Surprising news out of Minnesota as Norv Turner has resigned as the Vikings’ offensive coordinator. The team announced that Pat Shurmur is taking over as interim offensive coordinator. The exact circumstances of Turner’s departure are not immediately clear. Turner has released the following statement:
“I have tremendous respect for [head coach] Mike Zimmer, our coaching staff, and our players and at this time I think it is in the best interest of the team to step down. I thank the Wilf family for my time here in Minnesota and want to see our players and coaches achieve success.”
The Vikings got off to a hot 5-0 start this year which was extra impressive considering the team’s unusual situation at quarterback. Since then, however, the Vikes have dropped their last two games. While Minnesota sits atop the NFC North, they have gotten there thanks in large part to their defense. Offensively, the team has left much to be desired in its seven games this season. Currently, the Vikings have the fifth-worst passing yards per game average in the league (221.4). Meanwhile, their running game (mostly without Adrian Peterson) has amassed just 71.9 yards per game, the second-worst average in the NFL.
Turner was in his third season as Minnesota’s OC. Over the years, Turner has built up quite the resume including head coaching stints with the Redskins, Raiders, and Chargers. While Turner has taken criticism from Vikings fans for his play calling, one has to wonder how different things might be if the team was at full strength. After all, this a club that has lost its top quarterback, top running back, and two starting tackles. Before those injuries, the team also saw veteran lineman Phil Loadholt retire.
Before today’s sudden promotion, Shurmur was serving as the Vikings’ tight ends coach. Shurmur served as the Eagles’ offensive coordinator from 2013-2015, so he has a history with quarterback Sam Bradford.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.