, Giants

With former Rams and Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur now on the Vikings’ staff as the tight ends coach, O-coordinator Norv Turner‘s job could be in jeopardy if Minnesota’s attack doesn’t improve this season, writes Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune. The Vikings’ Turner-led offense ranked just 27th and 29th over the previous two seasons, and the latter finish came despite excellent production from running back Adrian Peterson. One way Turner could help his cause is to involve receiver Cordarrelle Patterson in the game plan, Souhan offers. Patterson – a first-round pick in 2013 – racked up just two targets and two carries under Turner last season. He was at his most productive as a rookie in Bill Musgrave‘s 13th-ranked offense, with 45 catches on 78 targets, 469 yards and seven total touchdowns (four receiving, three rushing).

More from the NFC:

  • Whether the Redskins have a sufficient amount of defensive line talent is one important issue facing the defending NFC East champions, posits Mike Jones of the Washington Post. The team lost both Terrance Knighton and Jason Hatcher during the offseason and didn’t add significant replacements, notes Jones, who contends that eighth-year man Ricky Jean-Francois is a candidate to fill the void. Jean-Francois – who’s a fit at right end and nose tackle – is aiming to start and make more of a pass-rushing impact this year after picking up two sacks as a rotational player last season.
  • With no other proven options at wideout behind Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants need a revival from slot man Victor Cruz, opines Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. The last time he played the majority of a season, 2014, Cruz hauled in 73 receptions, 998 yards and four touchdowns. Knee and calf injuries cost the 2012 Pro Bowler all but six games over the previous two years, including the entire 2015 season, but Big Blue brought Cruz back after he agreed to a considerable pay cut. If Cruz, 29, doesn’t resemble his previous form, second-round rookie Sterling Shepard is likely the Giants’ best hope behind Beckham. The 5-foot-10 Oklahoma product started well in spring workouts, per Schwartz.
  • We found out earlier Friday that Washington and franchise-tagged quarterback Kirk Cousins will not agree to a contract by the July 15 deadline. The same will probably be true regarding the Bears and their tag recipient, receiver Alshon Jeffery.
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